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wgw2707
Topic Author
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Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:32 pm

One fact that has been on my mind lately is the severe cutbacks of AA at STL and the lack of ability on the part of AA to maintain profitable, high-quality services out of TWA's illustrious former hub city. It has occurred to me, if AA continues to suffer from unprofitable out of STL, even given their vastly reduced route structure, would they be willing to sell these routes, and perhaps the recommend TWA branding, to another company?

A new regional airline based at STL could potentially become highly successful. With efficient management and a solid business plan, such an airline might succeed. The new airline could perhaps start with a fleet of MD80s or similarly sized regional aircraft (perhaps acquired from AA at the same time as the routes and the TWA trademarks), and an initial route network could connect TWA with several cities in the Midwest, South and Northeast, and perhaps with a few longer-distance services to the west coast. An alliance with other well-established airlines would be a critical element to the success of the new airline.

Over the long term, larger aircraft such as the A321 could perhaps be introduced to serve transcontinental routes out of STL providing a service similar to that offered by jetBlue, Frontier, Song, or one of the other recent "high quality" LCCs. A high-frequency service connecting STL with Chicago would be an important aspect of this type of operation. In addition, a partnership with airline such as Great Plains and Trans State (a former TWExpress partner I believe) could help to build up a dense network of connecting RJ flights to further boost traffic.

Also, I believe there may be a market for a non-stop flight from STL to Europe, probably with FRA, LGW (or perhaps STN) or CDG/ORY being the ideal destinations. Perhaps initially such a route could be worked by a used
767-300ER, and then should the 7E7 be developed and prove to be a viable aircraft, then that more advanced aircraft would take over.

What are your thoughts on this?
 
cloudy
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:59 pm

This would probably not work. Southwest guarantees that all but a few high yield markets are gone. STL does not really have the O&D to support much more than what it will have after AA downsizes it to a RJ hub - that is one reason why TWA did not do that well there. Lets face it, Saint Louis is not going to be underserved. It is simply going to revert to what it would have been had there never been a mainline hub there.

 
Delta777Jet
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:59 pm

Great Idea, I with you!
Where should I apply for a job?  Smile

I think the St. Louis Market is a good market for a start-up airline. AA Could have made this city profitable if they wouldn`t be the most unfriendly airline in the sky. The St. Louis customers expect more than traveling in an ugly colored (aa) plane from A to B. They want to have staff who cares about the customer from the moment they step into the airport A and leave the airport B. I think they all miss the TWA spirit. Let`s bring them back.

TWA forever.
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:10 pm

I think it could be done. A strong focus from the start would have to be on providing a really innovative customer service package. If you just started a "plain vanilla" airline, it would not work. A massive marketing campaign (perhaps with some national news stories), a strong alliance with other airlines, and innovative customer service would be required.

Here are some ideas I have considered:

*Providing unique styling in the interior of the aircraft, with decorative LED lights, sophisticated IFE (in all classes), and a variety of different colors applied to the wall panels, as well as distinctive seats with neck contour-pillows and foot rests.

*Provide an above average seat pitch, 33" for short flights and 35" for long flights. The enhanced legroom could be a major feature of advertisements.

*Provide sophisticated "restaurant-style" dining, where passengers would order food and drinks, and pay for them. However, unlike on most airlines that have used this concept (where the food is more often than not rather vile-sounding, I shudder to think what Song's California Veggie Taco tastes like, ugghhh), provide "real" food, with generous portions. Also, build one catering cart with a soda fountain, and give out 16 oz sodas in transparent cups (they could be sold on flights with 60 minutes or less duration for $1-but sodas aren't that expensive an item to stock, it's basically sugar syrup and carbonated water).

*Provide a high frequency connecting service to Chicago, marketed heavily to local residents, and also providing a useful means of poaching passengers from ORD and MDW. Super low fares could be offered to Chicago area residents-and people will tend to fly which ever airline has the lowest fares, even if they have to make a connection.

If such a new airline was to be launched, what would you like to see in it?
 
pilotpip
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:29 pm

As nice as it would be, I doubt it will happen. As a lifetime resident of St. Louis, and a TWA fan I don't think I could bear seeing this airline as a shell of it's former self. I work at STL and I can tell you a few things.

1) STL has dropped from a top 10 airport to the lower 30s in the US market. There isn't much demand for this place.

2) Despite this, the airport's administration is pushing on with a rediculous expansion plan. They are putting in a new runway that has displaced hundreds of people and is costing Billions of dollars. Because of the lost revenue(AAs cutbacks), the airport is planning on raising useage fees. Not a good way to attract new business. Here is just a sample of the smart planning on the part of these people. http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/News/St.+Louis+City+/+County/9431008F1468836586256DA50031C3AE?OpenDocument&Headline=Air+Guard,+Lambert+are+at+impasse+over+moving+unit&highlight=2%2Cairport%2Cexpansion

3) Great Plains just announced that they are going to have something like 12 flights per day out of BLV, a feeder airport to the east of St. Louis. I doubt people will go 30 miles out of their way to get on a flight to Orlando that costs more than Southwest.

