B777UA
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AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 1:29 am

I would love to see AirTran start a new hub at St Louis. The market would be great now that AA is cutting Flights out and into the St Louis Hub.does anyone else think that it would work? let me hear yor input
 
richierich
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 1:52 am

Didn't work too well for TWA or AA, so I doubt AirTran is interested.
Besides, the omnipresent Southwest has a low-fare stronghold there now.
None shall pass!!!!
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 1:54 am

Dear B777UA,

Please forgive me for being a bit of a forum Church Lady, but....

Your thread title is inaccurate. It says, "AirTran's new hub." That's a statement of fact. AirTran in fact has not announced any new hub. So your title should be a question, say, "STL as potential AirTran hub?" or something like that. This has been a big etiquette issue at our forum. Many of us hear about important airline decisions first at this forum, and we don't need people crying wolf!

Also, there have been many threads on this topic recently. If you do a search you can learn a lot about the topic, before you start a new discussion on it.

Yes, St. Louis would be a good potential AirTran hub. There are lots of FL markets that don't have Southwest which have good low-fare O & D potential from STL. FL could probably operate alongside FL at St Louis well, the way they do at BWI. Along with ATL, DFW, MSP, LGA, MKE, BNA and PHL would all probably have good O & D potential for AirTran at STL.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:01 am

Richierich....AA is downsizing STL as part of a redeployment of capacity. It's more efficient for them in the restructuring industry and weak economy, to route pax through bigger hubs at ORD and DFW. They can better concentrate people to offer more connecting opportunities. They can also use bigger a/c (which offer lower operating costs) and/or more frequencies (which are more attractive esp. to business pax) by doing this.

STL is not likely much weaker as a hub market than it was three years ago. O & D for Cartel-network carriers is weaker everywhere, for sure. But it doesn't make sense for the current industry makeup for AA to keep the old TWA hub there. A low-fare carrier hub, however, might generate enough O & D on the many routes Southwest doesn't fly, to run a good STL operation.

Southwest's "10 daily 737's or no service" policy limits them. AirTran is willing to enter markets with as few as 3-5 dailies, so they can enter more markets. That means more potential spokes from any potential hub city, over time. Which makes a lot more cities around St. Louis potential new markets for them, esp. if combined with service to ATL or BWI (DSM, LIT, IND, SDF come to mind).

Jim

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
richierich
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:20 am

Point taken, DCA-ROC Guy, but I still don't see AirTran moving into STL anytime soon. Maybe they will prove me wrong, but I'm guessing there are other places on their list.
None shall pass!!!!
 
LambertMan
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:44 am

STL could be potentially attractive to a few new airlines due to the fact that we have a whole concourse open, decent O&D at 10.5 million, and a city hall that is willing to bend over backwards to get a new carrier in here with a decent operation. I think its a possibility that we'll see FL or maybe even an F9 buildup, but rumors have it that PIT is in the lead for F9. Personally, I think they are using STL and PIT as leverage for the new gates. B6 has been brought up also, but they seem completely disinterested with the midwest.


 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:51 am

B6 has been brought up also, but they seem completely disinterested with the midwest.

For now. Neeleman has made clear all along that JetBlue is not going to be what I call "TowerAir II," running only transcons and leisure-market flights out of JFK. They aim to be a major nationwide airline with over 400 planes, and that means they'll have to land in flyover country as well.

Once the smaller, frequency-friendly Embraer 190's start coming online, JetBlue will probably enter a number of Midwestern markets. Big A320's could probably serve Chicago and maybe St. Louis at sufficient yield to JFK and OAK. But that A/C is too big to anchor a full-scale hub including medium-size business market spokes, at STL or elsewhere.

Whether JetBlue will operate a Midwestern hub remains to be seen, but they'll be in the region, probably sooner rather than later.

Jim


Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
727LOVER
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:56 am

How many gates is AA gonna give up?

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tekelberry
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:06 am

How many gates is AA gonna give up?

Do you see the terminal to the right? All of those gates. AA's new ops will be based off of the terminal in the picture on your left I believe.
 
