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OzarkD9S
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The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:19 am

So it's been over a decade since the de-hubbing of STL by AA. WN has picked up some slack and we were briefly in the Top Ten WN stations at one point. DL saw us as an "S-Curve" market for awhile, and we had DCA service on DL pre-DCA slot swap with US. We've seen some Frontier action recently, but ignored by B6, VX and NK. WN seems to add one here, cut one there at STL.

We still have Cape Air and Air Choice One doing their EAS stuff out of here surprisingly enough.

We're one of the top 3 MSA's in the US without nonstop service to Europe.

AA will become #2 again with the US merger.

Anyone have any predictions on some future STL additions?

My thoughts:

1. There is a growing Mexican-American population in the area, maybe some more links to Mexico besides Cancun and the other beach resorts? WN? AM? Volaris perhaps?

2. NK added MCI recently, STL in the future?

3. F9 adds STL to their new focus cities, any chance STL becomes a proper focus city in it's own right for F9? At least we have a "big dot" on the F9 route map.

4. VX probably doesn't view STL as viable in the medium term. I'm thinking with the new IPO their more interested in someone buying them but I could be wrong.

5. B6 had every opportunity to come here, especially after the AA draw-down there were conversations with B6 on making STL their mid-continent hub, to no avail. B6 is a long shot.

6. AS to PDX maybe? Or SAN year round?

7. Europe. BA would be the best option to LHR, not high on the priority list I'm sure. But with the AA FF's in the area our best chance for a European connection. Slots at LHR a problem though.

SO:

Share your thoughts on STL.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:28 am

I think the most likely are that NK comes to town or that Frontier make STL a full focus city
 
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WROORD
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:30 am

I think you are right B5 was the best bet, but it did not happen. Maybe the new Eastern or PeopleExpress?
 
LambertMan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:01 am

My guess is that Spirit is next. Flights to SAN and FLL would be a good starting point. One part of me says don't hold out hope for B6, but the other part says that eventually it will be added to their network - even if it is a loss leader - because St. Louis is more than a blip on the commerce map.

Quoting OzarkD9S (Thread starter):
7. Europe. BA would be the best option to LHR, not high on the priority list I'm sure. But with the AA FF's in the area our best chance for a European connection. Slots at LHR a problem though.

This was covered in-depth in a St. Louis Business Journal article that was essentially a slow news day piece on the lack of air service out of STL. The airport admin went out for $6 million in revenue guarantees, but evidently couldn't get them, which was certainly a bit shocking given how low the target was. Unfortunately, in my book that is an affirmation that a flight couldn't be adequately supported by the business community, which is exactly what would need to happen in an otherwise fringe market.

It's been widely publicized that New Orleans was runner-up to Austin and I would expect them to receive the next 787 flight unless something changes on the subsidy front in STL.
 
777STL
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:08 am

I don't see BA wasting a LHR slot on STL anytime soon.
PHX based
 
stlgph
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:50 am

I'd love to see something left-field (ish) - like a handful of flights from Lambert to some cities here and there on someone like Sun Country.

PeoplExpress would be an interesting, strange addition. Is there still the traffic STL - Norfolk/Newport News that there once was when TWA was around?

Until then, Frontier or Spirit are my next guesses - there will always be a market for discount leisure travel out of the Lou.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:23 am

B6 has had so much time to start STL, i can't see why they would start it now unless they get a large incentive or something. NYC has tons of service to STL no real attraction, and BOS-STL has southwest already in there. B6 looks like a tough sell for STL

Quoting Lambertman (Reply 3):
This was covered in-depth in a St. Louis Business Journal article that was essentially a slow news day piece on the lack of air service out of STL. The airport admin went out for $6 million in revenue guarantees, but evidently couldn't get them, which was certainly a bit shocking given how low the target was. Unfortunately, in my book that is an affirmation that a flight couldn't be adequately supported by the business community, which is exactly what would need to happen in an otherwise fringe market.

