We have a huge office in London and our world HQ is here in STL. We travel to London frequently and co-workers from the UK fly here. I don't work for a small start-up or mom and pop LLC, so the need IS there and I think that when we get it, people will be shocked at how full it is. I know the incentives have been an issue but honestly, it gets really old connecting. I want BA for the main fact that London is my frequent place of travel but it offers so much more for connections. I don't care if it is BA or Virgin or whomever. I just hope it happens.
If it would be that strong Bayer should be talking to BA--or more practically LH-- about guaranteeing a certain amount of business to start service. P&G had a deal with Delta for many years in CVG. Is there any talk about that?
I am not a Bayer employee , but with the TATL business we support with those 2x London offices as well as Amsterdam and Poland it would be very nice. I can chat with our CEO and see if he has any insight on his possible chats or insight.
My dad was in the C-suite at HOK for 30+ years and their largest international office, during most of his tenure, was London. He used the TWA direct flight to LGW several times a year. Always in paid J. When AA came in, and dropped London, he hated connecting through ORD or NYC.
My firm does a lot of work with business aviation and one of the biggest selling points companies tell us, time and time again, for why they have a flight dept. (private aircraft) is it saves time. I was at Steelcase in Grand Rapids a few years ago. They have a fleet of private jets that they use to fly customers to their facility in Michigan on a daily basis to meet face to face with sales reps. The ROI is picking up a large sale that would have been difficult to secure if they didn't have the jets. Imagine telling a customer I can pick you up in the morning and drop you off in time for dinner.
Connection issues also concern businesses. If you're traveling for business it's important. Missing a connection or having connection issues can throw things way off. I'm not saying direct is always perfect, but you add that increased chance of issues when you have to connect. This may mean an extra night in a hotel somewhere or missing a key meeting. To businesses this is a huge deal.
Part of me things businesses in STL were spoiled with TWA and now that they have to potentially subsidize a flight to Europe, or provide a revenue guarantee, they are balking. That's where we are today. I think businesses and the city will come around.