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trexel94
Topic Author
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:30 pm

20 years ago this would have been a laughable question to ponder back when STL had more than double the amount of traffic and was a hub for TWA/AA compared to Kansas City but today with TWA in the history books and AA having left to focus on ORD and DFW, STL barely has more than 2 million more passengers than MCI and growth seems to be limited to occasional SW routes, the odd-ball F9 flight and at some point the long coveted BA service. Its unlikely an airline will make STL a hub again. Meanwhile, MCI is expected to almost clear 12 million passengers in 2018 and has clocked in roughly 4 percent consistent growth.

Today, the Kansas City metro is growing faster in population than the St Louis region with a better performing economy to boot. In addition, MCI has the advantage of a large catchment region drawing passengers from places such as Omaha, Des Moines and Wichita and a new upcoming terminal with expanded capacity. In addition, SW has taken great interest in the project and has been one of the project's biggest advocates so I anticipate SW will reinstate old routes that were lost to STL and/or introduce new ones. According to the airport's construction website the goal is to bring non-stop service to about 75 cities including more European service which is roughly what PDX currently has although only time will tell if that goal is achieved.

There was a time when STL served over 30 million passengers while MCI served about 11 million. Today, STL served about 14.6 million while MCI served almost 12 million. The gap has never been closer and if trends continue could MCI match or even surpass STL at some point in the future?
 
TWFlyGuy
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:43 pm

Sure...of course it can. The biggest driver is a point you made...KC growing, STL shrinking population wise. If I recall correctly, WN has also said the new terminal will drive them to create more connections over MCI. Depending on costs, etc., I could see that being a big traffic driver for MCI as well. My guess is that while STL has closed up a lot of the old terminal space from TW/AA, it's still more expensive to run overall vs. MCI. the cost of the new terminal will be a key to what the future holds for MCI.
 
jplatts
Posts: 4533
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:43 pm

There is actually more demand for flights out of MCI than there is out of some other similarly-sized markets such as CVG, CLE, CMH, IND, PIT, and SMF.

There are also some destinations that WN currently serves nonstop from STL but not from MCI such as CHS, CLE, CMH, DSM, DTW, BDL, LIT, EWR, OKC, OMA, PHL, PIT, SMF, SFO, SJC, TUL, and ICT. On the other hand, ABQ and IND are the only destinations not served nonstop from STL that currently have nonstop service out of MCI on WN.

WN is unlikely to ever serve DSM, OMA, and ICT nonstop from MCI with DSM, OMA, and ICT being too close to MCI for WN to consider adding nonstop service to MCI from DSM, OMA, and ICT. On the other hand, there are other destinations such as CHS, CVG, CLE, CMH, SDF, EWR, OKC, ECP, PHL, PIT, SMF, and SJC that WN could add nonstop service to out of MCI.

While WN is likely to further expand at MCI subsequent to the construction of the new terminal, I think that STL will likely remain a larger WN station that MCI is. There is more nonstop service to destinations east of the Mississippi on WN from STL than there is from MCI. In addition, there is also connecting traffic from MSP, OMA, DSM, ICT, OKC, TUL, and LIT to destinations east of the Mississippi through STL on WN to support additional WN service out of STL to destinations east of the Mississippi.
 
Jshank83
Posts: 4317
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:51 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:
Sure...of course it can. The biggest driver is a point you made...KC growing, STL shrinking population wise. If I recall correctly, WN has also said the new terminal will drive them to create more connections over MCI. Depending on costs, etc., I could see that being a big traffic driver for MCI as well. My guess is that while STL has closed up a lot of the old terminal space from TW/AA, it's still more expensive to run overall vs. MCI. the cost of the new terminal will be a key to what the future holds for MCI.


STL isn't shrinking as a metro area, just isn't growing all that quickly.

Currently, STL is still growing faster than MCI passenger wise. MCI up 3.06% (295,222 passengers) YTD. STL is up 6% (664,229 passengers).

End of year if they stay at the same average growth for the year. MCI would be at 11.855 mil and STL would be at 15.614 mil. Basically a 4 mil difference or 32% bigger.

So for at least the next 4-5 years STL will probably continue to grow faster until MCI's new terminal opens up. 5 years from now who knows what the landscape will look like but it still will be awhile before MCI gets all that close with that kind of gap.

I think MCI will def pick up some slack when the new airport opens but it will take a long time to close the gap much. It isn't like airlines are going to throw a ton of new capacity all at once on the airport. WN is investing in STL also, so it isn't like they are just sitting still there. They are paying for most of the new addition going on their terminal at STL that includes a new baggage input airside and new baggage carousels landslide. As well as opening new gates (now up to 17).