Yeah it sounds like the business community would really need to financially support the flight for it to even have a chance. I just wonder how much demand or how much they really need this non-stop if they won't pony up cash. They might not have as strong a business demand as much as the airport and city want the flight? Are there any strong business connections between STL area and the London area? There would probably really need to be a demand or company who would buy first class seats specifically to LHR for it to be worth it.
 
stlgph
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:44 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 6):

B6 has had so much time to start STL, i can't see why they would start it now unless they get a large incentive or something. NYC has tons of service to STL no real attraction, and BOS-STL has southwest already in there. B6 looks like a tough sell for STL

jetBlue pretty much has no strategy for the midwest at the moment, let alone the last 5 years, let alone the next 5 years.
despite all the fanfare, Boston is a bit of a struggle for them, profitability wise.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:44 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 5):


I'd love to see something left-field (ish) - like a handful of flights from Lambert to some cities here and there on someone like Sun Country.

I always forget Sun Country. Left-field (ish) a good term for them starting service. I used to see Sun Country 727's and DC-10's here quite often, not sure if they were commercial charters or MAC. The problem is so many of the leisure destinations are already covered, and they seem to be focused on their northern-tier bases.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
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bigfoot0503
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:36 pm

Several weeks back I traveled on the F9 non-stop from PDX-STL. The flight was on a Thursday and there wasn't an open seat on the A320 aircraft. I do understand that a full flight doesn't equate to a profitable flight, however I was keenly aware of the comments that I heard passengers making regarding the non-stop. It was uncanny as the theme among the group was how nice it was to have a non-stop between PDX-STL. I overheard several people who were obviously from both the PDX and STL metro areas but also several people who said they were from the Oregon coast or Southwest Washington near the Longview/Kelso area.

I would love to see a year round n/s on this route and hopefully AS will be the carrier to initiate the flight. Just from my perspective and also talking with the F9 ground crew at PDX the STL flight has been a nice success for them.
 
stlgph
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:43 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 8):

True. But I just wonder how long Sun Country can survive just keeping all their eggs in the Minneapolis/St Paul basket, more or less. I hope they can - I just enjoy them and their livery and their crews - just wish I had more options with them, is all.

Of course remember the time when Southwest, TWA (then American), Allegiant (from Belleville) and Champion Air all had peaceful co-existance to Vegas? And then of course Southwest, TWA (then American), USA 3000 all covered St Pete and Ft Myers pretty well...
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
LambertMan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:28 pm

Quoting bigfoot0503 (Reply 9):

Several weeks back I traveled on the F9 non-stop from PDX-STL. The flight was on a Thursday and there wasn't an open seat on the A320 aircraft. I do understand that a full flight doesn't equate to a profitable flight, however I was keenly aware of the comments that I heard passengers making regarding the non-stop. It was uncanny as the theme among the group was how nice it was to have a non-stop between PDX-STL. I overheard several people who were obviously from both the PDX and STL metro areas but also several people who said they were from the Oregon coast or Southwest Washington near the Longview/Kelso area.

I would love to see a year round n/s on this route and hopefully AS will be the carrier to initiate the flight. Just from my perspective and also talking with the F9 ground crew at PDX the STL flight has been a nice success for them.

I'm not terribly surprised its been successful in the summer months, though the service has not been extended to my knowledge. I think a year-round AS service would be a stretch and would even eat into their SEA flights, which appears to be marginally successful. A more realistic possibility is with WN; presently MCI has a link that would make more sense for STL for the purposes of network connectivity.

Edit: Just as I type this, it appears like F9 will begin flying MCO and FLL around the new years. Too late, NK!

[Edited 2014-08-19 14:31:31]
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The STL Thread

Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:52 am

Quoting stlgph (Reply 10):


Of course remember the time when Southwest, TWA (then American), Allegiant (from Belleville) and Champion Air all had peaceful co-existance to Vegas? And then of course Southwest, TWA (then American), USA 3000 all covered St Pete and Ft Myers pretty well...

True enough. F9 has made some minor ads to Florida. We'll see if those last. SY could do fairly well out of here, WN ain't what it used to be fare-wise so there should be some low hanging leisure fruit to tap in STL. Would love to see SY do one-stops to Hawaii from here (and MSP as well)...I wonder how well they would do with 738's from the Midwest to HA via Cali? With G4 running BLV flights to SFB and PIE only I wonder if they could do the non-BLV markets out of STL: MYR, PGD, FLL, PBI, LAS and AZA? Or just move over entirely?
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
imagoagnitio
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RE: The STL Thread

Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:12 am

Fantastic memories of STL, only transited twice on Honeymoon in 1995, great viewing platform back then, probably changed a whole heap since then?