4) The 'new' Pan Am, and the 'new' Ozark. Need I say more?
DMI
 
L-188
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:42 pm

It would be false advertising to have the world, "world" in the title of the company if you are a regional.

Isn't it?
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
LambertMan
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:57 am

Pilotpip,
new pan am, and new ozark were over at BLV. I'm sorry, but people hardly realize that there is an airport over there. The allegiance is still with Lambert from the bustling TW days.
STL The airport itself is predicted to fall somehwere between 13-14 million pax with the new hub in place according to my neighbor, so I highly doubt that will be low thirties. And btw, unless your talking about movements we were never top ten. 10 million O/D pax, there must be some demand  Big grin
Anyways, AA owns the naming rights to the TWA name. I doubt AA would let it get away unless it was for a sizeable price.
 
elwood64151
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 1:15 am

WGW2707:

I was with you until you mentioned "food". LCCs need to operate at lower cost structures, not higher ones. That's what makes them profitable at lower fares. I think the seats and PTVs are easy enough. NJ was doing the seat pitch before it went under (to no fault of the seat pitch), and lots of people like the PTVs.

Also, changing the name to "Transcontinental & Western Air" might be a way to get the "TWA" without having "World".

Towards the end, TW's profitability was hindered largely due to Carl Ichan's "cheap tickets for hardly any money" deal from the early '90s. While other airlines were making money and expanding, TW was hardly able to break even.

I think that if someone came in with enough money to buy 25 MD-80s, gate space, and route authority from AA, they could make a go of it at STL.

But I doubt any of this will ever happen.

And why is everyone focusing so much on Chicago? STL-MDW/ORD is a fairly short haul. It's cheaper and easier to drive. It's similar to MCI-STL. That would almost be a connecting-only route.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
desertjets
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 1:26 am

There are really good reasons why the STL hub was weak and/or failing under both TWA and now under American. What makes you think a start up, branded as TWA will have a better run at it? It seems more like wishful thinking and reverence for an old name than anything else.

You got several things going against you at STL.

1- a strong Southwest presence that will likely only grow stronger.
2- a continued weak economy. But even in the boom years of the late 90s TWA struggled to reach profit, and I believe only did so for one quarter.
3- Competition from other nearby hubs. When you have ORD and DFW within a 90 min flight of your hub you begin to hear a sucking sound, the sound of those two hubs siphoning off a lot of your regional feed traffic. It seems unlikely that STL could gain such critical mass to successfully compete with both ORD and DFW.
4- Too many hubs in the midwest region. This one has been talked to death, but it has been the opinion of most industry analysts that there is simply too much capacity in the midwest.
5- Subpar facility. Until STL completes some major renovation of the terminal facility, it will be less desirable to airlines and passengers than other nearby midwest hubs with better facilities.



With that all said the only airline that right now can make STL work is American, which probably saddens many. Their strategy of using it as a primary connecting point for lower-yield transcons and a limited array of regional flights is probably the best one for the time being.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
twalives
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:06 am

DesertJets -

Unfortunately you have been misinformed with just about everything you have said with the exception of STL having a strong SWA presence.

2- a continued weak economy. But even in the boom years of the late 90s TWA struggled to reach profit, and I believe only did so for one quarter.

TWA struggled to make profit because of high interest loans due to their credit rating and the Carl Icahn ticketing program

3- Competition from other nearby hubs. When you have ORD and DFW within a 90 min flight of your hub you begin to hear a sucking sound, the sound of those two hubs siphoning off a lot of your regional feed traffic. It seems unlikely that STL could gain such critical mass to successfully compete with both ORD and DFW

The aviation industry is changing and passengers are demanding more frequency and flexibility in schedules. JFK is a 20 minute drive (without traffic) to EWR, LGA, quick flight to BOS, BWI and many others so I don't buy this point one bit.

4- Too many hubs in the midwest region. This one has been talked to death, but it has been the opinion of most industry analysts that there is simply too much capacity in the midwest.

This is bascially the same argument you made in number three so refer above to my last reply.

5- Subpar facility. Until STL completes some major renovation of the terminal facility, it will be less desirable to airlines and passengers than other nearby midwest hubs with better facilities.

Last time I checked NWA didn't pull out of DTW in the 90's or CO hasn't yet pulled out of EWR because of its pathetic facilities. Jetblue has built one of the most successful airlines out of JFK which always appears on the public's "most feared" airport lists. Don't get me wrong, STL needs some major improvements...maybe an implosion would be best, but there is no chance that an airline would pass up a great hub location because of its facilities.

With that all said the only airline that right now can make STL work is American, which probably saddens many.

