Travel people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere
may soon see references to an air service called Lehigh Valley Air,
and they might wonder what theyre seeing. One possible answer: They
might be seeing the future.
As described in our
news pages today, Lehigh Valley Air is the trade name for an
enterprise that will soon be offering charter air service to
Florida from the Lehigh Valley Airport, which serves the
Pennsylvania communities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Like
many airports in small and midsize communities, ABE, as its known
in the airport trade, has a long history of working closely with
the local business community to attract and keep air
ABE, however, has
not had as much success as it would like in attracting and keeping
low-fare air service, so it decided to do something about it by
helping to establish a public charter operation offering budget
service to Florida.
Knowing a little something
about marketing, airport officials understood that Freds charters
might have trouble winning over the hearts of local travelers, so
the air service will the adopt the communitys name as its brand.
Hence, Lehigh Valley Air.
This wont be first
time that an airline has shared a name with a city, state or
region. Many airlines over the years have adopted such names, but
this seems to mark one of the few instances we know of where a
community has bestowed its name on what is essentially a
private-label air service to give it brand recognition.
If this works in
Allentown, it will surely be tried elsewhere, and that could lead
to a whole new chapter in the recent sad history of airline
details on this article, see Hometown airline emerges in Pa.s Lehigh Valley Airport
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch
finally said it out loud last week: The venerable liner Norway,
laid up since a boiler explosion in 2003, may have no place to go
but the scrap yard.
Its a sad state of
affairs, and like many others in the industry, we would be sorry to
see it go. But it would be even sorrier if the ship languished at a
dock somewhere and slowly rusted away while lawyers, accountants,
history buffs, entrepreneurs and fast-buck artists hatched plan
after plan for turning it into a hospital ship, dockside tourist
attraction, floating condo, museum or what-have-you.
We get sentimental
about our old ships, but at some point we have to face the fact
that most old ships are merely that, old ships. With a very few
exceptions, notably the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif.,
they dont make good condos, hospitals, tourist attractions or
libraries and they dont make much money. If the best minds of today
cant find a use for this vessel, history has shown theres little
point in letting it rust away, waiting for the best minds of
tomorrow to come up with something.
If it has to be
done, lets salute the grand dame and get it over with.