727LOVER
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:12 am

So, that's about 11-14 gates. OOOOHHHH airtran, I see opportunity!
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
LambertMan
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:15 am

Tekelberry, you are correct, they are giving up the D concourse and consolidating ops to the C concourse. It will leave all of D open, D is the second newest concourse after the E concourse, it was built for OZ in 83 I believe. The D concourse is decent, althought the lighting is dreary. I'm sure Mayor Slay would work with any carrier wanting to take up part of D. For anyone wondering if Southwest will take over those gates, the answer is no. They have 9 gates in E, and will assume the other 3 in E soon. For now, D is up in the air waiting for someone.
 
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STT757
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:25 am

WN's CFO during a recent investors conference call made it known that WN was "Very interested in doing something there (STL)" , what this entails I don't know but a safe guess would be that they would add service to existing WN markets that they currently do not offer "direct" service to from STL.

Such as..

Albany, Austin, Buffalo, Ft.Lauderdale, Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, LAX, Manchester, Nashville, New Orleans, Islip/ Long Island, Norfolk, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Portland Ore, Raleigh, Reno, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle etc.

If WN indeed has it's eyes toward expanding their presence at STL then Airtran would probably want to steer clear of WN, flying to existing FL destinations WN would not such as..

Atlanta, Boston, Bloomington, Akron, DFW, Dayton, Denver, Flint, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Gulfport, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Moline, Newark, Laguardia, Pensacola, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Francisco, Washington National, Washington Dulles, West Palm Beach, Wichita.

Also Airtrans "possible" plans for STL would also revolve around AA's plans, and how much of a gap AA will leave.

However if you get WN to add new routes from STL to current WN destinations that they do not serve nonstop from STL (like what I listed previously), and if you can get Airtran and AA to fill the gaps to places like Wichita and Laguardia then STL will probably be better served than they previously were by a single dominant carrier.

Also carriers like CO could upgrade RJ flights to STL from places like EWR and IAH with 737s, same with DL, NWA etc.

Also new airlines to STL should be encouraged like Frontier (on the way), Alaska, B6 etc..

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
atcboy73
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:44 am

Lets not forget the small B concourse. Isn't AA (connection) leaving this concourse also?

If so there is room for about 7 or maybe even 8 get gates there.

In my opinion, when SWA expands and other low fare carriers come in, AA will show little willingness to continue the STL operation as we will know it this coming November.

Im glad there are other people who see the potential for an Air Tran operation at STL. TWA proved that the people are there if the fare is right and maybe Air Tran and SWA have the right fares for the market.
 
LambertMan
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:59 am

Atcboy73,
I don't think so, I thought they were going to keep B, but I'm not sure.
STT757,
-CO is going to add 4 735 flights, 2 to EWR and 2 to IAH (monopoly)
-HP has added AS / KLAS), USA - Nevada">LAS and another frequency to PHX
-I HIGHLY doubt WN will come in blazing guns and start all of those routes you mention, then on top of that FL come in. It wont happen. STL doesnt need all the capacity you mentioned.
Here is what I see:
AirTran waits for WN to make their move, when it is made, they will anazlyze their options for STL. If WN expands alot, there is almost no need for FL. If they add like 10 flights, then I think we'll see a FL focus city. I think they are waiting for the WN plan to annnounce if they are going to come to STL or not.
As far as you mentioning AS, I doubt it, maybe a daily 73G to SEA, but highly unlikely.
 
capt078
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:09 am

i do not think stl would be a good hub for airtran. this is not necessarily to say stl is not a good hub location for another airline, but i would not recommend it for airtran. atl is too close to stl. for passengers going north-south along the eastern part of the country, atl and bwi serve the airline well. for passengers going east-west from the south, atl serves the airline well. for those traveling east-west from the north, stl would be more convenient than atl, but it would impede the catchment area of atl. i think mke or another northern midwest city would serve airtran much better.

if you recall, before the fall of twa, there was speculation that airtran would buy twa. in fact, airtran did formally acknowledge they were considering the move. of course, they decided this was not feasible, and one of the reasons stated was that stl was too close in proximity to atl, and it would not be economically viable to switch all operations from one to the other.
 
