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LambertMan
Topic Author
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100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:15 pm

According to Leonard Griggs, the STL airport director, he hopes to have 100 new flights by the end of next year. I find this to be somewhat far fetched. He must really be banking on someone hard,REAL hard in these market conditions. He said WN would add 15 or 20.....then.....DL added a few here or there.....same with the other majors, that bumps it up to what 40? I am curious to where he is getting the 100 from. I would guess FL, and B6 are the obvoius thoughts. He did say AirTran would brighten its future, he also said that about DL. They added what? 5 or 6 flights? Hope 5 or 6 flights doesn't mean a bright future. I don't see where all these flights are coming from. Anyone care to elaborate? Big thumbs up
 
Wang767
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:35 pm

If that's true, I will be very very happy to see them fly into STL everyday over my campus (UMSL).
According Post-dispatch we were going to face a tough period at STL without enough number of flights to fit into the slots which are left by AA. I am so glad to see NW and DL add more flights here. Think about the expansion at STL, it would be meaningless with less fights. Isn't it?

After all, We people from St. Louis want to see good future of Lambert International !!!!
UA 858 Heavy from PVG
 
atcboy73
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:33 pm

I have read and heard little snippets (spelling ?) regarding possible AirTran involvement.

It just seems like the natural progression of things. Are they looking for a hub west of the Mississippi? I think so.

And can you think of another city that is as large as STL, has a base of experienced airline people, expanding airport, lots of empty gates, plenty of runway capacity, low cost of living and doing business, good O&D numbers, and REALLY REALLY wants to put their airport to work.

Just try thinking like AirTran right now. Where are all the planes going to go, ATL? From what I hear gates are kinda constrained right now. BWI, ya maybe but SWA has their eye on BWI more than STL Im guessing.
 
Air1727
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:59 pm

You would be amazed how fast 100 flights can appear...two or three more airlines into Saint Louis, plus increased frequency by the current tenants; it comes quicker than you think.
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
 
LambertMan
Topic Author
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:49 pm

Good points by Atcboy and Air1727,
It just seemed like 100 flights was an awful lot. But I guess you throw in a few new carriers, WN here and there, a few major expansions it makes sense. AirTran has to be the bulk of the flights he is counting on, unless that mini-hub F9 was threatening DIA with was true.
Wang767,
It isn't exactly meaningless. Everyone understands we are going through a hard time, and that flights won't be as high as they used to be. That is a widely accepted fact among the STL aviation community. But when they do, airlines will have STL just sitting there ripe for the taking. Big thumbs up
 
twalives
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:57 pm

With the announcement last week of Airtran expanding at DFW, I would highly doubt a major move into STL for the short term. Don't get me wrong, I want to see a STL take off again but I don't believe that Airtran is the future of Lambert.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to F9 in Denver over the next two months as I think that is the strongest possibility.

I definitely agree that 100 flights can appear quite quickly...especially with RJ's...but hopefully one major airline will invest heavily in mainline service.


 
777fan
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:03 am

I actually live in Columbia, Mo and fly mostly out of MCI. It has been a couple of years since I have been to Lambert. Is there expansion going on? My belief, not a educated one though, is that Lambert is sort of land-locked to do any major expansion with runways.

The several times I flew out of Lambert, it was nothing but positive experiences. Most of my landings were over the Ameristar and downtown St. Charles over the Missouri river.

With AA's cutback announcements, it is good to hear that they are trying to add additional flights.

Rgds,

Greg
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
elwood64151
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:05 am

And can you think of another city that is as large as STL, has a base of experienced airline people, expanding airport, lots of empty gates, plenty of runway capacity, low cost of living and doing business, good O&D numbers, and REALLY REALLY wants to put their airport to work.

Actually, MCI sounds a lot like what you're describing. Not quite as large, but otherwise very similar. Only the gate security issue gets in the way, but that's being corrected as we, uh, type, for most carriers there.

But STL is a major east-west gateway, and a lot of people are used to flying out of it. It might be a better option for FL, especially considering how east-coast oriented the airline is.

However, ATL and STL might just be too close to one another to be effective in AirTran's system. The only things between ATL and STL are MEM, BNA, KNX, BHM, and Louisville (LOU?). With a more western city, you put a lot more between it and ATL.

