By J.D. Allen
Some companies retreated from New York City to the suburbs due to the pandemic. Now, a survey of about 500 companies found there are big business opportunities to add more nonstop flights at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip.
For Bob Isaksen, a Melville native and market executive for business banking at Bank of America, that means more ways to bring business to Long Island.
“Business travelers much prefer nonstop air travel,” Isaksen said.
The MacArthur has three major U.S. domestic air carriers that currently provide service to 11 cities nonstop and connect to hundreds of destinations worldwide: American Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The survey found there is appetite to expand those offerings.
The survey was conducted in August and September by HIA-LI, one of Long Island’s largest business advocacy organizations. Terri Alessi-Miceli, the group’s president and CEO, said it found corporate travel budgets could potentially expand if MacArthur airport had more flights, which could generate more than $1 billion in new airport revenue annually.
“The dynamic has changed considerably,” Alessi-Miceli said. “Many people are working from home, others getting back to work in some sort of work setting, whatever that looks like. They’re actually itching to get back [into] travel.”
“It’s really: the consumer wins,” said Joe Campolo, the group’s immediate past chair and managing partner at the Ronkonkoma-based law firm Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, which ran the survey. He said Long Island businesses would be willing to pay more to fly direct out of Islip and avoid the inconvenience of driving to LaGuardia or Kennedy airports. “There will be ancillary economic advantages to the town and the airlines for sure.”
Campolo said the goal of the survey is to make sure that the region’s business community remains viable. He said the businesses relied heavily on travel pre-COVID, especially for trade shows, and weren’t able to fly out of Islip as their airport of choice.
“One of the indicators right now, I think in a post-COVID world, is how much business travel is there actually going to be?” he said. “Zoom can only take you so far with clients, but meeting face to face is still an important part of business development.”
The survey said increased corporate travel to and from Long Island would generate…. Continue Reading
Allen, J., 2021. Long Island businesses see an opportunity to expand flights to Islip's MacArthur Airport. [online] Wshu.org. Available at: https://www.wshu.org/post/long-island-businesses-see-opportunity-expand-flights-islips-macarthur-airport#stream/0 [Accessed 15 October 2021].