I can't argue this as it is merely your opinion but I will remember this post and in the next 2 years when a new carrier moves into STL I will happily repost it in the forum...enough said.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:17 am

One thing about STL to deal with is a very strong WN all ready in place. Now one way to handle it would be to focus on cities they do not serve at first, that would allow you to not go head to head and enter fare wars. Also have a simple fare structure, exceptional customer service, decent seat pitch, either offer food on board or sell decent food to pax, in other words copy the likes of JetBlue and it should work.... Also in time you will have to deal with and fix the airport, it does suck just like DTW use to....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
modernArt
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:03 am

Major Albert Lambert + Louis Armstrong = Delusional x 2.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:18 am

If this was to happen, I sincerely hope that the new TWA would not be like the new Pan Am or the new Ozark or the new Branniff. From the start, the new airline (I would hope) would have a goal in mind of eventually reaching the former size and prestige of the old TWA. One way this would be done would be through the hiring policy.

One of the greatest tragedies of the AA-TWA merger has been the virtual elimination of former TWA staff from AA's payroll, even though in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, TWA had some of the best people in the industry. Even though some of the former TWA staff are nearing retirement age, many of them are not. By initially plediging to hire only former TWA employees to the new airline, that would guarantee continuity and it would ensure that the new airline would not be a "shadow of its former self" like Pan Am 3, the new Ozark, etc.

In response to L-188 and Elwood, the new airline (if you read my first post) would, if not from the start, hopefully within a few years of commencing operations, operate a non-stop trans-atlantic service from STL to Europe, either FRA, CDG/ORY or perhaps London Stansted, an increasingly interesting new airport for European service. Surely such a service would qualify the new airline to have "World" in the title.

I do of course recognize that the likelyhood of this occuring is unfortunately small, however the point of this topic is to inquire if you think this should be done, and how you think it should be done, if it is done. I personally think if TWA were to be revived, it would be a monumental occasion, for the airline industry, for the displaced TWA staff, and for the cities who lost quality air service as a result of the TWA collapse. Right now, also, inspite of the bad economic conditions, modern, airworthy aircraft can be procured at incredibly low costs. Even now I believe there is a huge fleet of former TWA aircraft in the desert.

-WGW

 
Air1727
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:24 am

To get back to the original topic; no, the TWA name should stay in the sterile and quiet tombs of remembered airlines that were unsurpassed in this nation's air travel history. As a former Trans World employee, and long time Saint Louis resident, I wish not to see the name be used again. Let it remain in peace.
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
 
Guest

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:29 am

Do not get me wrong, I loved TWA, I flew on them before and during the acquisition and I really wish they were still around, I thought the 717 was really going to take them far but they are dead now. Just like Braniff, Pan Am, and a long and distinguished list of others. Lets not keep flogging the corpse like people have done with the Braniff name and the Pan Am name.. Its time to let them go and let TWA rest in peace. Just accept that they are now a part of American and will always be that way. But just do like I do and notice the tail numbers with AA that end in TW, or the stickers by the door that say operated by TWA and remember the great, now deceased airline.
 
ScottB
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:39 am

Ummmm no. There are just all number of reasons this simply won't work.

(1) Why on earth would American give up its rights to the TWA name so that a startup carrier could try to steal connecting traffic from ORD and DFW? I'm sure that American would LOVE to have a new airline offering "[s]uper-low fares...to Chicago-area residents" -- NOT.

(2) NW didn't pull out of DTW (in spite of its awful old terminal) because DTW has far, far stronger O&D traffic than STL. In 2000, DTW had 15 million domestic O&D passengers, compared to 10.6 million for STL. Even more telling, NW carried 8.3 million domestic O&D passengers (revenue of $1.5 billion) at DTW, compared to 5.1 million (revenue of $1.0 billion) for TWA at STL. Simply stated, DTW is a much better market than STL.

CO's Terminal C at EWR beats the pants off any other airport terminal facility in New York and probably in the Northeast. It's immensely profitable, and CO alone carries nearly as many O&D passengers at EWR (10.5 million, with just over 50% market share) than STL has total. Moreover, NYC is the largest air travel market in the U.S., and EWR is the most convenient airport for much of the metro area's population. If you can tell me how to drive from JFK or LGA to EWR in 20 minutes, I'd love to know!

The Northeast supports several large airports (IAD, DCA, BWI, PHL, EWR, LGA, JFK, BDL, PVD, BOS) in relatively close proximity because O&D traffic numbers are so high and because chronic traffic problems can make driving an unpalatable alternative.

STL *does* have a great location. But it has poor facilities and a weak O&D travel market. Icahn's Karabu ticketing arrangement did NOT apply to fares to and from STL, but rather only to connecting traffic. And while being forced to sell lots of cheap connecting tickets didn't help TWA, they weren't able to sell a lot of tickets to and from STL either -- which is where the real profit would be. EWR is great for CO because so little of its traffic is connecting; the same is true for UA at SFO. And while TWA did pay high interest rates, it also had some of the lowest labor costs in the industry after years of concessions.

