WA707atMSP
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St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:51 pm

Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune has an article about St Cloud's desire to get scheduled air service. Their targets are a regional airline to fly to Chicago, and / or a larger airline for 3x week service to Phoenix.

Link to article:

http://www.startribune.com/local/166060656.html

Mesaba served STC-MSP with Saabs for a long time, but the route was suspended a couple of years ago.

Even though I'm generally in favor of government support for air service to smaller communities, I think subsidized service to St. Cloud would be a waste of money. At non-rush hour times, MSP is just 1 1/2 hours away from STC, and even at rush hour, it is not much more than a two hour drive.

Before the recession, I thought STC might become a secondary airport for the Twin Cities area, like FNT's role as a secondary Detroit airport, once the area between the two cities became built up. However, the recession has hit the outlying suburbs of the Twin Cities much harder than it hit suburbs closer to downtown, so I think it will be a long time before there are enough people living closer to STC than to MSP to support scheduled flights.
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BMI727
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:01 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Thread starter):
Even though I'm generally in favor of government support for air service to smaller communities, I think subsidized service to St. Cloud would be a waste of money.

I hate it but am okay with it on lower levels. Don't use federal money, but if the townspeople get together and decide they want to pay someone to fly there, that's fine with me.
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PHX787
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:03 pm

I highly doubt US would want to run this route. If they can't fill a 319 in STC (it sounds like a very small market) they won't run it to PHX.

I see US doing more of a routing to DCA or PHL....maybe. MAYBE.
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BMI727
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
I highly doubt US would want to run this route. If they can't fill a 319 in STC (it sounds like a very small market) they won't run it to PHX.

They're talking about Allegiant without using the name.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
KarlB737
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:28 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Thread starter):
Their targets are a regional airline to fly to Chicago

How about Lakeshore Express. That would give them turbo prop service to MDW.

http://lakeshoreexpress.com/
 
PHX787
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:42 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
They're talking about Allegiant without using the name.

That makes better sense. AZA wouldn't be a surprising route. (They should start referring to AZA as Mesa so I don't get confused)
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allegiantflyer
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 pm

I bet Allegiant is already thinking about it  
 
TWA902fly
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:29 pm

Maybe F9 to DEN?

'902
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Bobloblaw
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:06 pm

Other than allegiant I don't see any airline coming to STC. STC has a good airport already. It's called MSP.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:06 pm

STC is a nice little airport. There are a lot of small towns surrounding it so maybe someone could even go as far as putting a CR200 in there or a Q400 for daily service to ORD or MDW? Delta has a stronghold at MSP so fares out of there would be high.
But the question is who in the area of STC would be willing to fund such an operation? .

Back in 1974 the Intracollegiate Flying Association had their annual meet in STC.
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sunking737
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Everytime SY flies into STC with flights to IFP, they are full. Granted its not alot of flights but still.
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PanAm788
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:22 pm

A better idea would be rail service, but our (MN's) brilliant government invested millions in a commuter rail line that stops just short of St. Cloud (the 3rd biggest non-MSP area city in the state). And now since the line isn't getting enough ridership (big surprise, right?) they suspended the plans to extend the line to St. Cloud. With a connecting light rail in Minneapolis, it would've been around a 1 hour 30 minute ride or so to the MSP airport, making there really no need for an airport in St. Cloud.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:55 pm

I would think a daily rj to ord would be better and help local business more than allegiant
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting WA707atMSP (Thread starter):
Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune has an article about St Cloud's desire to get scheduled air service. Their targets are a regional airline to fly to Chicago, and / or a larger airline for 3x week service to Phoenix.

Oh the Star-Trib, another story that is barely good enough to use as fish wrap.

Claiming DL has jettisoned 50 seater, yet smaller carriers still rely on them like Skywest..... Ok.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 12):
I would think a daily rj to ord would be better and help local business more than allegiant

Obviously STC wants air service, every airport wants air service. Its the airport management's job to recruit air service. There are always lots of "talks" or "meetings" or "proposals, and "grants". Let's see what actually sticks.