Once the new terminal opens I would assume the fees at MCI will be higher to STL, as all that debt goes on the books.

I would also argue the better performing economy but I don't want to get into that on a a.net forum.
 
777PHX
Posts: 962
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:36 am

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:07 am

Jshank83 wrote:
I would also argue the better performing economy but I don't want to get into that on a a.net forum.


STL has a significantly larger economy and KC's isn't growing significantly quicker than STL's is.

MCI isn't going to be surpassing STL anytime soon. Especially if WN continues to grow their little STL "hublet".
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9629
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:19 am

Competing for 32nd place. How exciting.

https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports. ... rier=FACTS
 
trexel94
Topic Author
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:04 am

777PHX wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I would also argue the better performing economy but I don't want to get into that on a a.net forum.


STL has a significantly larger economy and KC's isn't growing significantly quicker than STL's is.

MCI isn't going to be surpassing STL anytime soon. Especially if WN continues to grow their little STL "hublet".


Economy size of a metro frankly means little. KC's economy is bigger than Salt Lake City or RDU, Austin is only sightly larger and we all know what their route maps look like. While STL does have a bigger economy its a fact that KC's economy is growing at a faster rate but compared to Nashville, Austin or even Indianapolis both cities are mediocre performers. In addition, I can't think of too many cities that SW could feasibly add out of STL at this stage beyond places like IND, ABQ and a few more seasonal leisure destinations. One of the reasons why SW has such a large presence in STL is to connect MCI passengers. When the new terminal opens up that arrangement should become redundant. SW has a considerable amount of influence over the project.
 
flyguy84
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:12 am

Could it? Yes. Will it? No.
SFO
 
Jshank83
Posts: 4317
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:49 am

trexel94 wrote:
I can't think of too many cities that SW could feasibly add out of STL at this stage beyond places like IND, ABQ and a few more seasonal leisure destinations. One of the reasons why SW has such a large presence in STL is to connect MCI passengers.


Yes. MCI-STL makes up 3.5% of WN STL flights (25% of which is O&D) but STL has grown a large presence to connect MCI passengers. They also probably keep putting money into the STL airport because of MCI passengers.... maybe this was a troll post and I fell right in but if thats seriously what you think, then I don’t know what to tell you.

MCI will grow once the terminal is done. But it isn’t going to be at the expense of STL. WN isn’t going to keep building STL the next 5 years just for the hell of it. I actually think Delta might set up a focus city like presence at MCI when it is done. Which probably would be better anyway.

JAX, ORF/RIC are the next highest O&D not served daily so I would expect those are on the short list. I would guess a lot will be adding frequency at this point though. Extending seasonal routes to yearly.
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:55 am

trexel94 wrote:
20 years ago this would have been a laughable question to ponder back when STL had more than double the amount of traffic and was a hub for TWA/AA compared to Kansas City but today with TWA in the history books and AA having left to focus on ORD and DFW, STL barely has more than 2 million more passengers than MCI and growth seems to be limited to occasional SW routes, the odd-ball F9 flight and at some point the long coveted BA service. Its unlikely an airline will make STL a hub again. Meanwhile, MCI is expected to almost clear 12 million passengers in 2018 and has clocked in roughly 4 percent consistent growth.

Today, the Kansas City metro is growing faster in population than the St Louis region with a better performing economy to boot. In addition, MCI has the advantage of a large catchment region drawing passengers from places such as Omaha, Des Moines and Wichita and a new upcoming terminal with expanded capacity. In addition, SW has taken great interest in the project and has been one of the project's biggest advocates so I anticipate SW will reinstate old routes that were lost to STL and/or introduce new ones. According to the airport's construction website the goal is to bring non-stop service to about 75 cities including more European service which is roughly what PDX currently has although only time will tell if that goal is achieved.

There was a time when STL served over 30 million passengers while MCI served about 11 million. Today, STL served about 14.6 million while MCI served almost 12 million. The gap has never been closer and if trends continue could MCI match or even surpass STL at some point in the future?


One word: No.