(3) How exactly would you expect to get your costs anywhere near WN's by offering all sorts of amenities like increased seat pitch, LED mood lighting, IFE, food, etc.? And how do you fund a "massive" marketing campaign for a startup? How do you ensure a consistent product for your passengers if you're relying on second- and third-tier regionals like Trans States (still under contract with AA) and Great Plains? Why would you throw tons of capacity into a route (STL-MDW/ORD) which is already heavily served by WN, AA, and UA at a relatively modest average fare?

FYI, an in-flight soda fountain as a very bad idea; you really don't want to have a pressurized CO2 tank in the cabin.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:53 am

I do admit that in terms of O&D traffic, STL is not the best, but in terms of serving as a hub for transcontinental flights, it is better positioned than ORD, in terms of being able to offer a more direct routing.

If this did happen, developing a regional network in the midwest to feed STL would be absolutely vital. There would need to be high frequency, high quality connections to ORD, MKE, DTW, MCI, CVG, and all of the other prominent airports in that area.

Now of course any speculation here is dependent on the question, would AA sell? Which they might. Perhaps including a strategic alliance with AA as part of the purchasing agreement would help, not only by making sure that AA did not fear the new airline being a competitor, but also by ensuring the new airline had a vast network of regional connections throughout the country.

As far as offering the LED "mood lighting", the IFE etc on start up, another key element to this airline would be that it start up like jetBlue, with a lot of capital. Not nearly as much as jetBlue required would be needed, since this new airline would operate with cheaply-purchased used aircraft (probably in many cases former TWA aircraft). I of course concede that in retrospect, an inflight soda fountain could be a bad idea, as it is, the office pens I carry with me frequently develop severe leakage after being transported on an airliner. I was merely seeking an innovative in-flight service concept.

That said, I do think offering a larger soda in a cup with a lid and a straw (and perhaps crushed ice) would be a major improvement for any airline (and not really an expensive one either).

-WGW
 
Greg
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:23 am

Geez people....TWA is gone...get over it!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:44 am

Twalives:

You missed another thing about DesertJets' post: The economy is in recovery. No one is talking about it, but it's growing at 2.4% (annualized), maybe faster. That's not a weak economy.

A lot of people have been making a big deal out of O&D traffic. While I'll grant you that O&D makes more profit (generally) than connecting traffic, most airlines do not choose a hub based on O&D traffic. If they did, no one would ever have chosen PIT, STL, MCI, STL, MEM, MSP, CMH, MKE, or any of a number of other hubs in small-ish cities. Some of those hubs have succeeded, some didn't, but they were all chosen based on more than O&D.

If O&D were the be-all and end-all of hub choice, the only hubs would be JFK, ORD, and LAX.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:32 am

STL, as far as I am concerned, is a fantastic hub airport from the standpoint of connecting traffic, as it happens to be fairly close to the exact center of the Continental US. In essence, it could be developed as a "node", at the center of a network of flights through which nearly every point in the continental US could be accessed through flights of four hours or less duration. The only geographical disadvantage of STL is its inability to efficiently cater to passengers on routes such as LAX-MIA or BOS-SEA, but there is a lot of competition on those routes as it is, and the new TWA (should it ever be launched) would do well to leave those markets to the likes of AA and NW for the first few years after resuming operations.

Rather than looking at STL from the standpoint of it being purely a source of O&D and connecting traffic, I like to look at it from the standpoint of being the hub of an extended O&D area, basically, an airport serving a very large region. Developing an extensive network of convenient and comfortable regional connections, to places such as the medium-sized cities in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Iowa would dramatically increase the viability of the airport.

The main traffic sources for this new airline, I think would be as follows:

Persons in the St. Louis area travelling elsewhere

Persons in the states west of St. Louis travelling east

Persons in the states east of St. Louis travelling west

Persons travelling from the West Coast to the East Coast, or from Chicago to points on either coast, in search of low fares or connections to secondary cities.

Persons travelling from the St Louis area and from other medium-sized cities in that region to Europe

-WGW
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:47 am

Remember AA holds the TWA name and is not going to part with it.
Whether you like it or not, STL still will have a respectable amout of service between the 200+ daily flights AA/AA Connection will still have after the downsizing, plus WN's sizable ops, plus everyone else's flights to there hubs. There will still be adequate air service for a city the size of STL.
 
dutchjet
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:30 am

The TWA and St Louis idea is a nice one.....but one must look at the bigger picture: there are simply too many hubs in the current US airline system as a whole at the present time and one or two are going to go. It seems that the AA operation at STL and the US operation at PIT are the ones currently at risk. Airlines need something like an 82% load factor to break even these days, and they are reluctant to put a lot of new capacity into the system....a new route here and there is one thing, but for a hub to work, hundreds of new flights must be added. If AA could make money at STL, they would have kept the operation going.....true AA has a terrible history with hubs (Raleigh, Nashville, San Jose, now St Louis), but so many others have also failed with trying a new hub (Braniff 2, Vanguard, Eastern at MCI, America West at Columbus, etc, etc), and those were in better times.