Just thinking as I type here.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
twalives
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:57 am

Elwood64151 -

The factors in consideration when airlines are comparing STL and MCI is about 1,000,000 local people and most importantly 5 corporate headquarters. A fact often overlooked by STL naysayers is that St. Louis ranks seventh in metropolitan areas with the most Fortune 1000 company headquarters. Airlines know that corporate travel is where the money is and I am sure that within two years a major carrier will swoop into STL. Don't get me wrong, I would be happy to see expansion (and believe in time it may happen) at MCI but I have to imagine it will be a secondary to STL filling its gates once again.
 
777fan
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:07 am

I will echo those sentiments, I feel STL will always be that major player and as STL looks to fill those slots, MCI will continue plugging away. As I fly out of there several times a year, so far, it is cheaper than STL, I like that may be NW Missouri's best kept secret! Normally, it is easy to get in and out of and yes, the security can be annoying, but when you are running late, to go through security right at your gate can be a time saver!

Rgds,

Greg
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:34 am

I don't think 100 "NEW" flights at Lambert would be very much of a stretch, but unfortunately I think it will be at the expense of STL losing almost their entire AA presence. In my very uninformed opinion, I would bet that AA will be down to less than 100 flights (AA and AX total) by next summer with all mainline flights headed to DFW, ORD, and MIA, and possibly JFK for trans-atlantic connections.

I believe the days of seeing a major hub player at STL are long gone. However, an expanded AirTran or Frontier operation is certainly possible...
 
atrude777
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:56 am

I also think we will not see another "huge" expansion and heavy hubs like we used to see with TWA. Every airport has had its day, and STL just got there's. Now with AA leaving, I expect that we will also be downgraded, and downgraded till all we have is to ORD and DFW possibly 757, and 767 to those cities, but who knows. I expect Jetblue to make an announcement by the end of 2003. someone I know who has connections has heard a rumor that "they have JB with a pen in hand ready to sign" I belive JB will come in first before AirTran will. Now hopefully I am wrong!!! DL I expect to see a major heavy presence at STL. with upgrades to 738's to ATL or possibly a 757, or dreaming wise a 762 to ATL, and SLC lol.

Northwest, I would expect maybe ONE Airbus to MSP. Thats it. Frontier I expect another flight to DEN and maybe one to LAX. AWA has done there job. Thats all I see and feel will be what happenes. expect regionlas!!

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
LambertMan
Topic Author
Posts: 1744
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:00 am

Well, JFK has been dropped for the Nov. 1st schedule.....So I kinda doubt we'll see it again. If the flights drop below, 190 STL can take the gates back and give them to someone else. I think that AA put that schedule out Nov. 1st so that it would give them enough of a presence to scare off potential carriers ready to jump in such as LCC's. Smart business move, they don't need FL or F9 coming in here and absolutely destroying midwestern yields. AA is no dummy. I think its a possibility we may see that schedule or something similar for awhile. However, I have heard more cuts are coming. Big thumbs up
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:16 am


I think that AA put that schedule out Nov. 1st so that it would give them enough of a presence to scare off potential carriers ready to jump in such as LCC's. Smart business move, they don't need FL or F9 coming in here and absolutely destroying midwestern yields. AA is no dummy.

Agreed. It's certainly tougher to re-acquire those gates once you have lost them. American may be convinced they will need the extra capacity by next year, with DFW and ORD at near saturation levels. STL may be an underperformer as an O & D market, but as a connecting hub it was AA's top performer last year.

The new runway will help somewhat, but not as much as some would like to believe...
 
elwood64151
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:21 am

I don't think hubs will go out of existence. For operations to cities like Columbia, MO, Montgomery, SA) and Transaviaexport Cargo Airline (Belarus)">AL, San Louis Opbisbo, CA, and Evansville, IN, etc, hubs make more sense than SA)">WN's point-to-point operations. And many of those cities are required service by the deregulation act.

In any event, when I compared SA - Missouri">MCI to SA - Missouri">STL, I was stating that SA - Missouri">MCI has a reasonable number of gates, a large population (actually, it's about 1.8M to 2.6M SA - Missouri">MCI-SA - Missouri">STL--SAUS 2002), significant business center (yes, SA - Missouri">STL is bigger than SA - Missouri">MCI), quickly growing region (about 12% 1990-2000), and centralized location in the nation. Both cities are prime real-estate for hubs. SA - Missouri">STL needs to lose AA, which doesn't want it, and SA - Missouri">MCI needs to correct its security issues.