Small airports fall hand-over fist to get G4 or now whatever F9 is turning in to, to bring in airplanes and draw bodies through the airport. Passengers = money = concession fees = FAA funding and grant money.

G4 does not help the local business commuity. A network carrier will though. The question is that STC yes could land ORD service, but how many are just going to use MSP instead?

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 4):
How about Lakeshore Express. That would give them turbo prop service to MDW.

Lakeshore appears to have no desire to expand their charter operation outside of their current MDW-PLN service. STC wouldn't fit the bill, and its really just a niche charter service.
 
point2point
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 7):

Maybe F9 to DEN?

Well, since there are $$$$$ incentives offered, I would think maybe....

Although F9 does seem to be maybe running low on birds lately for these sort of flights? A Republic E190 would work well here, but the E190s seem to be going going and going from the Republic fleet.


 
 
MSPNWA
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:01 am

I'm surprised that G4 hasn't come into STC. Nice new terminal. Lower costs. People say that STC already has an airport (MSP), but I think of it the opposite way. STC will draw people away from MSP. If you're from the north and west suburbs, STC is not much farther away and is an easier drive. Plus, the ease of using a small airport like STC, and the expensive fares at MSP seem to make it a great candidate for G4. Maybe some day.
 
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:19 am

If money is involved, I'm sure SeaPort would be sniffing at the subsidized CHI service, until the cash ran out, then they'll collect their toys and go home.  Big grin

[Edited 2012-08-15 03:20:25]
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WA707atMSP
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:56 pm

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 13):
Oh the Star-Trib, another story that is barely good enough to use as fish wrap.

Using the Strib as fish wrap would be an insult to whatever fish was being wrapped. The factual errors in the Strib, and the Strib's pervasive anti - DL bias (and anti-NW bias pre merger) never cease to irritate me.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
I'm surprised that G4 hasn't come into STC. Nice new terminal. Lower costs. People say that STC already has an airport (MSP), but I think of it the opposite way. STC will draw people away from MSP. If you're from the north and west suburbs, STC is not much farther away and is an easier drive. Plus, the ease of using a small airport like STC, and the expensive fares at MSP seem to make it a great candidate for G4. Maybe some day.

The markets G4 would target are already very competitive. SY, US, and WN all fly MSP-PHX / LAS with at most one stop, and Spirit is also in MSP-LAS. Competition from these airlines keeps DL's fares reasonable. Because fares from MSP to PHX and LAS are so low already, G4 has less room to undercut the existing airlines.

As I mentioned in my original post, the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities, which STC would potentially draw from, have been hit much harder by the recession than other parts of the Twin Cities area. Housing starts in this area have literally come to an almost complete halt, and many of the people who own homes are underwater. Even if people in the northwest part of the Twin Cities would like to drive to STC to save on a trip to LAS or PHX, if they are worried about being foreclosed, they will not spend the money on a trip.
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MountainFlyer
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
STC will draw people away from MSP. If you're from the north and west suburbs, STC is not much farther away and is an easier drive. Plus, the ease of using a small airport like STC, and the expensive fares at MSP seem to make it a great candidate for G4.

I highly doubt it. Most people who live north of the Twin Cities will drive farther than 2 hours to get to MSP for air service. DLH already has G4, and it's often cheaper to drive to MSP to get on WN. If people from HIB, BRD, BJI, and DLH already drive to MSP because of the high airfares in those places, I doubt STC is going to be any different being closer to MSP than any of the above.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Don't use federal money, but if the townspeople get together and decide they want to pay someone to fly there, that's fine with me.

Exactly. Being so close to MSP, I don't see the need for public subsidies to fund a route that would serve a very small amount of people.

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 11):
With a connecting light rail in Minneapolis, it would've been around a 1 hour 30 minute ride or so to the MSP airport, making there really no need for an airport in St. Cloud.

