I'm not making excuses or really sticking up for the Port but I want state a few facts.
"justasooner- I don't consider the airport running at a $700+ deficit as working, ok I agree that American eagle is still willing to fly in and out but how is it if their numbers are going up month to month the overall number of passengers is in decline."
Overall, the YTD passenger numbers are up 2% over 2011 and May was up 10% over May 2011. The $700k deficit is directly related to the BAX closure.
"Justasooner- I did throw out mid size hubbs without being up on there current status, but the idea is the same. I looked at ticket prices on Orbits for Toledo to Chicago and Detroit to Chicago, and Detroit beat us every time on price, and flexibility of schedule, one comparison was Toledo $438 round trip Detroit ranged was $143 round trip or $338 round trip. So even the most expensive costs $100 more at Toledo per ticket, so leaving from Toledo with the wife costs me at least $200 more guess where I'm most likely to leave from.
You also indicate that Toledo can fill planes (and we agree that routes and fares play a big part in that), however if we can fill planes why have we been unable to do so. As long as Detroit is able to beat us on route, price, and still be relatively convenient, Toledo will never fill planes like you claim, unless we can get some routes and that we can fill enough to drive the rates down enough to beat Detroit, and can go non stop to some places they don't otherwise Toledo will forever be stuck where we are."
I just checked Orbitz and TOL-ORD round trip was $240 and $114 out of DTW on AA. Note, you are flying the same airplane TOL-ORD as you would DTW-ORD on AA. I will note, the best day to check on AA for fare sales - Wednesdays/Thursdays. I have seen TOL-ORD as low as $180 round trip. TOL has been able to fill the seats, the problem is, not at a good enough fare to make it as profitable as being able to place that airplane somewhere else. Allegiant has been running at 87% to 92% loads all year long and that is basically turning passengers away. The problem is, they aren't making a good enough margin to add more seats. I was told if they increase their one way fare by just $5 ($10 round trip) they see a 5% to 10% decline in bookings. This is because no one wants to pay more then DTW. A lot of people say they will, but when it comes down to it, won't.
The focus needs to be on lower fare carriers and maybe one more network carrier. The best airline for TOL right now would be Frontier to Denver. Access to a great destination and a good network out west with very reasonable fares. United to Washington DC would be ideal for the network carrier as it would allow for a good destination in DC and a plethora of domestic and international connections.
The reason why we continue to have trouble is because of above reasons, but they also just do the minimum to promote the airport. They throw money to the media outlets and say that's more then enough. They are rarely out talking to travel agents and users in the community. They aren't engaging the community like a CAK does. They have the most twitter and facebook followers. They are constantly out in the community doing events and other stuff. Hell they had a big "reveal" of their new luggage tag. Just creative stuff that is fun and engaging. The Port has no one to do that. They have no one to sell the airport to the community, they have no one to engage, nothing. They just piss money away to the local media who loves their money.