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STT757
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:14 am

"I HIGHLY doubt WN will come in blazing guns and start all of those routes you mention, then on top of that FL come in. It wont happen. STL doesnt need all the capacity you mentioned."

I agree, I was just listing some cities WN serves that they currently do not fly to "nonstop" from STL.

It's like a Chinese restaraunt menu, you can choose from the choices.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
727LOVER
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:29 am

How about Spirit? or is that to close to DTW?

About 7 or 8 years ago, didn't ATA try to make STL a focus city?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
wedgetail737
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:38 am

I saw on a website that there is a new start-up carrier bearing the name Air Florida Airways. They looked at hubbing at BLV before the city turned them down. But on their website, they seemed adamant about starting up this year. I wonder if they're looking at STL closely now. Is this for real or a hoax?
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:52 am

ATA had a FA base for all the charter flights they were operating for a brief period out of STL!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Midway2AirTran
Posts: 847
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 12:19 pm

I had this posted in another thread, but figured it would be a better match in here. This is constantly discused since it is the most interesting topic........

Believe it or not, I see ORD as a hub in the rising. Might sound odd to some, but if you think in total about all that is going on at ORD, major construction and expansion on the way there in couple of years, very much a possibility. Only makes since to have hubs in the #1 and #2 busiest airports as an LCC. Plus add to that, a nice new west terminal in the ORD project looks like a good place. Plus it will take at least that much time to add a significant amount of aircraft (73Gs) to start it up while the focus cities add routes for the more current additions to the fleet. Remember Hubs and new ordered aircraft take time to get in place, even at FL's pace! From my prospective, I highly doubt STL at this point though it may become an additional city.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
LambertMan
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 12:52 pm

Midway2airtran, I was under the impression that NW wanted that new terminal to start another hub there. Correct me if I am wrong. The Chicago area market in general just seems saturated to me with WN, TZ, UA, AA and by that time supposedly NW. Why couldnt AirTran start a decent op at MSP?What LCC has a significant presence there? Hmmm...MSP, STL, and to a degree IND with their new terminal in 06 sound appetizing to me.
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:24 pm

LambertMan, where does the impression that NW would want a hub at ORD come from, just curious since that is the 1st time I've heard it? WN and TZ are fighting it out at MDW, AA and UA are in ORD and both are busy fighting for their existance. Plenty of space in a large Chicago market for O&D and good geographical location for connecting traffic at ORD. ORD wouldn't go forth with expansion if there was over-saturation. Plus, no LCC's exist in ORD except Sprit. MSP brings a lot a passenger traffic in for AirTran with FL's existing routes there now, but the location is out of place geographically plus not as high of a population base when compared to larger cities such as ATL and Chicago.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
capt078
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:48 pm

like i said in the other airtran post, i highly doubt airtran will position itself with a hub in ord. too much weather related delay and even with the expansions, too much traffic delay. atl is an exception because it is prone to fewer delays.
 
LambertMan
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:38 pm

I was almost positive I heard something about NW wanting to establish a presence in the new west terminal.
 
mrlineguy
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:30 pm

atl is an exception because it is prone to fewer delays.

I beg to differ. Yes, ATL has a better runway configuration but it is no better than ORD when the weather gets rough. I'm willing to bet ATL operates more hours out of the year on flow control as compared to ORD. When it threatens rain a flow management program is implemented! It'd be interesting to see, but I bet ATL is more delay prone than ORD. Anybody have any facts...???

On a side note, AirTran is not afraid of delay prone airports!! With service to all of the major airports on the East Coast and now starting to see large cities on the West Coast, it seems that AirTran is willing to put up with the delays (SFO for example) while other carriers (Southwest for example) choose to avoid delay prone airports (again SFO for example). AirTran positions itself where they feel they can make the most out of their available seats! Just my thoughts!

Regards!

Kevin
AirTran CS/RAMP
MDW
More right rudder...
 
travatl
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:07 am

While I don't think ATL is MORE prone to delays than ORD, it DEFINITELY has it's share. This summer alone has been DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY of ground holds, ground stops, flow control, you name it.....AirTran's on-time performance has taken a helluva beating this summer because of the delays.... the biggest downfall of having the majority of your operation concentrated in one region.

