Maybe. TWA's focus cities aren't large enough to be considered 'hubs,' in comparison to STL or the Big 6/ Oligopoly-carrier hubs. TWA needs to assess whether its current one-hub-plus-focus cities size, is a "critical mass" that can support it in the current industry structure.
TWA has demonstrated its ability to survive despite the giant Karabu leech stuck to its aorta, an accomplishment in itself. But until 2003 at least, they need to figure in that parasite if they want to make large capital expenditures to build another huge hub. So if TWA determines that they need to add a full large hub, I see two options.
First, merger. We've discussed the merits of a merger with US, whose route system and fleet compliment TW well. TW largely does not compete with US. A merger would only cement US's position as a Big 6 carrier, without spurring an anticompetitive consolidation frenzy. But due to Karabu's poison pill provision, a merger would not be wise until after 2003. (For which Carl Icahn should suffer the fate of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ;+) ).
Second, building a hub. I don't see any part of the country right now whose infrastructure could support a new sui-generis major airline hub. The focus-city arrangment allows TWA to grow without overly taxing infrastructure or its own financial structure.
So I'd say, TWA should stick with its STL-plus-focus-cities structure, and look forward to 2003. At which date it can say to Icahn, "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries--thbfffff! thbbffff!" and will have the freedom to move.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)