Questions About St. Louis Service (or the lack of it)


Jason says:


"With all the cuts American Airlines have made over the years in STL, I would like to know what you think the issue(s) is. And what the airport could do to improve and possibly attract another airline to have a large presence located there?"


The most recent American cuts in St. Louis are due to the the recession and the resulting decline in airline revenue. But to really understand what's going on we need some historical perspective...


Remember the airline TWA? Before the American buy out of TWA, in April 2001, St. Louis was a major hub airport. It was one of three TWA hubs: Atlanta, New York Kennedy and St. Louis.


When American bought TWA St. Louis lost it’s major hub status. From our point-of-view, at least, that status transferred to Dallas/Ft. Worth International (DFW). Before 2001, TWA flew hundreds of Springfield customers every day to St. Louis to make connections. Now those Springfield customers fly American to DFW to make connections. Bottom line: American uses DFW as a major hub rather than St. Louis. That's a simple way of putting it, but from our point-of-view it's accurate. The buy out of TWA brought on a long and slow decline of air service in St. Louis that continues to this day.


You ask what this airport can do to regain St. Louis service? Very little. The connections most Springfield customers need to make are no longer available in St. Louis. They're to be found at DFW or elsewhere. In the final analysis, there simply isn't enough customer demand for an airline to currently justify a Springfield to St. Louis flight.


If you'd like to really dive into a business anaylis of what's going with American and St. Louis, check this out.

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