I assume you're talking about the NorthStar commuter line. It is fairly handy, especially since you can use the Park and Ride in Elk River (only 30 miles from St. Cloud), and park there for free up to seven days. However, the train schedule is not designed for getting people to the airport. You have to take the NorthStar into downtown Minneapolis, and then catch the light rail to MSP. The light rail runs fairly regularly nearly all day, but the NorthStar schedule is heavily geared towards commuters going into Minneapolis in the morning and out at night, so unless your flight schedule coincides, the 1.5 hour train ride could turn into an all-day thing just to catch your flight.
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Cubsrule
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 18):
If people from HIB, BRD, BJI, and DLH already drive to MSP because of the high airfares in those places, I doubt STC is going to be any different being closer to MSP than any of the above.

How much of that driving is for price reasons and how much is for schedule reasons? I've been traveling to BRD for business, and the fares to BRD are sometimes cheaper, but with just a couple of daily flights, flying to MSP and driving from there is generally much more convenient.
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MountainFlyer
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 19):
I've been traveling to BRD for business, and the fares to BRD are sometimes cheaper, but with just a couple of daily flights, flying to MSP and driving from there is generally much more convenient.

Even more reason why STC is likely to be a bust since it is closer.
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Cubsrule
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:41 pm

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 20):
Even more reason why STC is likely to be a bust since it is closer.

. . . assuming the service is to MSP. But why would we assume that?
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N1120A
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:45 pm

Extending the train is a better idea. Use those EAS or local funds to finish the train line and you have both a solid commuter service and a reliable connection to MSP.
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Flighty
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 11):
A better idea would be rail service, but our (MN's) brilliant government invested millions in a commuter rail line that stops just short of St. Cloud (the 3rd biggest non-MSP area city in the state).

Excellent point. The MSP Northstar rail line is notorious for being one of the most wrong-headed rail services ever built. The cost per commuter is $48 each way or something like that.

According to wiki, they forecast greater than 100% farebox return ratio if they simply extend the line to St. Cloud. It is too small for federal funding, but this is one of those rare cases where the incremental cost would pay for itself.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 22):
Use those EAS or local funds to finish the train line and you have both a solid commuter service and a reliable connection to MSP.

Ding.

[Edited 2012-08-15 10:48:49]
 
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:45 pm

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 18):
I highly doubt it. Most people who live north of the Twin Cities will drive farther than 2 hours to get to MSP for air service. DLH already has G4, and it's often cheaper to drive to MSP to get on WN. If people from HIB, BRD, BJI, and DLH already drive to MSP because of the high airfares in those places, I doubt STC is going to be any different being closer to MSP than any of the above.

Agreed. I'm discovering that people in smaller towns are used to driving to the "big city" for things that they want or need - mall shopping, cultural experiences, professional sports, hospitals/medical care - air transportation is no different. I moved to FSD from MSP and people (myself included) regularly drive to MSP for better availability of flights. That and it is a good opportunity to go shopping and make it into a full trip.

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 11):
A better idea would be rail service, but our (MN's) brilliant government invested millions in a commuter rail line that stops just short of St. Cloud (the 3rd biggest non-MSP area city in the state). And now since the line isn't getting enough ridership (big surprise, right?) they suspended the plans to extend the line to St. Cloud. With a connecting light rail in Minneapolis, it would've been around a 1 hour 30 minute ride or so to the MSP airport, making there really no need for an airport in St. Cloud.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 22):
Extending the train is a better idea. Use those EAS or local funds to finish the train line and you have both a solid commuter service and a reliable connection to MSP.

