This is good news for STL
Continues to show Lambert growing again.
I wonder what gates and concourse they will be in... hopefully "D". It actually is the only one I can think that has opening for a new airline.
Low-cost airline will take off at Lambert
By Elisa Crouch
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
FILE PHOTO: Passengers load their luggage and obtain their boarding passes at the AirTran Airways counter at Orlando International airport.
A new air carrier is coming to Lambert Field — one that could lower the cost of flying to the East Coast.
AirTran Airways, based in Orlando, Fla., plans to announce today that it is entering the St. Louis market on May 8 with four daily nonstop flights to Atlanta, with prices starting at $59. On June 7, it will add a daily nonstop flight to Orlando, with prices starting at $79.
AirTran's presence is strongest along the Atlantic, especially Florida.
"When they enter the market, they will certainly affect the price people will pay to go east," said Brian Kinsey, Lambert business and marketing manager. Advertisement
But AirTran's decision to enter the St. Louis market is proof that Lambert is on the upswing. Nearly four years after American Airlines cutbacks in 2003, the number of passenger boardings are steadily rising. Air carriers are replacing smaller, regional jets with larger airplanes.
"We're slowly recovering," Airport Director Kevin Dolliole said. "We're stable."
Another air carrier gives St. Louis travelers more options, he said. "It opens more doors and more ways of getting from point A to point B."
Southwest Airlines, now the airport's second largest air carrier, entered the St. Louis market in 1985 with a handful of flights to Kansas City and Chicago.
"There's always a potential as a new carrier enters a market for potential growth down the road," Dolliole said.
AirTran operates its hub from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where it serves as the second largest air carrier. The company is a subsidiary of publicly traded AirTran Holdings and is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 717, which has 117 seats. It also flies the Boeing 737, which has 137 seats.
The average age of AirTran's fleet is three years, company spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.
It's the only low-cost carrier with a business class. Upgrades start at $40.
AirTran offers 700 daily flights and has 53 destinations in its route network. A traveler flying from St. Louis will be able to fly to 36 of those destinations, Graham-Weaver said.
AirTran is entering the Phoenix market next month. In addition to Lambert, the airline plans to announce today that it will begin service at yet another airport, Graham-Weaver said.
The airline is pursuing a merger with Midwest Airlines, which operates Midwest Connection flights at Lambert. Midwest has rebuffed its approach.
Lambert officials began pursuing AirTran in 2003, Kinsey said. He had hoped to have AirTran much sooner.
"We're sure glad they're here now," he said. "It's been a lot of work for the entire staff."
In coming days, Lambert and AirTran officials will work out such details as gate arrangements. Kinsey said it's not determined which concourse the airline will use.
"This is great for us and it shows the market is a good market for a carrier like this," Kinsey added. "We hope this is the first of other announcements coming along soon."
AirTran Airways Announces Service to Lambert-St. louis International Airport
St. Louis Service Begins May 8, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. (January 23, 2007) — AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), today announced plans to begin service at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL). Starting May 8, 2007, the growing low-fare carrier will take Gateway City residents from one Olympic city to another with daily nonstop flights to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and connections to 36 airports nationwide. AirTran Airways will also add daily nonstop service to Orlando International Airport starting June 7, 2007. St. Louis is the 53rd destination to be served by the award-winning low-fare airline.
AirTran Airways will be the only carrier out of St. Louis to offer Business Class seating and free XM Satellite Radio on every flight. Plus, with introductory fares as low as $59* one-way, visitors and residents alike should have plenty of money left to shop downtown, catch dinner on The Hill and even treat themselves at Ted Drewes.
“We are pleased that AirTran Airways sees St. Louis as a great market,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “Under the leadership of Kevin Dolliole, Lambert continues on a course of steady improvement. I believe the best is still ahead for our airport.”
“AirTran Airways is proud to bring outstanding low-fare service, complete with an award-winning frequent flyer program and the country's youngest all-Boeing fleet, to the St. Louis metropolitan area,” said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways' president and chief operating officer. “For St. Louis residents, our airline will be the gateway to low fares, nonstop service to Atlanta and Orlando, and easy connections to 36 destinations across the United States on our ever-expanding route map.”
“I'm excited about AirTran Airways coming to St. Louis,” said Airport Director Kevin Dolliole. “The high quality service it offers business and pleasure travelers will greatly benefit the community and the region.”
The following nonstop service from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is available beginning May 8, 2007, unless otherwise noted:
Nonstop Service From St. Louis to Atlanta From To Flight Departs Arrives Frequency
St. Louis Atlanta 780** 6:00 a.m. 8:35 a.m. Daily
St. Louis Atlanta 786 10:30 a.m. 1:05 p.m. Daily
St. Louis Atlanta 784 2:00 p.m. 4:35 p.m. Daily
St. Louis Atlanta 788 5:20 p.m. 7:55 p.m. Daily
** Effective May 9th
Nonstop Service From Atlanta to St. Louis
From To Flight Departs Arrives Frequency
Atlanta St. Louis 789 9:10 a.m. 9:55 a.m. Daily
Atlanta St. Louis 783 12:40 p.m. 1:25 p.m. Daily
Atlanta St. Louis 781 4:00 p.m 4:45 p.m. Daily
Atlanta St. Louis 785 9:00 p.m. 9:45 p.m. Daily
Nonstop Service Between St. Louis and Orlando*** From To Flight Departs Arrives Frequency
St. Louis Orlando 790 11:25 a.m. 2:40 p.m. Daily
Orlando St. Louis 791 9:15 a.m. 10:50 a.m. Daily
***Effective June 7, 2007.