Yes, the economy is hopefully recovering, and air traffic is slowly rebounding, but a lot of that growth is coming from low-fare carriers, regional airlines with increased RJ schedules, and yeilds are still mediocre.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:31 am

"Yes, the economy is hopefully recovering, and air traffic is slowly rebounding, but a lot of that growth is coming from low-fare carriers, regional airlines with increased RJ schedules, and yeilds are still mediocre."

That is precisely what the new airline would be! A modern, low cost carrier with operating practises similiar to those at Frontier, jetBlue and Song. The main things setting TWA2 apart from those carriers would be the fact that the employees would be almost all former TWA employees, with years of experience and incredible skill, and that the new airline would provide a single trans-atlantic flight from STL to Europe, and would have regional connections. The hub concept does work for LCCs, as jetBlue has demonstrated with JFK (and their new LGB focus city), Frontier has demonstrated with DEN, and Western Pacific demonstrated with COS (prior to their unwise relocation).

-WGW
 
atrude777
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:35 am

Hey, I have talked to wgw privatly and listening to his stratgey and plannings, I think it could work. He is most definetyl devoted to this, and instead of everyone bitching around saying ohh it won't work becaus eof this, well people MAKE IT WORK!!!! Thats what he is trying to do!! And is asking for your opinion on what he shoudl do shoudl one be created, do NOT shoot it down, simply say, a bathroom would be nice, or most customers love this.....thats all he is asking!!!

I would LOVE to work for this airline, and would fly it all the time!!!! As I live near STL, and would more likely use it. The advantage is..TWA is not a new name, people will recognize it!!! They will remmeber the good and bad times. But this is a whole new airline. We need to try it and see how we can make it work. The reason AA is having a hard time at STL was because of the downturn in the economy. they needed it bad before 9/11, now after it they do not need it anymore. so thats why they are dropping it. Its not because STL is a bad airport. THats all I gotta say unless someone else comes in with another reply

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
LambertMan
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:01 pm

Atrude,
you just can't dream up some scenario and make it work. The STL market will be fairly saturated with a good number of WN flights, AA flights, and add that to all the majors flights. You have yourself a nice route map.

They are dropping it because they can't make money..... You look at the flights they dropped, mostly WN flights, the ones that aren't that were dropped because they need the feed from the old WN competing routes that were dropped hence, LGW and HNL. HNL from what I hear was going to stay online until the very last minute.  Sad But anyways, if STL ever really wants a big carrier op back here we our hopes rest in the laps of an LCC. The cost structure needs to be low out of STL for it to be profitable. I honestly think that if a LCC came in here, they would do some GREAT things. But not AA, cost structure is too high to make money. It's as simple as pie.
Remember Ozark II by the way? Did people fly them because they remembered Ozark, haha umm no. The only people who fly for sentiment is us. The public cares about getting there the quickest and cheapest.
 
elwood64151
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:06 pm

Dutchjet:

Why is everyone so down on MCI as a hub? NJ almost did it. Were it not for the incredibly poor management prior to 2001, the company might still be with us.

Also, we do not have "too many hubs". We have "too much capacity", which in and of itself is a farce. If we really had too much capacity, FL, B6, F9 and WN would not be making money. What we really have is "too much overhead" among the major carriers. If you need 82% load factor, you're costs are too high, since the LCCs are doing it at largely 70% or less.

I think that a new airline based at STL could work, but the above mentioned competition would be murder! I personally would like to see a revival of TW or NJ at MCI, rather than STL. While the city is smaller, the competition is easier to deal with. Just have to get past the security issue...

WGW2707: If you have the plan in an excel spreadsheet or something, we can compare notes...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:07 pm

"Remember Ozark II by the way? Did people fly them because they remembered Ozark, haha umm no. The only people who fly for sentiment is us. The public cares about getting there the quickest and cheapest."

Precisely, and I believe a new airline based at STL could get them there quickly and cheaply. However, if you are going to base it at STL you might as well use the TWA branding for what ever it's worth (perhaps to save money to avoid hiring an advertising agency to come up with some idiotic new name like Song, Tango, etc, perhaps "Arch" would be their name for an STL-carrier ROFL), and hire the experienced, professional TWA employees that were laid off by AA.