I am glad to see F9 will be serving SA - Missouri">STL. Hopefully, B6 and FL will join in soon, and later perhaps YX (if they're still around) and IM.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
PVD757
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:38 am

Atrude777:

Your prediction is already partly true...Delta just announced today that they are starting 2 roundtrips to SLC! They are also upgrading 4 CVG CRJ200 flights to (2 732's and 2 CRJ700's). 2 down, 98 to go!!!
 
PVD757
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:18 am

The airport director is too hopped up on lattes. no one is legitimately going to go in there and save STL. If it was so great, why didn't AA keep the flights going in there? The answer is that STL is basically a connecting point and not a great O&D market. You could compare STL to CLT. CLT has a lot of passengers that go through the airport, not to and from. STL should just try to look at what they have to do to survive and assume that there is no knight in shining armor that's going to ride in to save them.
 
atcboy73
Posts: 1084
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 10:09 am

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:11 am

What CLT has is a carrier whose cost structure is too high to make money.


What STL has is a carrier whose cost structure is too high to make money.



What STL needs, and my guess is will get (AirTran) is an airline with a cost structure that allows them to make money.

Did anyone ever think they would have almost 200 flights a day at Atlanta? I sure never thought it would get that big.


And where are the other great O&D markets in the middle of the country?

DSM, OMA, COS, TUL, OKC, IND, MKE, CID, LNK, LIT, DAY.

You cant put STL in the same league as those cities and MCI doesn't have the best set up.

MSP, DEN, DFW, MEM, ORD, MDW, DTW, CVG, CLE (great O&D airports) are all taken.


STL is taken by an airline (AA) who has shown it doesn't want to compete for the sake of maintaining the hub. Every route they dropped, for the most part has some form of competition on it.

Anyone who ever flew through STL knows the place was always packed. STL just needs and airline whose costs are low enough to make money there.
 
tekelberry
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:21 am

Atcboy73,

How does an airline go from not serving a city at all to making it a hub overnight?

MKE has a much better chance at becomming an AirTran hub than STL.
 
LambertMan
Topic Author
Posts: 1744
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:24 am

Are you saying MEM, CVG, and CLE have good O&D??? If so, check your figures, CVG and MEM are REAL bad at around 5 million, CLE is not real good either, at about 7 million. As mentioned before, CLT is bad too at around 6 million i think. STL has 10 million as their O&D.
But yes, you are 100% correct in your cost structure thinking. I am in complete agreement.
Tekelberry, It wouldnt happen overnight, I'm sure the flights would be gradually added. But STL is a much better alternative than MKE. Better connections, O&D, business pax, wide open concourse. MKE is already saturated enough with a NW and YX presence.

[Edited 2003-09-10 02:26:08]
 
N670UW
Posts: 1443
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:48 am

Yes, those aren't all good O&D markets

MSP - not bad
DEN - good
DFW - great
MEM - bad
ORD - great by itself, but the two carriers that share hubs at ORD (UA and AA) also share O&D. Something to consider.
MDW - same as ORD. Two big carriers at MDW (TZ and WN) who share O&D not only with themselves, but AA and UA up at ORD. Same thing vice-versa.
DTW - very good
CVG - bad
CLE - decent at best

You can't get much better geographical location than STL for a hub. But it doesn't have really good O&D traffic (not bad, but certainly no Chicago, Dallas, New York, Houston, etc.) That isn't too big of a problem (look at CVG - successful hub, horrible local traffic). It would be a great fit for AirTran (much better location than some of the network carriers' hubs like IAH and MSP).
 
atcboy73
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 10:09 am

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:16 am

Tekelberry

I really don't think a hub can be set up over night. One of the first things an airline needs to set up operations of any kind would be gates. Are they eventually going to set up a large operation? Do they need a lot of gates? STL will have 15 on one concourse when AA starts their Nov schedule.

If AirTran hubs at MKE, what concourse would it be on? MKE Doesn't have as much available gate space as STL is going to have. Not only that but MKE has a dedicated home town airline that would defend its turf. AA has shown it will not defend its STL turf.

Lambertman

Good O&D depends on your point of view. What I was trying to say is that (its my guess) the O&D at CLE, CVG, MEM and CLT are much better than the airports I listed above such as DSM, OMA and ICT etc.

