VOL. 131 | NO. 82 | Monday, April 25, 2016
OneJet Halts Memphis Flights, But City Remains in Picture
By Madeline Faber
Business carrier OneJet has cut its flights out of Memphis.
In June 2015, OneJet landed in Memphis with a four-times weekly direct flight to Indianapolis. On April 5, those flights were terminated.
“They are keeping their office and counter space at this point, which is a positive sign,” said Glen Thomas, public information officer for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.
Matt Maguire, CEO of OneJet, said that he’s keeping Memphis in the picture, adding that the service change is related to OneJet launching service in Pittsburgh.
Memphis got on OneJet’s radar because of a contract with Memphis-based FedEx Corp. OneJet is the corporate flight partner for FedEx and initially came to Memphis to transport employees from Memphis to the Indianapolis hub. FedEx Ground also has a base in Pittsburgh.
In February, OneJet named Pittsburgh as its second focus city, a term used by smaller carriers to designate a hub. Memphis was being considered as OneJet’s second focus city, and Maguire said it is still in the running for future expansions.
With focus city status, the airport would base five to 10 OneJet aircraft and would gain eight jobs for maintenance, pilots and other staff. Any OneJet route expansions would start at a focus city airport.
Indianapolis was OneJet’s primary focus city, but that status has changed with OneJet moving its aircraft and operations base to Pittsburgh. It discontinued service to any point that didn’t touch Pittsburgh. In addition to the Indianapolis-Memphis flight, OneJet also cut service from Indianapolis to Milwaukee and Nashville.
The Indianapolis to Pittsburgh flight is still in service. OneJet also flies out of Pittsburgh to Milwaukee. Direct service to Hartford, Conn. will launch over the summer.
“With the decision to move the base to Pittsburgh, there are only so many aircraft, and you have to make a decision about how you're going to allocate them,” Maguire said.
Over the next two months, OneJet will roll out four additional announcements of nonstop destinations from Pittsburgh. Memphis, along with Richmond, Va., St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., are among the nonstop destinations being considered. Maguire expects to make the first of these announcements within the next three weeks.
“We made a very proactive choice to maintain the facilities at the airport and make sure that we get more routes into Memphis,” he added.
Further down the line is an announcement on OneJet’s next focus city.
“We’ve communicated this to everyone in Memphis and with our contract at FedEx. Memphis still meets a number of our boxes important to our business in terms of the profile of the city, where it is geographically, the corporate customer base and the yield and demand,” he said.
“I'm not saying anything specific, but I think something good is going to happen in Memphis.”
OneJet flies three seven-seat Beechcraft Hawker 400 jets. Maguire plans to add two more aircraft in June.