By Ed Runyan
Results of an online survey show that local companies and frequent fliers spend large sums of money on air travel, and many would use United Express flights between Vienna and Chicago if the airline started one.
The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber are conducting the survey on behalf of United Airlines to gauge the potential interest in the route, which would be offered twice per day on airplanes holding about 50 passengers.
Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the local airport, said one of the most-positive indications shown by the roughly 600 respondents is the amount of money they currently spend.
The results indicate there are companies and organizations spending anywhere from $20,000 to $400,000, and many smaller amounts on flights.
Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said the Vienna-Chicago flight would meet their needs more than half the time. The question was accompanied by a map showing all the places a traveler could go after a stop at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Forty-one percent of respondents said they would pay more to use the Trumbull County airport than their current options.
When asked if they would pay $50 more per round-trip than their current options, 90 percent said they were very likely or likely.
A smaller percentage, 49 percent, said they were very likely or likely to pay $100 more per round-trip to use the Vienna facility. Only 14 percent said they were very likely or likely to use it at $150 more per round-trip.
The survey showed that Pittsburgh International Airport currently is used with the most frequency, being the first choice by 54 percent of the respondents, their second choice by 29 percent.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is the first choice among 21 percent, second choice by 44 percent. Akron-Canton Regional Airport is first choice by 21 percent, second choice by 27 percent, Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport the first choice by 14 percent, second choice by 8 percent.
The most-common airlines used by local businesses are United, 23 percent; Southwest, 22 percent; US Airways, 17 percent; Air Tran, 12 percent; and Delta, 11 percent.