-WGW
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:15 pm

Elwood-I don't have the plan in an excel spreadsheet, however, I could prepare a .doc file outlining some of the operational concepts I have planned for the airline. If you could send me an e-mail or contact me via AIM/AOL (screen name is wgw2024) and thus inform me of your e-mail address I could prepare such a document and send it to you, so we could compare notes.

-WGW
 
atrude777
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:13 pm

just thought of something..

LH STL-FRA 1x's daily, 7 times a week. with a 763 by condor.
Aer Lingus- A330 STL-DUB and STL-Shannon.

Aer lingus DID mention STL as one of the cities it would like to add. Now since STL-FRA was a very popular route, LH shoudl start this route up again. I have heard rumors but do not want to confirm it. I am juts saying griggs is looking for some internationla carriers, I think these two would help it.

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
atrude777
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:47 pm

just bumping this up......
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
pilotpip
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:34 am

I'm all for more diversity in STL. One of the only things I have a problem with here is the fact that everything is AA or Southwest. I get to go to work in two hours and stare at silver MD80s, 757s, and brown 737s for 8 hours from across the field.

One of the things discussed in a class I had recently was the fact that research is indicating that the hub and spoke system is hardly desired by the public. If the airlines start to reduce their reliance on this I could see more direct flights from STL?

Another thing to consider, one of the rumors floating around Lambert is that STL is entertaining some airlines that don't fly in there right now. While SWA has a strong presence, it would be a great midwest location for Jet Blue to add to their largely North-South set up. They have had great success against AA in Long Beach and New York. There has always been a good international market here and AA was talking of adding STL-Tokyo with 777 before 9/11. There will be plenty of gates and slots available because the airport recently took unused slots from AA, and there is a runway expansion underway with a terminal expansion planned for phase 2. ORD and DFW are already dominated by other carriers and it's unlikely that either will be able to add much more through expasion.
DMI
 
LambertMan
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:37 am

AerLingus stated it would only come if an openskies agreement was agreed to. With the feed begin severely torn down here in about 1 month, there is no way this flight would even come close to breaking even. We can barely support LGW. However FRA was sited by the St Louis Post awhile back as being the number one international destination out of Lambert Field by pax per day. So I don't know, it all depends on LH's interest in STL. I doubt it will happen for at least a couple years. Big thumbs up
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:59 am

It would be great to have an airline have success in a hub at STL. However, let TWA REST IN PEACE!! Unlike the crap that Midway Airlines is going through, though Midway may find its time very soon.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
dutchjet
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:06 am

This is a really interesting thread. To the comment made to me above, I honestly have nothing against MCI (or STL or CLE or any other city); I just believe that at the current moment there are too many hubs in the US domestic airline system and, while its difficult for the cities that lose service, certain hubs must be downgraded. American was initially interested in TWA for the St Louis hub, AA thought that it could take pressure off of its crowded DFW and ORD hubs by routing a good percentage of its east-west domestic passengers via STL....that was before 9/11 and the downturn in the economy. Air traffic is picking up again, and it seems that the US economy is beginning to show real signs of recovery, but a lot of the growth in air traffic has been due to LCCs (operating on primarily a point-to-point basis); also, with the introduction of the rolling hub concept, AA seems to think that it can do without Saint Louis as a hub and stick with ORD and DFW.......time will tell.

The other interesting issue is that pax far prefer direct service to transiting a hub, especially for short to medium haul segments. With smaller airliners such as large regional jets, some direct service is being added or reinstated between large cities and smaller cities. Also, certain airlines are adding direct service to leisure destinations out of non-hub cities (ie, AA at BOS). Finally, eventhough some LCCs offer connection possibilities, most operate primarily on point to point traffic which pax prefer. All of these factors reduce dependence on hubs.

While the TWA-phase 2 concept is very interesting and well thought out, I am still a skeptic. What I do think will happen is that other carriers, either full service or LCC will add service to Saint Louis. With AA having a smaller presence at the airport, STL is far more attractive to other airlines and service that can be supported on an O&D will be added over time. Flights to Europe and Hawaii could take a while, but I am sure airlines like BA and LH will look at St Louis to see if a market exists (didn't BCal fly nonstop STL-LGW years and years ago with 707s?) either on a nonstop or direct basis.
 
atrude777
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:17 am

stupid 9/11 why did it have to happen, we could have been seeing BA, and LH and AA 777 at STL, ugh.. Sad


I belive STL-FRA is real reality, maybe within a year?!?!? 2005?

"I'm all for more diversity in STL. One of the only things I have a problem with here is the fact that everything is AA or Southwest. I get to go to work in two hours and stare at silver MD80s, 757s, and brown 737s for 8 hours from across the field."-Pilotpip

I absoluetely agree with you. except when I go there to travel not work. Belive it or not, i saw more SWA then AA at the time I was flying out. I would prefer having more diversity as well as opposed to a hub, makes it so much easier and you don't see the same colors over and over.

