Blackhawk144
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Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:28 pm

Hello,

I know really almost nothing of starting airlines, so I'm just basing this on common sense.

Would STL be a good place to start an airline? Here's why I think so, even though I am probably wrong:

1. It is in the Middle-Eastern part of the country
2. There is so much gate space for further expansion
3. It wouldn't be a large airline like TWA

It would operate MD-80s, or A320s...and some small aircraft too.

I was getting this idea from past posts I've seen.

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
COAMiG29
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:42 pm

look what happened to TWA other than that its a great spot if you can get the money and clearence to start the airline and find the employes and hire mechanics and pilots and oh yea the aircraft. it takes alot more than everyone wants to think
(who wants to start a vintage airline with planes that are hard to find/being scrapped)(707 dc10 L1011 747 classic and more) i think a.net should persue this goal)

anyway back to blackhawk144's question yes i think it would be a good place

--COAMiG29--
If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:54 pm

i don't think the st. louis economy would support a major hub carrier. historically it never has. TWA was always hampered by the fact that it's major hub was in a second tier city...not enough o/d traffic.

most fares are low in st. louis, thanks to southwest. on the few routes where AA can command a premium, they are very expensive.

so to answer the question. i don't think st. louis would be a smart place to start a new airline. competing with southwest and american would be challenging to say the least.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
moman
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:48 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (reply 2):
so to answer the question. i don't think st. louis would be a smart place to start a new airline. competing with southwest and american would be challenging to say the least.


This is an understatement. AA would cruicify anyone who came in to STL trying to start an airline. STL is not really a "second tier city", but you are right in the lack of demand for a very large hub operation. (I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine).

The short answer is NO. No airline starting in STL would make it, IMO.

Based on what you said above, I think MCI would be the better airport to start from. MCI does not have one airline that pretty much runs the show (AA in STL). MCI is also in the middle of the country, and the MCI metro area is same size or bigger than STL.

Moman

[Edited 2005-03-02 08:50:03]
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Blackhawk144
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:51 pm

Ok, thanks, guys, my questions answered  Smile, although furthur opinions would be nice

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:08 pm

Sure, if you like taking on the behouths of SouthWest and AA. It would be suicide.
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7e72004
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:26 pm

I think MCI would also be a good place to start an airline. They seem to have the gate space and as stated before, there is no one single airline dominating service out of MCI. I would of course have liked to seen IND become a major hub but it will never happen. Too close to CVG, DTW, CLE, MDW, ORD.
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SHUPirate1
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:07 am

7E72004-MCI's airport is configured dreadfully for a hub-like operation, simply because at most, three or four gates share a security checkpoint. The only way around that is for the hubbing airline to build in-security walkways (very expensive) or acquire the Star-Wars-esque people movers that are at Washington Dulles (most passengers would rather not ride in these)
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stlgph
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:35 am

Quoting MoMan (reply 3):
This is an understatement. AA would cruicify anyone who came in to STL trying to start an airline. STL is not really a "second tier city", but you are right in the lack of demand for a very large hub operation. (I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine).


I don't think city size has much to do with hub scale as much as what the airline/product has to offer and the success of the individual business. Look at Cincinnati, look at Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Charlotte, Denver, Atlanta, etc. If the world's largest airline decided to hub in Des Moines, well, you get the point.


As for STL, American would probably gladly sell you STL for about $200 million.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
ssides
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:55 am

Quoting Stlgph (reply 8):
I don't think city size has much to do with hub scale as much as what the airline/product has to offer and the success of the individual business. Look at Cincinnati, look at Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Charlotte, Denver, Atlanta, etc. If the world's largest airline decided to hub in Des Moines, well, you get the point.



City size, but more importantly, city growth, are crucial for successful hub operations.

CO's hub in CLE has been greatly downsized, primarily due to a significant drop in O&D traffic. US shuttered its PIT hub. Vanguard tried MCI, but that obviously didn't work. NW's hub at MEM isn't doing all that well, either.

MCI and STL are both hindered by the fact that (1) they are generally small compared with other hub markets (DFW, ATL, DEN, ORD), and (2) they are relatively close to megahubs like DFW and ORD. DFW and ORD alone are more than capable of handling coast-to-coast connections. New hubs at MCI or STL are simply a pipe dream.
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777STL
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:17 am

Not to mention the fact that Lambert would rape you in various fees. That's part of what's keeping American from expanding and airlines like FL and B6 from coming in. Though there's rumors FL may be incoming.

A fledgling LCC would have a rough time against WN in STL anyway.

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LambertMan
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:47 am

Yeah, a new hub at St.Louis probably isn't the best idea as of right now. The market is currently very stable with WN and AA dominating the scene. Those two carriers take up most of the origin and destination trafic that St.Louis has to offer (2004 was nearly 11 mil. pax.).

