atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:33 am

Hey folks. I live in Carbondale, Illinois, and the closest regional airport is Marion-Williamson County Regional Airport, or KMWA for short. The only commercial service we have is American Connection to STL on the BAE JETSTREAMS 32. We have 4 flights to STL daily, except weekends when there is a Sat. Only flight. Now this may be me, but why doesn't American Connection UPGRADE to a jet??? We can handle the regional jets trust me, we have had 737's, MD-80's, and even 747's land there. I realize it is really operated by Corporate Airlines and they only fly BAE 32's. But soon down the road, the props may not be efficient. Also, why can't we attract more carriers to MWA? Maybe COMAIR CRJ to CVG, one flight. NWA CRJ To MEM?? EVEN AirTran Jet Connect to ATL!!! It is a real pain to drive 2 hours to STL to hop on a flight. when I am only a 15 minute drive from MWA!!! So, as a treat for my self, I booked a flight MWA-STL and STL-OKC on AA and Connection, just so I can see what its like to fly out of MWA and not drive all the way to STL. Is the reason we do not have any more service because of our close approximate to STL?? I know some members like highliner2 can comment on this......

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
Guest

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:45 am

Well, there is one big clue....
Marion is a Essential Air Service government subsidy route. The only reason you have air service AT ALL is because the government pays Corporate $1,253,076 per year to fly there.

Marion just does not have the demand for more air service. The subsidy is in place because it has been determined that business would suffer if air service was not provided. Without the subsidy, the service would be unprofitable and would not exist.
 
E1FAIL
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:36 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:50 am

Yep, Marion/Carbondale are small markets excluding the college, and how many college kids can afford to fly anywhere on a regular basis?
 
Guest

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:54 am

Yep, Marion/Carbondale are small markets excluding the college, and how many college kids can afford to fly anywhere on a regular basis?

I would gather that the majority of students are not from that far away and would be unlikely to fly anyway, or would drive the two hours to St. Louis to save a few hundred dollars.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:56 am

I understand your frustrations, but the market just isn't there to justify the use of an RJ. I grew up in ABI, and dealt for years with only Saab 340s and EMB-120s. ABI isn't an EAS market like Marion, but it is still too small to justify RJs to DFW. Currently, Eagle flies 3 of its 7 flights on RJs, but that's only because the jets are maintained at ABI.

Next month, Skywest will launch EMB-120 service to ABI from IAH. They are not using a jet, but may introduce one in the future if the market demands it. However, Skywest (one of the few profitable airlines, mind you) says it will not fly RJs on routes less than 300 miles because the planes simply aren't efficient for distances shorter than this.

Bottom line is this: RJs, while great for mid-size markets, still are a difficult tool for airlines in small markets such as Marion or ABI. While it is a pain to drive the 2 hours to STL or the 3 hours to DFW, many people will still do it. Until these markets grow and/or RJs become cheaper to operate, we will be stuck with turboprops for a good while.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:59 am

Yes, I didn't realize that Corporate was being paid. We do have a small cargo building with Fed-Ex and UPS, and I wish they flew jets to MWA. Fed Ex flies the caravan from MEM or STL I believe to MWA, and UPS I can't remember what they fly. I do remember that back in the 90's United Express used to fly props to Carbondale, Illinois Southern Illinois Airport- or KMDH for short. But that was quitted. I honestly think that AA needs to fly MWA-ORD for American Eagle. AND KEEP IT LOW!!! because we have soooo many college students flying driving or taking the train to Chicago for weekends and holidays. It would be benficial to not drive all the way to Chicago, or to STL to catch a flight or take a 6 hour trip on the train. Of course its all my opinion and just someone who really wants more service to MWA but hey I am sure everyone wants something at the airport they fly out of.

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
Guest

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:08 am

Yes, I didn't realize that Corporate was being paid. We do have a small cargo building with Fed-Ex and UPS, and I wish they flew jets to MWA. Fed Ex flies the caravan from MEM or STL I believe to MWA, and UPS I can't remember what they fly.

I'm sure if cargo load warranted larger aircraft, they would be used. But as it is, trucking stuff two hours to St. Louis is much more efficient.

I do remember that back in the 90's United Express used to fly props to Carbondale, Illinois Southern Illinois Airport- or KMDH for short. But that was quitted.

Carbondale was EAS subsidized in the past, and that subsidy may still be available. No airline has applied for it or wishes to fly it right now.

I honestly think that AA needs to fly MWA-ORD for American Eagle. AND KEEP IT LOW!!! because we have soooo many college students flying driving or taking the train to Chicago for weekends and holidays. It would be benficial to not drive all the way to Chicago, or to STL to catch a flight or take a 6 hour trip on the train.

