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Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?  
User currently offlineBlackhawk144 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4452 times:

Hello,

I know really almost nothing of starting airlines, so I'm just basing this on common sense.

Would STL be a good place to start an airline? Here's why I think so, even though I am probably wrong:

1. It is in the Middle-Eastern part of the country
2. There is so much gate space for further expansion
3. It wouldn't be a large airline like TWA

It would operate MD-80s, or A320s...and some small aircraft too.

I was getting this idea from past posts I've seen.

Anthony

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCOAMiG29 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 515 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

look what happened to TWA other than that its a great spot if you can get the money and clearence to start the airline and find the employes and hire mechanics and pilots and oh yea the aircraft. it takes alot more than everyone wants to think
(who wants to start a vintage airline with planes that are hard to find/being scrapped)(707 dc10 L1011 747 classic and more) i think a.net should persue this goal)

anyway back to blackhawk144's question yes i think it would be a good place

--COAMiG29--



If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2986 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

i don't think the st. louis economy would support a major hub carrier. historically it never has. TWA was always hampered by the fact that it's major hub was in a second tier city...not enough o/d traffic.

most fares are low in st. louis, thanks to southwest. on the few routes where AA can command a premium, they are very expensive.

so to answer the question. i don't think st. louis would be a smart place to start a new airline. competing with southwest and american would be challenging to say the least.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineMoMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1054 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4361 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (reply 2):
so to answer the question. i don't think st. louis would be a smart place to start a new airline. competing with southwest and american would be challenging to say the least.


This is an understatement. AA would cruicify anyone who came in to STL trying to start an airline. STL is not really a "second tier city", but you are right in the lack of demand for a very large hub operation. (I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine).

The short answer is NO. No airline starting in STL would make it, IMO.

Based on what you said above, I think MCI would be the better airport to start from. MCI does not have one airline that pretty much runs the show (AA in STL). MCI is also in the middle of the country, and the MCI metro area is same size or bigger than STL.

Moman

[Edited 2005-03-02 08:50:03]


AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
User currently offlineBlackhawk144 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4310 times:

Ok, thanks, guys, my questions answered  Smile, although furthur opinions would be nice

Anthony


User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4290 times:

Sure, if you like taking on the behouths of SouthWest and AA. It would be suicide.


One Nation Under God
User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4282 times:

I think MCI would also be a good place to start an airline. They seem to have the gate space and as stated before, there is no one single airline dominating service out of MCI. I would of course have liked to seen IND become a major hub but it will never happen. Too close to CVG, DTW, CLE, MDW, ORD.


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

7E72004-MCI's airport is configured dreadfully for a hub-like operation, simply because at most, three or four gates share a security checkpoint. The only way around that is for the hubbing airline to build in-security walkways (very expensive) or acquire the Star-Wars-esque people movers that are at Washington Dulles (most passengers would rather not ride in these)


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineStlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9235 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4226 times:

Quoting MoMan (reply 3):
This is an understatement. AA would cruicify anyone who came in to STL trying to start an airline. STL is not really a "second tier city", but you are right in the lack of demand for a very large hub operation. (I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine).


I don't think city size has much to do with hub scale as much as what the airline/product has to offer and the success of the individual business. Look at Cincinnati, look at Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Charlotte, Denver, Atlanta, etc. If the world's largest airline decided to hub in Des Moines, well, you get the point.


As for STL, American would probably gladly sell you STL for about $200 million.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

Quoting Stlgph (reply 8):
I don't think city size has much to do with hub scale as much as what the airline/product has to offer and the success of the individual business. Look at Cincinnati, look at Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Charlotte, Denver, Atlanta, etc. If the world's largest airline decided to hub in Des Moines, well, you get the point.



City size, but more importantly, city growth, are crucial for successful hub operations.

CO's hub in CLE has been greatly downsized, primarily due to a significant drop in O&D traffic. US shuttered its PIT hub. Vanguard tried MCI, but that obviously didn't work. NW's hub at MEM isn't doing all that well, either.

MCI and STL are both hindered by the fact that (1) they are generally small compared with other hub markets (DFW, ATL, DEN, ORD), and (2) they are relatively close to megahubs like DFW and ORD. DFW and ORD alone are more than capable of handling coast-to-coast connections. New hubs at MCI or STL are simply a pipe dream.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3369 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4146 times:

Not to mention the fact that Lambert would rape you in various fees. That's part of what's keeping American from expanding and airlines like FL and B6 from coming in. Though there's rumors FL may be incoming.

A fledgling LCC would have a rough time against WN in STL anyway.

-77



PHX based
User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2064 posts, RR: 36
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

Yeah, a new hub at St.Louis probably isn't the best idea as of right now. The market is currently very stable with WN and AA dominating the scene. Those two carriers take up most of the origin and destination trafic that St.Louis has to offer (2004 was nearly 11 mil. pax.).