Plus, American has an expansive frequent flier base in St.Louis, so their customer loyalty is extremely strong (even after something like the cuts of '03). If airline "x" started the same routes as American (unless it was an extraordinary product), it would lose, hands down. If you start routes American doesn't fly, Southwest does fly it. Again, I think that loyalty and brand recognition would come into play.

The only way I think that a new airlines could startup here is for it to be named Ozark. The community was extremely fond of OZ back in the day, and maybe people would go out of their way to fly them. But that whole scenario is extremely doubtful......

Barring another 9/11, I think that St.Louis will continue to have medium sized AA and WN operations for some time to come. Maybe a few airlines will come in, but besides that I don't really see any significant growth possibilities.
 
malaysia
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:13 am

I heard that Independence would not consider IAD-STL, cause of AA and WN
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MCIrunway
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:13 am

By the way, the St. Louis metro pop. is larger than KC. But I guess in the end, business traffic is more a determining factor than population, of which I don't know how KC & STL compare.
 
stlgph
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:20 am

Quoting Malaysia (reply 12):
I heard that Independence would not consider IAD-STL, cause of AA and WN


Didn't stop them from going into O'Hare.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
LambertMan
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:22 am

I really don't think DH would fare well in St.Louis, I do think there is a market for AirTran however.
Mci,

The St.Louis area is about 900,000 more people bigger than KC to be exact. I would guess the business sectors are a fairly direct correlation of populations in this case.....
 
qwerty
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:33 am

Quoting SHUPirate1 (reply 7):
7E72004-MCI's airport is configured dreadfully for a hub-like operation, simply because at most, three or four gates share a security checkpoint


I think this is why a lot of WN's many one-stop flights pass throught MCI. They bring people thru, but rarely, if at all, conect them in MCI.

Let some off, put some more on. WN out. That's why a A boarding pass in MCI is probably not worth that much.
 
skedguy
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:46 am

Quoting LambertMan (reply 11):
Barring another 9/11, I think that St.Louis will continue to have medium sized AA and WN operations for some time to come. Maybe a few airlines will come in, but besides that I don't really see any significant growth possibilities.


I agree, LambertMan. Another problem with STL is its weak propensity to generate O&Ds (pax) versus its population. During the past year, STL ranked 29th in the nation in terms of passengers either originating or terminating in STL. In terms of population, though, it ranks 18th.

A start-up airline would be competing with AA and WN for a relatively small traffic base. The number one airport (not region) in the nation is LAX, which generated 29.3 million pax. By comparison, STL only generated 9.2 million passengers. As you can see, the number isn't huge, especially when you consider that the LAX number doesn't even include ONT, BUR, SNA, or LGB numbers.
 
aerohottie
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:22 am

Skedguy,
Where did you get those numbers?... it would be interesting to work out which airport or region has the most O&D traffic per capita.
What?
 
toxicmegacolon
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:34 am

Metro STL is also larger than Metro DEN (and CVG, Charlotte, MEM, SLC); And not all that much smaller than MSP, CLE.. just to add to some of the above posts... Its also home to a disproprtionalty large number of fortune 500 companies.
Don't think city size is really the issue here.
 
stlgph
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:58 am

Toxic--

I agree. For the most part, you can start an airline in your own backyard if you want to. What you offer and how you run your business determines whether you lift off a 747 or an ultra light.

But yes, geographically speaking, STL is in a GREAT GREAT -GREAT- location. The problem is, TWA just didn't tap into region resources. They should have gotten the RJ's in there early and gone for places like Rapid City, Fargo, Grand Forks, other places etc. in the midwest. Send RJ's to your Central Illinois markets that historically supported TWA. They should have done what Northwest says it does now...but earlier...and that is focus on the heartland and bring more of it to your hub. Problem is, STL facilities just weren't big enough to make STL a success monster hub like CVG or CLE. Visit these two airports and see the significant difference. Anyway, most of what I just wrote about in this paragraph leads to either topics we've covered before or whole other topics from this thread, so I'll just end now.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:12 am

Quoting MoMan (reply 3):
I'm curious how STL & CVG compare since CVG seems to handle the hub fine

One primary difference is that CVG is the absolute definition of "fortress hub"... whereas STL is not and hasn't been for a very long time.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
LambertMan
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:54 am

Aerohottie,

I think that skedguy's numbers are fairly accurate, but last I heard 2003's o/d numbers were around 9.5 million. The Lambert website claims a 13% increase in origin and destiantion passengers over the past year, so my guess is that its somewhere around 10.5-.75 million.
 
stl30l
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:01 pm

Malaysia-

Currently AA and UA both serve IAD-STL. I have been on several AA flights with less than 10 passengers and most flights are barely 50% in the first quarter. It would be a sure money loser for Independence to start this route at this time. Maybe if demand increases significantly during the summer.
STL AA Exec Platinum Flyer
 
nomorerjs
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RE: Would STL Be A Good Place To Start An Airline?

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:07 pm

In this environment, I would not start a domestic US airline anywhere!

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