Posts: 172
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 9:35 pm

Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:00 am

It wouldn't be the first time an airline has tried to utilize the hundred million dollar alternate St. Louis airport (just east of the city in Illinois). Pan Am failed here, any thoughts on whether this could work?

St. Clair County OKs Air Florida bond plan
By Norm Parish Of the Post-Dispatch
01/27/2003 11:03 PM

MidAmerica Airport in St. Clair County.

A New York-based holding company moved closer to launching a new airline from MidAmerica Airport under a $150 million bond plan approved Monday night by the St. Clair County Board.

Air Florida Airways Corp. wants to use the bonds to help start passenger and cargo flight service at the troubled airport in Mascoutah. The County Board approved an initial industrial revenue bond plan. Later, Air Florida would have to get approval from county officials for final issuance of the bonds.

Under the plan, Air Florida would start flights in June, serving at least five cities, including Chicago at Midway Airport, company President Joseph Luchetti said in an earlier telephone interview.

County officials said that in the event of a failure, the investors, not St. Clair County, would be liable. Officials said revenue bonds were commonplace in the county, adding that since 1998, about 10 have been issued or are in the process of being issued.

For example, similar bonds were used to help with an academic center at McKendree College and have been initially approved for a new hotel, garage and other development by the City Centre Plaza Development Corp. in East St. Louis, officials said.

"Tonight, we formalized our relationship with Air Florida Airways," said Tim Cantwell, director of MidAmerica Airport.

St. Clair County Board Chairman John Baricevic was optimistic.

"We hope very much that (Air Florida) is successful," he said. "We will give them whatever support that we can."

Some airline experts have said that Air Florida could have a difficult time putting together a deal. The airline industry has recently been plagued by financial crises, and the carrier's success would depend on its ability to sell its financial package that it develops with investors.

Air Florida officials have been tight-lipped about how money from the bonds would be spent, citing competitive reasons. The carrier may buy an existing airline.

County officials said the airline would probably use the money for an office facility and equipment.

The company wants to provide passenger, cargo and chartered air service, initially using a Boeing fleet of three MD-80s, a 757 and 767, Air Florida's Luchetti said.

The firm, which was incorporated in Delaware a few years ago, hopes to hire 350 employees within 60 days, many coming from the St. Louis area.

MidAmerica has struggled since opening in 1998. Its first regularly scheduled passenger service ended in December 2001, when Pan American Airlines shut down flights there. Multi-Aero Inc., which has attempted to launch flights to Chicago from MidAmerica, has had only limited flight service at the airport.

In other action, the County Board approved a $1.8 million plan to build 10 apartments at Scott Air Force Base's Patriots Landing and granted $20,000 for a study coordinating fiber optic use in the area. The other communities participating in the study are St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.

Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2002 12:28 pm

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:24 am

Sure.... I want to see them try and find a gate a MDW to use!! All the new gates at Chicago are almost all evenly divided between ATA and WN, with the rest going to Delta, ConEx, USAir, Frontier, AirTran, American, Mexicana, etc...
Plus, do the really want to enter the hornets nest with WN? What do the have, a flight every 45 minutes to STL?? Wrong!!! Try somewhere that doesn't make you charge 50 bucks a tix just to compete with ATA and WN!


Posts: 4115
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:58 am

Flying into MDW would be suicide...especially if they want to do routes to Florida. ATA owns MDW - they would like to keep it that way, and will probably fight to protect the florida bound pax.
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 6:02 am

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:37 am

You know every once in a while we get thos fantasy airline posts around here about creating your own airline. And then there is the debate about creating your fantasy vs. creating one that has a chance at surviving past five years.

If I were starting up an airline that I thought had a prayer of making it to age five, I would base it at BLV. I would get some second hand 757s and start ops at Mid America.....just one difference....

I would make the airline a box hauler instead of a people hauler.

That's right, I think BLV's focus is all wrong. STL (Lambert) has the passenger market for the area locked up. So quit throwing money at passenger ops at BLV and focus on making it a frieght airport. I think it could be very successful if it marketed itself as an alternative to STL to the freight airlines (UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc.) instead of trying to get passengers.

Then again, what do I know.

While I am also on the topic, I heard a rumor that the reason BLV went the passenger route is that intially WN was going to go there but then STL cut them a good deal and got them the east terminal and that killed that.
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:42 am

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:12 am

I agree with you LV. I think BLV's best shot with passenger service is to lure in a carrier with an RJ fleet. I'm actually a little surprised that regionals haven't gone in already.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 10:04 am

I used to work at BLV and let me tell ya, the new airline is getting one hell of a deal. They won't last long but hey, i give it to them for trying. I wish them luck. Be sure to get a lot of pictures of this already doomed airline while they are in service. Should be very interesting to see what happens.
Posts: 801
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 3:09 am

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 10:38 am

I agree with LV, this has to be fake. Plus wasn't there a post just a few weeks ago regarding an Air Florida spotting at KFLL? It turned out that an island charter company was using AF's name and logo. Mid America was a bad idea from the start. TWA owned STL and now AA owns STL, why leave from an alternate airport and have to make a connection when you can just leave STL and fly direct. Plus WN has an impressive presence at STL

Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:36 pm

The least they could do is change the name. No offense to anyone who worked there, but too many folks still associate that name with an icy morning at DCA.
Posts: 1546
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 6:02 am

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:39 pm

You guys misunderstood me.

I believe it is probably a legit company....but I doubt it will ever get off the ground. Plus, if you look at the website, is a shot in Florida, probably FLL

Boeing Nut,
Im not sure RJs will even work. I think BLV should become a frieght airport. Convient access to I-64 to get the cargo on the trucks on down the road to the other side of the river
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:14 pm

When we had Pan Am here, they were filling the first. Pan Am dicked everyone around so much that passengers just got fed up with the operation and stopped flying Pan Am. I think that passenger traffic will work....if it is the right kind. I do not see this airline getting off the ground at BLV. You are right that freight would be great...UPS and FEDEX have bought land at the airport but are not going to do anything until something happens. There is Interstate running on the noth side of the airport and rail tracks on the east. a great location for getting freight out.
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 3:03 pm

RE: Mid-America Airport - New Airline?

Wed Jan 29, 2003 8:10 pm

The dismal saga of this airport is example number one as to why the state of Illinois is out of their minds to build the proposed third Chicago airport at Peotone. (that's another topic already discussed endlessley here, but the parallels are so glaring I can't help mentioning it).

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos