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Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 1:42 am

Now with Vanguard grounding its operations and declaring bankruptcy, what do people think the future at Kansas City will be like? Is it at all possible for Vanguard to recover? And who's going to pick up the pieces of Vanguard's market share. Probably Southwest or Midwest Express. Out of those two, who would probably have a better chance at strengthening their presence there?

Also, from anyone who lives in Kansas City or travels through MCI much, what are your opinions of Midwest Express there? I'm originally from Milwaukee and being MidEx's home, it's very well-known around MKE. They are MKE's largest airline and have a very good hold on the O/D traffic there. Is MidEx making itself better known in the Kansas City area and trying to get a good share of the O/D traffic base there like they do in MKE. Does anyone know any future expansion plans at MCI for MidEx. And how does Southwest having a descent presence at MCI effect MidEx's performance there?

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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 2:00 am

In terms of destinations, MCI really did not loose much. Only AUS, COS, FLL, MYR, and SFO. Rumours AA may come in with MIA-MCI. I'll keep my fingers crossed. AirTran comes 8Oct02 with 3x daily to ATL. Other cities are bound to happen later.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 4:17 am

In spite of it's geographic desirability, it will never see the light of day as a major hub. Too late in the game for that...but will most likely continue to see O&D growth. Yes, I am great at stating the obvious!

Just my opinion.

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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 4:33 am

Perhaps the biggest problem with MCI is not the airlines themselves that hubbed there and are now history (Braniff, Eastern, and now Vanguard), it is the fact that the design of the airport makes hubbing there problematic. Since each gate has its' own security point, every time a connecting passenger comes through, they have to go through security another time. MCI was built when airlines did not use the hub and spoke system that is so entrenched in the U.S. since Deregulation, so the design essentially didn't adapt with the times, and plus when MCI was opened, there was not security checkpoints that have been put in place since the 1970s. If the government in K.C. is really wanting to make the airport attractive to airlines, maybe it is time for new facilities, or at least make the current facilities more user friendly. Hey, I think it's great you can basically drive up to the gate, but unfortunately, that method is a bit outdated in today's climate. MCI does make sense in terms of geography as a hub, but until the folks at MCI realise the airport needs to be updated, they'll stay a spoke in the hub and spoke systems.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 5:02 am

I do not think Vanguard will fly again.

Kansas City has had its problems with the airlines that have hubbed MCI....while part of it may be the design of the airport, I think the bigger problem is the financial condition of the respecitve airlines when they come to MCI; Eastern was already in big trouble when it launched its East-West services hubbing in Kansas City, Braniff 2 was losing a fortune at DFW and then picked up and moved to MCI (Braniff 2 also bought Florida Express and its ancient BAC 111s, by which it took on more debt, and then went out and leased brand new A320s it could not afford.....all certainly no fault of MCI), and Vanguard has had finanical concerns throughout its short history.

The other problem is geography, MCI is stuck between STL, ORD, DFW and DIA....all super hubs for one or more major carriers; is there room for another hub in the region? I am not sure, but if there is, an airline the size of Vanguard is really not the one to pull it off.

Southwest provides a lot of service, at cheap prices into MCI. AirTran already announced that it will start service to MCI....ATL to start and maybe to cities in Florida later (just guessing). AA is supposed to start a MCI-MIA service and announced, but then dropped, two MCI-LGA flights per day with MD80s (What was that all about?), now with Vanguard out of the picture, maybe AA will reconsider. Midwest is bound to increase some services at MCI when it has available aircraft, and others will add more service to their hubs.

This will be another airline loss for MCI, and MCI does deserve better, but the end of Vanguard will not be that dramatic for MCI.

RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 5:09 am

To add to what Dutchjet said....
A good bit of the demand from non-Kansas City passengers has deminished thanks to low-fare carriers and other expanded service in several other markets. Wichita just got AirTran. This will lower fares and stop some from driving to Kansas City. In 1995, Omaha got Southwest and Frontier. Before that, people drove the two and a half hours to Kansas City en masse to save 50% on airline tickets. Lincoln, Nebraska's fares have gone down thanks to Omaha practically being a co-terminal. Fares at Des Moines are starting to drop, thanks to ATA (and formerly AccessAir). Those an hour from Omaha but two hours from Kansas City are driving to Omaha. It is the same story in central Kansas but with Wichita. Kansas City's airport is starting to just serve Kansas City.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 5:28 am

Kansas City will remain a 3rd tier city untill they revamp there facillities to entice airlines. I only anticipate marginal growth from the majors if any; maybe some expansion from Air Tran, Southwest, and Midwest Express. Nothing earthshaking though.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 7:19 am

Just to let you all know MCI is currently in renovation of its airport and making it more up to date. Though one section is already done in Terminal C. The layout is the SAME, but there are new features such:

1. As monitors at baggage claim that show what flight number and airline the luggage is coming from.
2. New flooring-a blue tile that looks extremely nice  Smile
3. New wall paint- it is much more light, almost white, very nice looking
4. New Blast resistant windows-They are also light, not so dark. Very clear
5. More natural light, and many other small things.