Flew into STL from LAS on N9405T MD-83, then out to MCO on N11003 (L-1011) on 11/15/95.

Back to STL on N31014 (L-1011) then over to LGW on N610TW (B762) on 11/19/95.

as a side note I also had a couple of flights on Reno Air (QQ) MD-82's, N823RA & N821RA, now that was a nice scheme!
 
LambertMan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:24 am

I was watching a recent interview with Rhonda HN ( a pretty horrendous interview, honestly) and she stated that they are "close" to landing an European flight and implied they were speaking with European carriers. My best guess is those carriers are British Airways, Lufthansa, and perhaps Iceland Air. Air France is a huge stretch, IMO.

When Austin landed BA, KMOV ran a story on the lack of European service out of STL. Evidently New Orleans was runner-up for the first 787 flight, which makes me wonder if MSY is still next on the pecking order. My guess is that the region can't support a year-round flight right now without a fair amount of public support, but hopefully we're getting closer to finding out for certain...

Also, I can't help but like RHN. A contact of mine who works in some capacity at the airport said "say what you want, but she gets stuff done." Fine by me and I'm guessing making friends isn't high on her priority list by that comment.

[Edited 2014-08-25 21:25:46]
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:09 am

Lets take BA i see a huge problem. LHR has rediculous fees (luxury taxes on business or first class customers) and ridiculous FF fuel surcharges on BA its much easier and cheaper to just connect in EWR, JFK, ORD, BOS, PHL you are one stop to every single major market with domestic connections. YYZ is also there with great prices often to Europe and service to all the major markets. Serving LHR for connections doesn't make sense to me, it has be primarily o&d i don't see those numbers possible.

AUS had higher o&d to london specifically and i bet you that market sees a huge increase with a non-stop. AUS made total sense to me for BA.....MSY just doesn't unless the city really opens up its check book too big.

I just hate to see airport spend money on pride projects when the chances this flops post subsidy are too high. Support domestic or new carriers at least that have a much better chance of survival post subsidies. I would help frontier add more routes or support southwest over paying for BA. Southwest has been really good for STL i hope they appreciate that as much as they should. BA would be crazy not to fly it while the check book is open then just bail when it stops. If its the airport/government paying not local businesses that should already be a warning sign and evidence its not needed.

http://fox4kc.com/2013/07/09/st-louis-airport-leases-land-for-bees/
They just want a flight to actually use that runway that forced 6,000 people to move! Worst planning project of all time, its a pride mission and i think it will turn into another disaster. Support frontier or southwest and be happy they are showing the airport some love.
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:51 am

Quoting Lambertman (Reply 14):
Also, I can't help but like RHN. A contact of mine who works in some capacity at the airport said "say what you want, but she gets stuff done." Fine by me and I'm guessing making friends isn't high on her priority list by that comment.

I would agree with the "gets stuff done" comment, as she has done more than her predecessors Griggs, Dolliole and the last guy whose name escapes me right now. I was through Lambert several weeks ago and was very impressed with the capital works which have been completed since the last time I was thru there. The works done on the main terminal, concourses and baggage claim is nothing short of outstanding, and I think with the extremely limited budget she has had to work with the improvements have been impressive. The only thing missing is more planes..  

I noticed they are replacing the green roof of the main terminal with some sort of copper top, should look really nice when it is completed.

On a related improvement note, are the plans still in the works to remove all of the rental car kiosks and push the baggage claim out to a flattened arrivals road? I remember reading something on this several years ago as part of the Lambert Experience and was wondering if it will come to fruition at some point. I believe there was also an ill-advised plexiglass roof to cover the arrivals roadway as part of the renovation.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 15):
They just want a flight to actually use that runway that forced 6,000 people to move! Worst planning project of all time,

This has been discussed here ad nauseum, but the runway WAS needed at the time. And once plans and FAA funding was in place it was tough to stop by then, besides by that point west Bridgeton was destroyed anyway with the expansion.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 15):
Support frontier or southwest and be happy they are showing the airport some love.