Also agreed! The train is very nice but by only running to literally the middle of nowhere in Elk River cuts it off at the knees. Now you can make a really fun day trip on Sundays from downtown Minneapolis to Elk River and back (gives you about 2.5 hrs in Elk River to go get a coffee and bowl a couple games at the local bowling alley) but otherwise without that St. Cloud terminus it feels mostly useless. It would be an easy one-connection trip from the Northstar to the Hiawatha Line in downtown Minneapolis.
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sunking737
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:18 pm

Looks like G4 will announce service from STC to Mesa AZ tomorrow.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincitie...line-flying-to-st-cloud---but.html
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BA744PHX
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:47 am

Quoting sunking737 (Reply 25):
Looks like G4 will announce service from st. to Mesa AZ tomorrow.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincitie....html

now bookable starting December 15 twice weekly AZA-STC
 
AllegiantAir
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:07 am

Now the debate...will this be successful with the close proximity to MSP and the same route from FAR?

We'll have to wait and see I guess. Best of luck to G4 and STC!
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iowaman
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:51 pm

Allegiant shouldn't have any problem maintaing this service - there are enough people around STC and the northwestern Minneapolis suburbs to make this work as long as word gets out. I have spent some time in Maple Grove/Plymouth area (any where from a couple days to a month for training in Plymouth) and during rush hour it is not an easy drive to the airport. Another thing people should consider is the ease and cost of airport parking and how much less walking (time) it requires compared to the Lindbergh terminal. I believe STC got a SCASD grant for this service, minimizing risk to G4. At only twice weekly it's not a huge commitment any way.
 
olddominion727
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:55 pm

I am really surprised G4 or SY has not picked up this route even 1 or 2 days a week. I am thinking 1 ERD on AA/CRJ on DL, ER3 on UA would work perfectly to ORD
 
Cubsrule
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:14 pm

Quoting olddominion727 (Reply 29):
I am really surprised G4 or SY has not picked up this route even 1 or 2 days a week. I am thinking 1 ERD on AA/CRJ on DL, ER3 on UA would work perfectly to ORD

If I am in Chicago and need to go to that general area, what incentive is there for me to pick one daily flight to STC versus literally dozens to MSP?
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bjorn14
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 16):
If money is involved, I'm sure SeaPort would be sniffing at the subsidized CHI service, until the cash ran out, then they'll collect their toys and go home.

I read somewhere that if STC was offering a subsidy it would tell the carrier the size of the plane (at least Saab 340 size) and where they would fly. I thought good luck with that.
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WA707atMSP
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 30):
Quoting olddominion727 (Reply 29):
I am really surprised G4 or SY has not picked up this route even 1 or 2 days a week. I am thinking 1 ERD on AA/CRJ on DL, ER3 on UA would work perfectly to ORD

If I am in Chicago and need to go to that general area, what incentive is there for me to pick one daily flight to STC versus literally dozens to MSP?

Well said, Cubsrule!

Also, as I've said before, the far northwest reaches of the Twin Cities (St. Cloud's catchment area) are much more blue collar than other parts of the metro area. The high yield business travellers' homes, and the office complexes where they work, are disproportionately in Minneapolis itself or Minneapolis' southwestern suburbs like Edina, Wayzata, and Minnetonka.
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Cubsrule
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:09 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 32):
Also, as I've said before, the far northwest reaches of the Twin Cities (St. Cloud's catchment area) are much more blue collar than other parts of the metro area.

It sounds a lot like the BTR/MSY situation, though BTR is more of a market on its own than St Cloud is, which explains the service that BTR does have. But the distances involved are similar (downtown Baton Rouge-MSY is about 70 miles; downtown St. Cloud-MSP is about 80 miles) and the market dynamics are really the same.
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CIDFlyer
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:46 pm

Quoting AllegiantAir (Reply 27):
Now the debate...will this be successful with the close proximity to MSP and the same route from FAR?We'll have to wait and see I guess. Best of luck to G4 and STC!

keep in mind Allegiant has been very successful at RFD which is probably closer to ORD than STC is to MSP. Plus G4 is down the road from RFD at MLI. So if anything I think they could have the potential to make the route work out.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: St Cloud, MN Wants Air Service

Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:32 am

Happy for St. Cloud to get air service again. Hope it works. Good to see that nice terminal put to use.