On November 10, the Hampton Roads Norfolk Airport Task Force hosted “Merges, Purges, and Urges – The Changing Airline Landscape,” with speaker Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, Inc. Boyd is well known as an expert in futurist aviation issues, and is often called upon by the national media to provide input regarding events and trends affecting airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers. In the past 25 years, his philosophy of integrity, research and cutting-edge expertise has resulted in Boyd Group International evolving into one of the most respected firms in the industry.
During the breakfast discussion, Boyd told the group of business and community leaders that an airport should be measured by its connections to hub and international gateways, not by the number of passengers it serves. Norfolk International Airport currently has direct connections to 10 airline hubs, with six hub connections to Asia.
Airlines will be cutting capacity in the future. The first half of 2012, Boyd said that there will be 2.6% fewer departing flights and 1.2% fewer seats. And he warned that ticket prices will continue to rise. As the industry downsizes, he predicts that some small to midsize airports will close within 10 years. Norfolk and Newport News/Williamsburg International are not on the list.