Now this I will agree with.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:08 am

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 16):


Now this I will agree with.

As do quite a few people in STL now. WN advertises new routes pretty heavily on certain radio stations. I've been hearing the new SFO flights mentioned several times a day on KSHE 95 (the classic rock station). Frontier has been garnering some buzz to a lesser extent but the news is out there. As the resident AvGeek at work several people who are planning vacations have asked me about F9 and I've passed some info along.

Losing the hub(s) was a psychological blow to many, but people are realizing with a more balanced offering, the fares are more reasonable on average, even if connections are now required to some places. WN, DL and F9 seem to be go-to STL airlines now for a good number of people.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:02 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 17):
Losing the hub(s) was a psychological blow to many, but people are realizing with a more balanced offering, the fares are more reasonable on average, even if connections are now required to some places. WN, DL and F9 seem to be go-to STL airlines now for a good number of people.

I may be flogged for saying this, but the demise of the hub is possibly the best thing that happened to St. Louis air travellers. It has stimulated more competition between the airlines you mention, as well as kept AA/US on their toes. And as an AA F/F who comes back "home" from time to time I hope to see this continue.

I believe the future at Lambert is bright, and I hope Ms. H-N focuses on new domestic service vs trying to secure a flight to LHR, FRA, CDG, etc...
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:06 am

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 18):


I may be flogged for saying this, but the demise of the hub is possibly the best thing that happened to St. Louis air travellers.

You may have been flogged a few years ago.  

Market realities being what they are, STL has fared better than most, if not all former hubs...nonstops to Europe excepted. Domestically we're doing fine.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:03 pm

Nearly all the times I've flown FROM STL I've flown with either WN or FL. My last flight was with DL and it was a complete downer seeing the airport terminal where DL and UA are based in. So many empty gates that are now stores...gates that are mere shadows of their former state when TWA and AA ruled the airport. I'm glad WN is slowly adding more and more service (the STL-SFO route looks promising).

It's also a shame that B6 hasn't really even added service to the airport. A flight from one of its bases would be a welcome sight.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
2travel2know2
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Thread starter):
7 Europe. BA would be the best option to LHR, not high on the priority list I'm sure. But with the AA FF's in the area our best chance for a European connection. Slots at LHR a problem though.

If STL-LON O/D was sizeable and not depending on connections, even a LGW flight could work.
But seems neither BA nor AA would like to operate a STL-LGW.

8 Latin America (other than Mexico) Perhaps STL already might be able to support a CM non-stop to PTY (hub) several days per week. STL-PTY O/D might be low but when CM hub destinations are added, numbers could change.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
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SANFan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:46 pm

Nice to see that STL-SAN has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread and that, needless to say, is of great interest to me. This is one of the most frustrating and head-scratching routes out of SAN to me. I absolutely can't figure out what the issue is for WN that prevents them from offering year-round daily service.

The numbers (from DOT Table 6) show the market can certainly sustain permanent non-seasonal service but WN continues to NOT provide that. From 2013, Q1 saw 173 PDEW, Q2 shows 236 PDEW, Q3 was 224 PDEW and Q4 had a PDEW of 187! The fact that WN only ops a daily ns in the market between 4 & 5 months of the year is very peculiar to me. This is certainly not a leisure market. Yet with 25 nonstop destinations served from SAN (effective this November) STL remains the ONLY seasonal one!

Because of WN's ops size and involvement in both STL and SAN, they would seem the most logical to provide adequate service between the two cities. However, as they continue to choose not to, I keep hoping that F9 or AS, the next "best" possibilities, would jump into the city-pair. So far, nada. And NK is certainly a possibility at some point in the future...

bb
 
steex
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:24 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 17):
WN advertises new routes pretty heavily on certain radio stations. I've been hearing the new SFO flights mentioned several times a day on KSHE 95 (the classic rock station).

For what it's worth, I have heard this new service regularly advertised on several stations in the Bay Area as well. It's inconvenient timing for me personally as, after commuting back and forth, I finally relocated from STL to the Bay right before the flurry of new nonstop options came on the scene.

