Bluejackets From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 280 posts, RR: 3 Posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3509 times:
For all those who were on the edge of their seat:
Air Midwest/Mesa, dba USAirways Express, will take over EAS at Columbia Regional, MO (COU), on Thursday, October 5 from Trans States Airlines, dba American Connection. The B1900 will now be the dominant turboprop above Mid-Missouri, replacing the J41. The Air Midwest changeover had been announced a few months back ( DOT Selects USX-Air Midwest To Provide EAS At COU (by A330323X Jun 21 2006 in Civil Aviation)#ID2838143 ), but the start date of 10/5 was just revealed. Reservations should be available soon. The transition was detailed in the Columbia Missourian Friday:
Mesa Air flights to take off Oct. 5
The airline chose the date to ensure continuous service.
By JOHN TORBITZKY
Mesa Air has set the date.
The airline will start U.S. Airways Express service out of Columbia Regional Airport on Oct. 5. The service includes 12 round-trip flights to St. Louis and 12 round-trip flights to Kansas City each week, and they will begin immediately after Trans State Airlines ends its St. Louis-only service.
Greg Cecil, an Airport Advisory Board member, is excited about the date.
"I'm ready," he said. "And I think the community is excited about it. With me, the sooner the better."
The establishment of the date will clear up confusion on which airline to book a flight with this fall.
"There's been some confusion in the public on when to start booking with U.S. Airways Express," Airport Manager Kathy Frerking said. "This date means we know for sure when the transition will be made."
Jeffrey Hartz, Mesa Air senior planning analyst, said the airline set the date to ensure uninterrupted service for Columbia fliers. Trans State's stop date is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Hartz estimated that the first Mesa Air flight could be at 6:35 a.m. to St. Louis, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony before a 9 a.m. flight to Kansas City.
Fliers will be able to check travel Web sites for the airline's flight schedule beginning Saturday, and it will be released publicly on Monday.
Mesa Air was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide service to the Columbia airport and will receive a federal subsidy of $598,751.
"The nice thing about flying with Mesa Air is you can connect with any airline," Frerking said. "You can book with any Internet travel site to anywhere you want."
A fixed price tag offered by the new airline is also an incentive to fly.
"They have guaranteed a $59 one-way walk up fare," Frerking said. That price does not include taxes or fees, and it will remain the same regardless of date or time.
"I think it's great," Cecil said. "I'm ready for these guys to get here and start."
It's funny when I tell people I love planes and they think I'm weird.
777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3609 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3495 times:
I never totally understood why CoMo has air service. MCI and STL are both ~2 hours away by ground, by the time you drove to the airport, went through security, waited for the flight, boarded the flight, flew the flight and landed, you'd be very close to those two hours if not exceeded them in time spent. Columbia even has a dedicated shuttle service that will drive you to either airport. There used to be two services until one bought out the other.
I guess you might save some money in parking, but that's probably offset by what extra is spent for that flight. Not to mention it's a on a turboprop, not the most appealing way to fly, IMO.
FCYTravis From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1191 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3440 times:
Quoting Nkops (Reply 2): kind of loses the on-line connections doesn't it?? Not to much to connect to in STL on US.
So? Just interline with anyone anywhere in the country - USX codeshares with Midwest at MCI so they could book that as well. With $59 walkup one-way fares, it'll still be cheaper to fly Mesa and then someone else than it ever was to fly Trans States/AmConx through STL.
USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
Bluejackets From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 280 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3301 times:
Quoting 777STL (Reply 1): I never totally understood why CoMo has air service.
It's government mandated, for one. Secondly, the shuttle service isn't as widely known to those destined to COU from outside of the state. Those visiting Mid-Missouri/MU are likely to just check air service into Columbia, without giving a thought to what ground transportation may be available from STL/MCI.
777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3609 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3230 times:
Quoting Bluejackets (Reply 5): It's government mandated, for one. Secondly, the shuttle service isn't as widely known to those destined to COU from outside of the state. Those visiting Mid-Missouri/MU are likely to just check air service into Columbia, without giving a thought to what ground transportation may be available from STL/MCI.
Everyone I knew when I lived in Columbia always drove to either airport. That includes native Columbians and "foreigners" alike. The one flight a day in the mid morning that TSA flew wasn't incredibly conducive for connections, either.
Quickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3180 times:
Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 8):
That's what Ozark II thought ,too. But we know how that turned out.
A couple of things could be different now though. COU is booming economicaly, much more so than back in the late 90s. Ozark 2 wasn't funded that well either. If a major would try this with an RJ or even an ATR, I think today it would work.
Knope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2893 posts, RR: 30
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3162 times:
Anybody know if Air Midwest/Mesa will indeed operate these Columbia flights, as well as Joplin-Kansas City, as Midwest code-share flights? Not a given. The Huron-Brookings-Omaha-Kansas City flights operate as Mesa and don't carry YX* or US*. I heard Mesa was looking to change that, but they have some added expenses to do so. One would think that traffic on all these routes would do better with code-sharing, but sometimes EAS airlines are more interested in getting their bids approved and getting their checks with the least amount of expense possible, rathernthan in actually building traffic at their communities.
That schedule worked good back in 2001 because TWA / American was still running 320+ flights through STL. They may be less than half that today, with service to alot of cities from 2001 eliminated from nonstop STL service. These STL and MCI flights are not used by the local passengers, because most drive. The passengers that take these flights 95% of the time connect from somewhere. A flight coming from either ORD or DFW would be able to catch alot more connections.