7 mil vs 15 mil. It cannot. STL has WN on its side. Sure, MCI has FI and NK, but those are exceptions rather than the rule.
All opinions expressed herein are mine and do not represent the views of Cape Air
 
rgustafson
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:26 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:09 am

I think the new terminal at MCI will be a game changer for MCI and the MCI-STL situation. It will take a couple of years but it's going to be beautiful and very efficient. I think most, if not all, of the airlines servicing MCI will be quite happy. And that typically leads to more flights. Maybe not for some like AA or UA but I'll bet WN will look at MCI very favorably.
RGTWA
 
pmanni1
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:11 am

STL metro (2.8 mil) has 700,000 more people than KC metro (2.1mil). STL has much larger business O&D and has 10 Fortune 500 headquarters while KC has just one. I cannot see any reason - business or leisure that would cause KC to go gangbusters and have millions more use it's airport.
Fortune 500 sources https://www.kansascity.com/news/busines ... 55399.html https://www.stltoday.com/business/colum ... cba84.html
 
ctrabs0114
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:09 am

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:25 pm

pmanni1 wrote:
STL metro (2.8 mil) has 700,000 more people than KC metro (2.1mil). STL has much larger business O&D and has 10 Fortune 500 headquarters while KC has just one. I cannot see any reason - business or leisure that would cause KC to go gangbusters and have millions more use it's airport.


Fortune 500 sources

https://www.kansascity.com/news/busines ... 55399.html

https://www.stltoday.com/business/colum ... cba84.html

Fixed the links for you... it looked as though it was all one link in your original reply...
2019: DAL, MCI, PHX, LAS, DFW, SAT, ORD, SLC, SEA, DTW, PHL, MIA, LAX; B73G (WN x3), B738 (WN, AA, DL), A20N (NK), MD83 (AA), B788 (AA x2), CS1 (DL), B739 (DL), B712 (DL), B752 (AA), B763 (AA), B77W (AA), B789 (AA)
Next: TBA
 
TWFlyGuy
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:40 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
TWFlyGuy wrote:
Sure...of course it can. The biggest driver is a point you made...KC growing, STL shrinking population wise. If I recall correctly, WN has also said the new terminal will drive them to create more connections over MCI. Depending on costs, etc., I could see that being a big traffic driver for MCI as well. My guess is that while STL has closed up a lot of the old terminal space from TW/AA, it's still more expensive to run overall vs. MCI. the cost of the new terminal will be a key to what the future holds for MCI.


STL isn't shrinking as a metro area, just isn't growing all that quickly.

Currently, STL is still growing faster than MCI passenger wise. MCI up 3.06% (295,222 passengers) YTD. STL is up 6% (664,229 passengers).

End of year if they stay at the same average growth for the year. MCI would be at 11.855 mil and STL would be at 15.614 mil. Basically a 4 mil difference or 32% bigger.

So for at least the next 4-5 years STL will probably continue to grow faster until MCI's new terminal opens up. 5 years from now who knows what the landscape will look like but it still will be awhile before MCI gets all that close with that kind of gap.

I think MCI will def pick up some slack when the new airport opens but it will take a long time to close the gap much. It isn't like airlines are going to throw a ton of new capacity all at once on the airport. WN is investing in STL also, so it isn't like they are just sitting still there. They are paying for most of the new addition going on their terminal at STL that includes a new baggage input airside and new baggage carousels landslide. As well as opening new gates (now up to 17).

Once the new terminal opens I would assume the fees at MCI will be higher to STL, as all that debt goes on the books.

I would also argue the better performing economy but I don't want to get into that on a a.net forum.


This was my source which had showed a negative for St Louis previously:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... ical_areas

With that said, growth of 0.7% for St Louis vs. 5.95% for KC. There's a good chance KC surpasses St Louis in the not too distant future.
 
Jshank83
Posts: 4317
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:02 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:

This was my source which had showed a negative for St Louis previously:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... ical_areas

With that said, growth of 0.7% for St Louis vs. 5.95% for KC. There's a good chance KC surpasses St Louis in the not too distant future.


If those growth rates continue it would take over 35 years for KC to pass STL. Chances are a lot of things change in 35 years.

Either way with air travel, I stick to my points. It isn't an either or with MCI/STL, like KC people seem to make it out to be. They both will continue to grow and can each be successful (and I hope they both are, it is good for the state if both do well). The new terminal will help MCI a lot but it isn't like the gap is 5%, there is a fair amount of ground to make up before they catch STL. IF it happens it will be awhile.
 
KentB27
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:20 pm

Re: Could MCI match or even surpass STL?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:04 pm

As someone who is from KC I'm afraid that will not happen. The St. Louis metropolitan area is still significantly larger than the KC metropolitan area despite St. Louis having a shrinking population. It will take many years for KC to catch up with St. Louis and that's only if the economy in KC continues to consistently be as good as it has been for the past few years. I also think the notion that MCI will get service to more European destinations is quite laughable. Kansas City is not a cosmopolitan city or a sought after tourist destination for foreigners. You mentioned PDX as a comparison for what MCI is aiming for. The problem with that is that Portland is a major tourism hub whereas Kansas City is not.

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