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BWE320
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:31 am

SAT International Flights?

Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:49 pm

Is there any chance for international flights from SAT to Europe? San Antonio seems to be the 7th largest city in the US.  Confused
 
MAH4546
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:15 pm

It is the 7th largest city proper, not 7th largest metro. City proper means very little in the scheme of things, and chances for San Antonio-Europe are pretty much nill for the foreseable future.
a.
 
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modernArt
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:26 pm

San Antonio-Austin are growing together to become one large, populated region - the population of which has surpassed 3,350,000. Austin has the runways capable of launching intercontinental routes. It's almost a certainty in the future that this region will be seriously considered for long range international services.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:39 pm

Good question and one that I have pondered a few times myself. A year or so back I was dating a former travel agent from Austin and she told me of a rumor that was floating around in the mid 90s of a possible non-stop to the UK via one of Britain's IT operators (I believe she mentioned Monarch) to SAT. Suffice it to say, this rumor never had substance to it.

Frankly, SAT and AUS are Texas's only real so-called "tourist" destinations and any service to the Hill Country from Europe would probably have to focus on the leisure market, as well as some form of joint marketing between San Antonio and Austin (only 80 miles/130km separate the cities). Unlike IAH and DFW that have strong business links to Europe, I can't see SAT or AUS being a contender for those lucrative biz flights, but who knows?

That said, I am going out on a limb here and risk some serious flaming, however given the current political climate, a state that is strongly linked to the current president who is universally unpopular in Europe and the difficulty of gaining access to the US as a whole, well, Texas is not seen as being a desirable place to visit compared to the major US tourist hot spots as CA, FL, LAS and NY. I seem to recall reading in the Chronicle a few years back (I'll see if I can dig up the article from the archives), that leisure travelers from Europe to Texas have for the most part disappeared. Some of the dude ranches in the Hill Country around San Antonio which drew in big crowds from Europe (especially Germany and Britain) were really hurting.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
shanderawx
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:44 am

The problem is probably economic. San Antonio has a large population, but its per capita income is considerably lower than that of the other major Texas or coastal areas with such flights. SAT has had trouble even maintaining flights to JFK, and has never for example had MIA flights. Its population is heavily oreinted toward Mexico and SAT always has flights to MEX and Monterrey, occasionally other cities (many years ago, BN flew to Acapulco, MX later to Guadalajara, the smaller Mexican carriers such as Aerolitoral and Aeromar to San Luis Potosi (currently as well) and Monclova).
San Antonio does have 4 or 5 Fortune 500 companies and so the business climate is building and if the city had gone together with AUS in building one large airport, as was once envisioned, the prospects for such long-haul flights would have been much greater.
But cities change a great deal through time, and who is not to say what the future may bring. The tourism of SAT and AUS is very family-oireinted and basic. San Antonio attempted a level of cultural tourism with the San Antonio Festival many years ago, that brought European opera companies each spring, but this faltered. Cultural tourism for high-end events (opera, ballet, symphony) is in general quite good for Houston and Dallas (Opera News ads show tours to Houston but no where else in the state). But the money in travel now is in conventions, and the more sophisticated scientific and academic conventions seem to prefer cities with this kind of bent (San Francisco, Boston), and hopefully the Texas cities can muster the patina and aura that these latter cities evoke, not only for the business benefits, but for the alternative presence these cities needs.
 
ptugarin
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:46 am

The topic is ambiguous, I first thought that it has to do with HZ (Sakhalinskie Aviatrassy), not San Antonio.
 
johnnybgoode
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:48 pm

afaik both airports, SAT and AUS, but especially the latter one, are actively courting European airlines for non-stop service. i think AUS would stand better chances and i think service to that region would be anything but only leisure-oriented. i don't know the region to well, but from what i learnt there is quite some significant business around AUS.
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:58 pm

I would doubt it. SAT does have a fair amount of service to Mexico,but I don't think it could support service to Europe despite it's size. I'm not so sure AUS could either despite it's large concentration of IT corporations. It's a nice idea, but I think the yields would be extremely low from either city.
 
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modernArt
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:58 pm

Quoting Shanderawx (Reply 4):
San Antonio does have 4 or 5 Fortune 500 companies and so the business climate is building and if the city had gone together with AUS in building one large airport, as was once envisioned, the prospects for such long-haul flights would have been much greater.

Good post Shanderawx. Pretty much agree with you on all points. I used to have a hard-bound copy of the SA/Austin airport proposal you mention. It was one of the few times S.A. thought more about a regional approach for the greater good...and it was 30 years ago. I believe Austin shot it down. If these two cities could synergize more - especially on transportation issues...

Quoting Johnnybgoode (Reply 6):
but from what i learnt there is quite some significant business around AUS.

San Antonio actually has more Fortune 500 corporations HQs (5 versus 3 in Austin), but the Austin business climate is likely to be more robust. But they are both doing well.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: SAT International Flights?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:39 pm

Quoting ModernArt (Reply 2):
It's almost a certainty in the future that this region will be seriously considered for long range international services.

Considered? Sure. And then whomever is doing the considering will remember that there are two megahubs within the immediate proximity, with easy transfer flows.


I always did muse at the possibility of SAT/AUS having built a superairport, dominated by UA. That would've given the carrier an actual presence in the South/S.Central region, and the state three hubs each dominated by a major alliance. Oh well, as is always the case with Louisiana: should've, would've, perhaps even could've--- but didn't.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
2travel2know
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:05 am

RE: SAT International Flights?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:51 pm

Most likely there'll be a TA flight to SAT (or to AUS) before any possible European flight.
If an European airline really wants to try SAT (or AUS) I think it would 1st be as a 4 weekly IAH/DFW back-up.
One could guess that the amount of Hispanics in Texas would have attracted IB to fly to IAH (or DFW) by now, or made AA or CO fly to MAD from DFW or IAH respectively, but for the great majority of Hispanics, their motherlands lie in Latinamerica and not in the Iberian Peninsula.
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