Travis
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:16 am

A major part of the ORD expansion is the change the runway structure to make them parallel, similar to what ATL has done with the difference being that ORD will have 8 runways at finish compared to 5 that will be at ATL in the future. The new runways at ORD are expected to nearly eliminate delays due to traffic and make weather situations far more easier and quicker to handle. Sure it will take time to build it all, but it takes time to start a hub and acquire aircraft at 1 per month starting in nearly a year. Check out the expansion plans at the ORD website. www.ohare.com
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
twalives
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:42 am

Before everyone gets so excited about expansion at ORD, it must be realized that all of the funding is not even yet in place so we are at the least 5 years from seeing the project come to fruition. The 5 years leading up to the completion will leave ORD an absolute mess and certainly not a good target for immediate expansion.

STL offers a great deal to any incoming carrier that has been overlooked in this discussion.

- Mid-continental Hub - 1/3 of US population lives within 500 miles of St. Louis
- Mild Winters - STL is a "good weather airport" which has many less snow problems than ORD/DEN
- Strong Corporate Presence - Rated 10th largest city on number of Fortune 500 corporate hqts
- Political Support - With AA leaving, the local gov't has been in a frenzy to cut a deal with an airline to come in so as to avoid a credit rating change for the airport authority...could be advantageous for new airline
- New Runway open 2005 - The third parallel runway comes online in 2005 and will expand poor weather operations and overall traffic flow
- Plans for New Terminal ready - Although this is certainly on hold right now, a new tenant could push this through benefiting their operations

Overall, STL offers a vital East-West "good weather" connecting point which as of Nov 1st will be underserved. There are certainly faults as if there weren't, the airport wouldn't be in this quagmire but it still offers a great option for expanding airlines.

 
capt078
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 5:37 am

certainly atl has its fair share of delays, i was not suggesting otherwise. however, ord has more delays than atl. this is in part to weather (particularly in the winter), and in part because of cleveland artcc (the busiest aviation sector in the world). i've heard stories of planes in holding patterns hours before even reaching ord because cleveland center was so busy.

yes, airtran is not afraid of delay-prone airports. that does not suggest, however, that they are ready and willing to make a HUB at one. suggesting that they fly two or three flights a day to a delay-prone airport is a far cry away from suggesting they operate a hundred flights.

regardless, we are only speculating, and certainly do not anticipate airtran opening a hub at ord or stl (for reasons mentioned in my above posts).
 
tommy767
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 11:00 am

A good opportunity, a very realistic one. They need some sort of a hub in the west or midwest. Kansas City would not be a bad idea. If I ran an airline, I would pick that as my first hub choice. right in the middle of the US!
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 11:49 am

TWAlives, STL is a great place geographically, but I don't see much in the way of O&D traffic compared to larger cities. Wouldn't that 500 miles with 1/3 of US population include Chicago too? That's quite a distance when talking about airline markets for particular stations. TWA should be in STL, it sucks that they got messed up by AA!
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Thu Aug 21, 2003 11:55 am

By the way I forgot to add a response to ORD funding. That was done about a week ago and now they are waiting for the final FAA word which I hear shouldn't take too long.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
twalives
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 9:35 pm

RE: AirTran's New Hub

Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:50 am

Midway2airtran -

"By the way I forgot to add a response to ORD funding. That was done about a week ago and now they are waiting for the final FAA word which I hear shouldn't take too long. "

Actually the entire expansion is contingent on the airlines putting up money for the World Gateway terminal which seems to be a major snag in the process because of their current financial situation.

It is true that parts of the slated state and federal funding have been approved but the process is far from beginning. Either way, the project won't be done for at least 5-8 years.

STL is now the largest metro area in the United States without a mainline hub (AA may call it a hub but it certainly doesn't fit my qualifications). By no mean am I arguing that STL has more O&D traffic than a CHI or ATL but then again, STL has up to 15 open airport gates for expansion.
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: AirTran's New Hub

Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:54 am

"TWA should be in STL, it sucks that they got messed up by AA!"

ummm, TWA went bankrupt by themselves, theyre lucky AA picked up all that they did, but how do you expect an airline struggling themselves foot the burden of TWA?
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