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:27 am

For the record, AA now considers BOS a hub...why, with their 125 flights a day, they do, and not LAX with 175, I have no idea, but BOS is officially an AA hub...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
Aeri28
Posts: 673
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:32 am

They remind me of a big dorm room where everyone is laying down in different directions. I would say, however, the selling point is the chance to remain completely flat which a traditional biz class seat does not allow.
 
aa757first
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:56 am

WGW2707,

Were you planning on a two-class or one-class config?
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:53 am

Replying to Dutchjet, Atrude777 and Aa757first, in that order:

"This is a really interesting thread" Glad you like it.  Smile

"The other interesting issue is that pax far prefer direct service to transition a hub, especially for short to medium haul segments. With smaller airliners such as large regional jets, some direct service is being added or reinstated between large cities and smaller cities. Also, certain airlines are adding direct service to leisure destinations out of non-hub cities (ie, AA at BOS). Finally, even though some LCCs offer connection possibilities, most operate primarily on point to point traffic which pax prefer. All of these factors reduce dependence on hubs."

Passengers may or may not prefer point-to-point flights. PAX are unquestionably going to prefer a non-stop flight to anything, but they would probably rather make one connection at a comfortable, well equipped hub city than fly on a crowded 737 making 4 or 5 stops on a long transcontinental journey. Rather than a dedicated point-to-point operation or a dedicated hub operation, I prefer a composite system that uses hubs where appropriate, but that also uses point-to-point and non-stop flights as well. I really think this is a major key to profitability, not relying on any exclusive plan, but instead being flexible, running some types of flights through hubs, and where this would not be convenient, providing different kinds of service, but at the same time, not going as far as WN in completely discarding the hub model.

stupid 9/11 why did it have to happen, we could have been seeing BA, and LH and AA 777 at STL, ugh..

Well, I imagine that that will be one of the key questions many Americans will want to put to Osama Bin Laden when he is finally captured by US forces. The evil actions occurred, but now we must rebuild. Anyone who is afraid of flying, btw, because of 9/11, is an idiot; it is far safer to fly in an aircraft than to drive in a car.

I believe STL-FRA is real reality, maybe within a year?!?!? 2005?

Somehow I rather doubt it. There are other gaps in LH's transatlantic route network that they will fill first. If STL does get an LH flight, I would say it will be in 2007.

WGW2707,

Were you planning on a two-class or one-class config?

A two class configuration for domestic, and initially for international (However I am a proponent of a three class system for larger aircraft on international flights). The first class on domestic flights would have leather seats, a 41" seat pitch and quality food service. It would also be priced comparatively high on flights originating in STL, but would be significantly better than most US domestic business class. Business class fares would actually be lower for through flights that involved a change of plane in STL. To compensate for the high price of the first class, the coach would, as described above, be extremely comfortable and pleasant. The ratio of business class to coach class seats would lean heavily towards coach, as I believe TWA1's strategy of a larger first class, while very interesting and highly possible in 2000 and 2001, is no longer feasible.

The international flights and overnight services to Hawaii would feature flat beds in first class. On STL-HNL flights (HNL has slightly poor quality business class service), the flat beds could be a real advantage and might actually be a significant enough improvement so that TWA2 could lure business-class travelers into flying via STL from JFK, MCI, ORD, IAD and several other Midwest and Eastern cities. The aircraft working STL-HNL services could perhaps be put on an HNL-STL-JFK route so as to provide service to New York without change of plane.

-WGW
 
atrude777
Posts: 4412
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:59 am

Yes, you are correct, AA does consider BOS a hub for a reason, people can connect in BOS to other destination WITHIN the US, LAX, you ONLY connect to another country, no one connect through LAX on AA like PHX-LAX-FLL, as someone would through BOS like NYC-BOS-FLL. One of the Flight Attendents on my AA flight was based in BOS. not STL, not ORD, and not even DFW, but BOS, which surprised me for the same reason you said.

Going back to TWA Part II.
If everyone was willing to put some time and help william(wgw) I belive we can actually make it work, and even if we cannot get the naming rights from AA, we can form a new name but under TWA acronym. Just some more thoughts. Lets try and think of some names that would fit this new airline and still be used as TWA.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 9:01 am

I also agree that this is an excellent post.

Now I'll add my ideas.

*Non-Satellite IFE - Each seat would have an LCD screen providing non-satellite entertainment. Instead you could choose shows and movies on-demand like US Airways A330 planes. Costs could be lowered by selling ad space during departure and arrival, saying "TWA Select - Powered by Panasonic" A good ad to combat F9 and B6's Directtv: If you can't find something on 80 channels, imagine what 24 is like?"  Smile

*Special drinks - In addition of serving "mainline" beverages like Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and so on offer Vanilla Coke, Frappacino, Double Shot, and Elements by Snapple. (Can you imagine asking the FA for more Turbulence?)