Plus, American has an expansive frequent flier base in St.Louis, so their customer loyalty is extremely strong (even after something like the cuts of '03). If airline "x" started the same routes as American (unless it was an extraordinary product), it would lose, hands down. If you start routes American doesn't fly, Southwest does fly it. Again, I think that loyalty and brand recognition would come into play.

The only way I think that a new airlines could startup here is for it to be named Ozark. The community was extremely fond of OZ back in the day, and maybe people would go out of their way to fly them. But that whole scenario is extremely doubtful......

Barring another 9/11, I think that St.Louis will continue to have medium sized AA and WN operations for some time to come. Maybe a few airlines will come in, but besides that I don't really see any significant growth possibilities.


User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4069 times:

I heard that Independence would not consider IAD-STL, cause of AA and WN


There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineMCIrunway From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4069 times:

By the way, the St. Louis metro pop. is larger than KC. But I guess in the end, business traffic is more a determining factor than population, of which I don't know how KC & STL compare.

User currently offlineStlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9235 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4054 times:

Quoting Malaysia (reply 12):
I heard that Independence would not consider IAD-STL, cause of AA and WN


Didn't stop them from going into O'Hare.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2064 posts, RR: 36
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4047 times:

I really don't think DH would fare well in St.Louis, I do think there is a market for AirTran however.
Mci,

The St.Louis area is about 900,000 more people bigger than KC to be exact. I would guess the business sectors are a fairly direct correlation of populations in this case.....


User currently offlineQwerty From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4033 times:

Quoting SHUPirate1 (reply 7):
7E72004-MCI's airport is configured dreadfully for a hub-like operation, simply because at most, three or four gates share a security checkpoint


I think this is why a lot of WN's many one-stop flights pass throught MCI. They bring people thru, but rarely, if at all, conect them in MCI.

Let some off, put some more on. WN out. That's why a A boarding pass in MCI is probably not worth that much.


User currently onlineSkedguy From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 134 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4009 times:
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Quoting LambertMan (reply 11):
Barring another 9/11, I think that St.Louis will continue to have medium sized AA and WN operations for some time to come. Maybe a few airlines will come in, but besides that I don't really see any significant growth possibilities.


I agree, LambertMan. Another problem with STL is its weak propensity to generate O&Ds (pax) versus its population. During the past year, STL ranked 29th in the nation in terms of passengers either originating or terminating in STL. In terms of population, though, it ranks 18th.

A start-up airline would be competing with AA and WN for a relatively small traffic base. The number one airport (not region) in the nation is LAX, which generated 29.3 million pax. By comparison, STL only generated 9.2 million passengers. As you can see, the number isn't huge, especially when you consider that the LAX number doesn't even include ONT, BUR, SNA, or LGB numbers.


User currently offlineAerohottie From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 792 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3931 times:

Skedguy,
Where did you get those numbers?... it would be interesting to work out which airport or region has the most O&D traffic per capita.



What?
User currently offlineToxicmegacolon From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

Metro STL is also larger than Metro DEN (and CVG, Charlotte, MEM, SLC); And not all that much smaller than MSP, CLE.. just to add to some of the above posts... Its also home to a disproprtionalty large number of fortune 500 companies.
Don't think city size is really the issue here.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9235 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3894 times:

Toxic--

I agree. For the most part, you can start an airline in your own backyard if you want to. What you offer and how you run your business determines whether you lift off a 747 or an ultra light.

But yes, geographically speaking, STL is in a GREAT GREAT -GREAT- location. The problem is, TWA just didn't tap into region resources. They should have gotten the RJ's in there early and gone for places like Rapid City, Fargo, Grand Forks, other places etc. in the midwest. Send RJ's to your Central Illinois markets that historically supported TWA. They should have done what Northwest says it does now...but earlier...and that is focus on the heartland and bring more of it to your hub. Problem is, STL facilities just weren't big enough to make STL a success monster hub like CVG or CLE. Visit these two airports and see the significant difference. Anyway, most of what I just wrote about in this paragraph leads to either topics we've covered before or whole other topics from this thread, so I'll just end now.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3893 times:

Quoting MoMan (reply 3):
I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine

One primary difference is that CVG is the absolute definition of "fortress hub"... whereas STL is not and hasn't been for a very long time.


User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2064 posts, RR: 36
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3843 times:

Aerohottie,

I think that skedguy's numbers are fairly accurate, but last I heard 2003's o/d numbers were around 9.5 million. The Lambert website claims a 13% increase in origin and destiantion passengers over the past year, so my guess is that its somewhere around 10.5-.75 million.


User currently offlineStl30l From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3759 times:

Malaysia-

Currently AA and UA both serve IAD-STL. I have been on several AA flights with less than 10 passengers and most flights are barely 50% in the first quarter. It would be a sure money loser for Independence to start this route at this time. Maybe if demand increases significantly during the summer.



STL AA Platinum Flyer
User currently offlineNoMoreRJs From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 423 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3749 times:

In this environment, I would not start a domestic US airline anywhere!

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