Do you think the average college student will pay $200 (at cheapest, 21 day advance purchase, Saturday night stay required) to go to Chicago for the weekend? I really don't think so. This $200 figure is on the low end... I'm pulling it from research of qualifying fares from other cities in Illinois to fly to Chicago on a typical weekend one month in the future. Fares range from $190 up to over $300. I don't think your argument for typical college student needing air service to Chicago for weekend fun holds up, when you consider the cost.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:17 am

That is true......I realize its soo expensive...it cost me alot of dollars to fly MWA-STL plus what AA was offering to OKC from STL. overall I paid 229 dollars to fly MWA-STL-OKC on expedia.com. just 6 dollars more then AA.com's fare of STL-OKC. I decided heck I will just pay the extra 6 dollars just so I can fly out of MWA and not STL. So I am looking forward to that. It is predicted that MWA will soon become a airport, not regional but not bigger then STL. in about 10-20 years. I hope its true but more likely not. They have installed an ILS on one of the runways so the plane can land at night and in storms. Thats a big leap. and they have also extended the runway as well as if they are expecting a bigger aircraft, is that a hint I need to look out for??? Also, I cannot find a website so our regiona AIRPORT MWA? Anyone know a link to teh wesbite??

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:17 am

N951U is right. The market that the government subsidizes out of Marion is a connections market. It is very, very rare that a business traveler will pay the fare to fly to ORD or STL for a quick trip. The only real "market" from a city like this is the connecting market to other large cities. Very, very few people will go through the hassle and expense of flying when they can drive in a similar amount of time.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:30 am

Similiar flight to a simliar driving time?? Its a 20 minute flight, i mean FLIGHT not taxing time, secuirty etc etc. as opposed to a 2 hour and so DRIVE to STL, then its about 20 MORE minutes to the airport from STL the city. So the convinece of having FREE PARKING at MWA plus less lines for security makes it an attraction to fly out of MWA. I am doing it, my grandparents will do it if they fly AA to FLL MWA-STL-FLL. No one likes to drive when they know they can just catch a flgiht and change planes. there was article in the paper how business were VERY upset about AA half off flights at STL, and they really hope that they didn't cut the MWA flights, apprantly MANY business rely on the MWA-STL flights. so I am sure they may support flights to TOP HIGH business cities like JFK, ORD, LAX etc etc.....

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
E1FAIL
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:36 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:37 am

I would gather that the majority of students are not from that far away and would be unlikely to fly anyway, or would drive the two hours to St. Louis to save a few hundred dollars.

It seemed the vast majority were from the St. Louis area or Chicago area, with the balance spread throughout Illinois. St. Louis is obviously covered already, it is just Chicago without direct air service. IMO, Chicago will never see direct service as the regional's priorities lie elsewhere. Besides, if you haul butt and avoid the cops on 57 you can make it in about 5.5 hours anyhow.
 
Guest

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:44 am

Tell me,
Who is going to fly just MWA-STL-MWA round trip and is a college student? Is a college student going to pay $200 or drive it? It's a two hour drive. You forget that besides a 20 minute flight, there are pre/post flight activities. At St. Louis, it'd take 90 minutes at least to drive to the airport, check-in, board, fly to Marion. You can drive in just a half hour longer and save $200. What are college students more likely to do?

And Chicago.... again I ask what college students will be paying $300 to fly to Chicago for a weekend?
 
CactusA319
Posts: 2822
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 1:51 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:51 am

E1Fail:

I've made that drive in 4.5 hours!

I've flown out of MWA a few times (back when it was Trans States Airlines running the service), there are many people who fly that but not enough to warrant more flights or bigger equipment. You're lucky you even have any air service at all. Plus the two hour drive (or 1.5 if you drive like me) isn't THAT bad.

As for MDH, that market was served by Great Lakes a while back but dropped when they had to scale back ops. due to a shortage in flight crews. I think the route was EAS also but had pretty decent loads, especially around break times when Chicago students would go home.

 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:54 am

I realize that, but its not just chicago, we also have ALOT of of out of state people as well, who MAY appreciate the MWA-STL flight. But I am not saying they shoudl JUST book MWA-STL, the need to book the trip as a MWA-FLL or MWA-LAX or MWA-JFK KNOWING they have a connection in STL. Thats all.

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
CactusA319
Posts: 2822
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 1:51 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:12 am


If the demand was there, you'd see more flights there. However if you look at the Southern Illinois/Southeastern Missouri region you'll find air service at the following airports:

Marion, IL
Cape Girardeau, MO
Mt. Vernon, IL
Paducah, KY

The last two cities have multiple airlines serving them (as far as I know anyway). These towns aren't exactly booming metropolis' so the amount of air service you have for the region is on par with similar areas elsewhere in the country. Are they underserved? Possibly. But the demand isn't really there and when you also have STL a few hours away, most people would just rather save a few bucks and drive to the big city.

 
E1FAIL
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:36 am

RE: MWA-Marion, Illinois

Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:56 am

I've made that drive in 4.5 hours!

Sweet!

I never used to drive back to Chicago except over the holidays and the troopers would be out in force for looking for us. They used to pull us over in packs of twenty or so......Good times!

At the time I never even considered flying back upstate. Not only was it prohibitively expensive for me, but I would also be without a car. Wouldn't work. I can't imagine college kids have that much more money these days, but I guess things can change plenty in the 20 years since I went there.

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