*Low-Priced Food - Offer top-shelf food for a low price, in addition to offering the regular snack for free. Example: a dish that costs TWA $8, charge $3. Maybe you could advertise deluxe food on the menu. For example offer a menu designed by Wolfgang Puck, and at the top of the menu say:

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafes ~ Orange, CA - Denver, CO - Evanston, IL - Lake Buena Vista, FL - Sunrise, FL.

An ad like that could maybe cover the cost of the menu and a small fraction of the food.

The most important thing: don't tarnish the TWA name.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
Posts: 1113
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 9:18 am

Video on demand instead of non-satellite TV is a great idea, and a potentially cheaper one. I personally think the new airline should go with whatever option would be less expensive.

As far as in flight food, I think charging a price slightly higher than the per-item cost would be neccessary, in order to avoid wasting huge amounts of money. Free food would be offered on the Trans-Atlantic and Hawaii flights. As far as giving the food a branding, well there is fairly well known restaurant in Chicago, the Webber Grill, run by the same people who make the BBQs. They serve one heck of a prime rib. Perhaps they could put their name on (and recipes in) the in flight food service. Prime rib is also a great way to offer more choice without requiring more ingrediants, as you can have it Pittsburgh, rare, medium rare, medium, tender, well done etc. (Of course the price for the prime rib would be high, $20 per person).

In-flight advertising would have to be subtle, as it is my opinion that being subjected to heavy "IFA" (to coin a new anacronym) could discourage some PAX from future travel.

-WGW

Another possibility would be to expand the pre-flight food selection, so PAX could book even more choices of meals in advanced, and these optional meals would not be limited to kosher, vegetarian, asian, low calorie etc, but would include also a wide variety of alternate meals that you could order purely out of preference (and pay for, also).
 
atrude777
Posts: 4412
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:24 am

Thanks to those posting these wonderful ideas and suggestions, I am sure WGW will use thme should he ever gets it up and running.

I like the ideas posted. One thing to think of, if we sell food that are made froma restaurent, do we have to pay the restaurent to sell it? meaning the money we mkae off of selling these foods we have to pay a percentage to the resaurent, or is it the other way around? the restaurents pay the airline to sell the food?

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:37 am

Atrude777,
I was think more that it was more of away to reduce the meal costs. Wolfgang Pucks Grand Cafes have a nice, inexpensive menu. By serving this food, you are encouraging the passengers to eat in one of his Grand Cafes. So TWA II could get, lets say, all meals 33% off. In turn he gets his name on the menu, along with locations and maybe a mention in the announcements. "TWA is proud to serve selections from Wolfgang Puck's Grand Cafes."

Antipasto Bruschetta - regular price $7.95
TWA price - $5.00
TWA passenger's price - $4.00


http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/myrestaurants/casual_dining/menu.php?propid=116
 
atrude777
Posts: 4412
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:47 am

aa757 u are now added to my respected user list. join us at the live chat a.net now, wgw and myself are there now.


anyways, I like your thinking style, hopefully you can wokr for the new TWA II.

Anyone else have new ideas?
Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:06 pm

Thanks Alex. I have added you to mine as well.

Does anyone else have any ideas?
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:36 pm

Here's a few more questions. How about the livery. Keep it the way it went out? I really liked the last livery. I would keep it that way. What about initially destinations? I have the following ideas.

PHL - STL
LGA - STL
MIA - STL
BOS - STL
DCA -STL
LAX -STL
LAS - STL
PHX - STL
SFO - STL
SXM - STL
 
atrude777
Posts: 4412
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:44 pm

I cannot believe you didn't include MCO!!!! We had 4 DAILY 767, plus loads of MD-80 and 757 and even a couple of L-1011's.......very succesful route!!

STL-SXM was not succesful. TWA flew it with a 757 I believe.

The livery WGW actually had "pianted" out.

Alex.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
expressjetphx
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:33 pm

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:39 pm

I think that it could possibly work , but only with the right leadership and strategy. I don't think AA will part with its naming right for someone who is going to turn around and compete directly with them at one of their less profitable hubs, but who knows. I'd also like to see them start out with CRJ-700 and -900s on routes like:
STL-MCO
STL-DCA
STL-ATL
STL-ORD
STL-MDW
STL-DTW
STL-IAH
STL-PHX
STL-LAX
STL-DEN
STL-SFO
STL-MSY-AUA
STL-LAS
STL-JFK
STL-BOS
The -700s and -900s would look good in either the new or old TWA colors. My favorite scheme/aircraft combination of all time was the TWA L-1011. I used to love seeing them fly into PHX. Sadly, it will never happen again. :-(.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8139
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:09 pm

I'm sorry but you guys have all been smokin something I think.....

Unless someone has the capital to spend I think you all are just shootin' the breeze..

Sure it sounds good, but umm I'm a realist.

Oh well, good luck....

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