Next time I am at the airport I will take pictures and submit them to airliners.net
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 9:46 pm

From the KCI website:

The first completed portion of the Terminal Improvement Project opened July 20 in Terminal C with Northwest, Continental and Frontier operating out of the new area.

(See map showing portions of Terminals A, B and C closed for Phase 1 construction.)

Northwest moved from its previous location within Terminal C to new gates at the beginning of the terminal. Along with the opening of Phase 1 in Terminal C, airline gate numbers throughout the terminal have changed. New airline gate numbers follow:

Northwest – Gates 61-62-63-64
Continental, Frontier – Gates 67-68-69
United – Gates 72-73-76-77
America West – Gates 78-79
Midwest Express – Gates 87-88A-88B-89
International Arrivals – Gate 90

The new area in Terminal C includes a Jazz-themed bar and a CNBC store.

Construction in the Phase 1 areas of Terminals A and B continue. Terminal A is scheduled to be completed in late summer and Terminal B should be complete sometime this fall.

Phase 2 of Terminal C will begin later this summer after United moves to new gates 82-85 in the space left unoccupied by Northwest. (See map showing Phase 2 area in Terminal C.)

Currently, the three lanes of traffic closest to the terminals in construction areas are closed. Garage towers adjacent to the construction areas are also closed. Pedestrians can detour around those construction areas in covered walkways set up in front of the terminals.

During construction, KCI officials advise airline passengers to allow ample time prior to their flights to park, get to the terminal, check in and go through security. Travelers are also advised to observe signs at the airport that will help direct them around construction zones. The volunteer KCI Airport Ambassadors will also assist people with directions and information inside the terminal.

An unexamined life isn't worth living.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Fri Aug 02, 2002 4:32 am

Like I said it looks nice

 Smile  Smile  Smile
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RE: Deltadude8

Wed Aug 07, 2002 4:37 am

Except for the exposed concrete. In artist's renderings of the renovation, the concrete "beamed" ceilings and vertical supports were covered over with a light-colored laminate or some other material, so I don't know what happened. That raw concrete look makes the place still scream "early 70's institutional" IMHO.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Wed Aug 07, 2002 4:54 am

Kansas City will remain a 3rd tier city untill they revamp there facillities to entice airlines. I only anticipate marginal growth from the majors if any; maybe some expansion from Air Tran, Southwest, and Midwest Express. Nothing earthshaking though.

I'll take being a third tier city if it means flights in and out of here are affordable. Airtran has announced flights, Delta (connection) is re-establishing service to DFW, SWA will most likely add a few flights. For not being a hub, there are a lot of nonstops to non-hub destinations. What the city needs to do is NOT try to lure some airline to hub here...rather, they should play up the low cost of flying in here in trying to get convention business. There's already a pretty good demand for air travel out of here, create more demand and airlines will create even more service.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:18 am

I agree with those who say MCI will grow steadily in the future. Delta Connection added service to DFW, AirTran is once again in town this time to Atlanta, and I think we can look for expansion from not just Southwest and Midwest but America West (LAS maybe?), American most certainly (MIA, maybe they'll reinstate the LGA service, and maybe in hte future SJC or LAX), as well as Delta (hopefully JFK service, I'd love to see that). Delta is the third largest carrier at MCI (behind WN, and AA), and definitely has a market stronghold with their ATL, CVG and SLC flights. I think DFW will be successful and I wouldn't be surprised if they added New York JFK (maybe only a dream, but I think it's possible, New York is a big market out of here, as well as a classic route...TWA was big on MCI-JFK). Who knows, maybe we'll see Mexicana start flying out of here, I think they could draw passengers from KS, MO, NE, and IA, and even without the draw from IA and NE the services could be profitable. JetBlue may look at the JFK-MCI market, Alaska the SEA-MCI, and the list goes on. Kansas City is a traditional air travel city, you look at old United, TWA route maps and Kansas City is mentioned on the cover of hte brochure often. (I realize TWA had a hub here) Things are looking good at MCI right now, and I think they'll only get better. Smile/happy/getting dizzy

TWA & Vanguard 4ever

RE: Future Of Mci?

Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:22 am

Actually, American is still goint to do the MCI-LGA service.... they never cancelled it, just pushed it back to November 2002.
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RE: Future Of Mci?

Wed Aug 07, 2002 6:25 am

Cant wait to see that blue floor, when I come up for my class reunion this weekend.

Those pics look GREAT!!!

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