But in some ways you help me make my point. Even the smaller O&D markets (CLE,MEM,CLT and CVG) are used as hubs, and that all the good markets are used by other carriers that would defend them.

And hey Mr. Lambertman, I REALLY want STL to be as big as it has always been. Im an air traffic controller with he FAA and have a bid into work the tower at STL. I don't want to go there if its dead. If I transfer Ill let you know.

Great conversation guys.
 
BHMNONREV
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:17 am

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:22 am

Geographically, STL is an excellent location for a hub, however, the facilities are awful. I suppose that would make it a prime candidate for a LCC hub..lol
I guess a soon to be vacant D Concourse with 20+ gates is a very attractive option for FL, F9 or B6..take your pick

The success of the DL hub at CVG is due to the low cost structure of Comair and powerful local corporate support, in spite of less than impressive O&D pax. That, combined with good airport and terminal facilities (are you listening, Mr. Griggs??) make CVG the model of success for medium sized airports.
 
Midway2AirTran
Posts: 847
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RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:06 pm

STL might reach that goal of 100 flights by the end of next year, but I doubt that would be a hub operation, especially not FL who cannot get enough aircraft yet to fully serve our existing cities/routes demand. We've announced officially that DFW is going to be a focus city with 25 departures. We only have a couple of B717's to be delivered by the end of this year then no more coming till June 04 which are delivered at a rate of 1 a month. (737NG's) Jet Connect is expanding, but that is into the existing network to make way for mainline DFW and BWI, as well as Florida directs. As for the FL hub, that is still, say at least 4 years ahead without any drastic changes in aircraft deliveries. From a few inside indicators, NOT from FL, I personally believe that it will be at an existing hub of a major currently in operation, that knocks out MCI and it's not STL. Sorry that I cannot comment on what those indicators are. I wouldn't be surprised to see STL as an outstation, maybe pushing it into a focus city way in to the future if that O&D proves true. However, I wouldn't bet on STL becoming a hub for AirTran as long as FL continues on its current route of progress.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
ScottB
Posts: 7071
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: 100 New Flights For STL By Next Year?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:45 pm

One thing I am confused about is why people seem convinced that AirTran, Frontier, or jetBlue will start a large operation at an airport where the carrier offering the largest number of mainline departures will soon be Southwest.

While AirTran has built an operation at BWI, the amount of overlap between them and Southwest is minimal -- primarily on a handful of flights on dense routes to Florida (MCO/FLL/TPA), where there is plenty of traffic for both airlines (and which offer connections for passengers from ROC and BOS). Moreover, AirTran has no market presence at STL, higher costs than WN, and the St. Louis market is considerably smaller than the Washington/Baltimore market.

Looking at Frontier, their first foray into the STL market was less than successful. They also have higher costs than WN, no market presence, and STL is a weaker market than DEN -- and remember that competing with both WestPac and United at DEN almost did them in. While American is scaling back at STL, don't assume that they will allow F9 to simply take over the more profitable routes they have chosen to keep in the schedule.

While jetBlue enjoys lower costs than Southwest, the relatively small size of the STL market (compared to LA, NYC, Florida) may make it difficult for them to fill 156-seat A320's (15% larger than WN's 737-700's) at acceptable yields and load factors while maintaining a competitive schedule. STL-Florida passenger counts are relatively low (400 daily pax each way STL-MCO, for example) in spite of modest average fares. That's not to say that they couldn't do well from STL to JFK or LGB, but if WN or AA were to choose to match service and fares, STL might not be quite so good a market for them.

To be honest, I think that the other LCC's *are* waiting to see what Southwest is going to do at STL, *especially* since LUV management has publicly stated that they see American's reductions at the former TWA hub as an opportunity for them to expand service. While WN has indeed reduced service at STL in the last two years, that has been in response to a weak travel market and due to AA being a more viable/effective competitor at STL than TWA was. I have to believe that while some folks booked with TWA to try to support the "hometown" carrier, others booked away from TWA due to its ongoing financial troubles and a reputation for spotty service and old planes a number of years back. With a weak travel market, it made little sense for WN to compete aggressively against AA at STL (since that just doesn't lead to profits). However, with AA dramatically pulling back at STL, it's clear that a large expansion opportunity has dropped into WN's lap.

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