Quoting SANFan (Reply 22):
Because of WN's ops size and involvement in both STL and SAN, they would seem the most logical to provide adequate service between the two cities. However, as they continue to choose not to, I keep hoping that F9 or AS, the next "best" possibilities, would jump into the city-pair. So far, nada. And NK is certainly a possibility at some point in the future...

Yeah, WN's handling of STL-SAN certainly is a little puzzling. I can only assume that they fit it into the schedule during periods where yield is strongest with the knowledge that they're probably going to capture much of the traffic either way. This definitely seems like a potential F9 route to me, though. If they're willing to try STL-SFO/PDX, there's no reason they shouldn't be willing to try STL-SAN.

[Edited 2014-08-26 08:25:36]
 
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SANFan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:58 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 23):
This definitely seems like a potential F9 route to me, though. If they're willing to try STL-SFO/PDX, there's no reason they shouldn't be willing to try STL-SAN.

Absolutely. In fact, here's a comparison of the PDX and SAN numbers to STL for 2013:

period....PDX PDEW...SAN PDEW (per DOT Table 6 figures)
1Q2013.....57....................173
2Q2013.....97....................236
3Q2013....107...................224
4Q2013.....95....................187

Go figure....

bb
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:52 pm

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 16):
I noticed they are replacing the green roof of the main terminal with some sort of copper top, should look really nice when it is completed.

I believe they are just replacing copper panels. Copper turns greenish over time.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:12 pm

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 25):
Copper turns greenish over time.

Actaully, according to the airport schematics, it will turn almost black during the patina process, then turn back to the greenish color we're familiar with.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
point2point
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:29 pm

Quoting Lambertman (Reply 14):
I was watching a recent interview with Rhonda HN ( a pretty horrendous interview, honestly) and she stated that they are "close" to landing an European flight and implied they were speaking with European carriers.

Would it be so outrageous to maybe consider DL working with its ST partners here (AF/KL) and starting out with 5X weekly nonstops to either AMS or CDG?

Just asking, since DL has taken over some of their ST partners flying at US airports (SEA, ORD, EWR), has their partners there for any forward connects, may have the right aircraft, and lastly will not have the outrageously high slot costs of BA and LHR. Also, DL flies PIT, CVG, PDX, and hub SLC to Europe nonstop and these are smaller airports, and DL is basically metal-neutral with AF/KL, which may or may not imply a European carrier.

Just my   

 

[Edited 2014-08-26 12:36:29]
 
steex
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RE: The STL Thread

Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:43 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 27):
Just asking, since DL has taken over some of their ST partners flying at US airports (SEA, ORD, EWR), has their partners there for any forward connects, may have the right aircraft, and lastly will not have the outrageously high slot costs of BA and LHR. Also, DL flies PIT, CVG, SLC to Europe nonstop and these are smaller airports, and DL is basically metal-neutral with AF/KL, which may or may not imply a European carrier.

The issue is the airlines already have ways to generically connect STL to much of Europe with one stop in North America, so starting a nonstop to Europe is really only desirable if STL-XXX has enough O&D to make it worthwhile to serve that higher yielding nonstop traffic. If a market doesn't have a lot of demand, which STL-AMS really wouldn't, then you're just flying a long segment out of STL to continue offering one-stop connections to the rest of Europe (granted, obviously a lot more connecting opportunities).

STL has shortcomings compared to the other markets you mention having European service. SLC is currently a healthy DL hub and is a pretty strong O&D performer serving a fairly isolated geographic area. CVG is still kicking as a major DL city, albeit smaller than before, and also has specific business ties to Paris that help maintain CVG-CDG. PIT is the most comparable market of these, but is fortunate to be within 757 range of Europe (STL really isn't with the exception of KEF and maybe Ireland) and also offered the incentives that STL hasn't been able to arrange.
 
bjorn14
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RE: The STL Thread

Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:59 am

What are the cities ahead of STL without TATL service?
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
PC12Fan
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RE: The STL Thread

Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:50 pm

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 16):
and the last guy whose name escapes me right now.

Richard Hrabko. Missed that one, sorry.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!

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