Will we see any new hubs/focus cities once the current situation is over?

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak airlines have been losing money fast. When airlines lose money so do the airports than they up the fees to fly into them so they can keep it running. Since it works like this do you think we may see any new airline hubs/focus cities that are different from the ones now? I believe Sst. Louis (KSTL) will see an expansion of Southwest or Delta or American will set up focus cities since KSTL is cheaper to operate. I also think when this is over STL will see 1 or 2 new international flights. Your thoughts?

Also, go Blues


I think that some lesser known airports will be served that aren’t as expensive but keep in mind that the entire industry is struggling so it might be a while before some airlines finish recovering, and therefore expanding. Nice topic!

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I agree after this airlines will be going for the cheaper airports

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All airlines right now have to really limit their flights, but due to the Transportation Board (in the USA at least), airlines have to continue their flights that they currently fly on the same days that they usually fly it, to prevent furloughs or layoffs of employees. However, bigger airlines like Delta, American, United, and Southwest are in a somewhat good position, as they have multiple non-stop flights to certain destinations per day, but they can cancel all but one of those non-stop flights to maintain their stimulus deal with the transportation board.

Budget airlines like Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit aren’t very lucky, as they usually only due 1-2 flights per week out of certain airports, with almost no multiple non-stop flights. I feel bare-bone budget airlines will really struggle getting out of this, and I think bigger airlines will probably take over some of the routes that those airlines used to operate.

So I think that you’ll see some focus cities that were usually held by budget airlines, might turn into focus cities by bigger airlines to fill the gap.

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I think this will happen in general with most places

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Allegiant is really struggling.

I can definitely confirm that. They’ve dropped almost all of their flights out of Richmond, but they are still maintaining one weekendly flight to and from Nashville from here. I think we won’t see many bare-bone budget airlines make it out of this era in aviation right now…

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Personally I’d say expect some hub closures, not openings.

Airlines will likely focus on consolidating their operations at their existing hubs instead of building up operations at another airport.

If there’s any overlap, that overlap will likely get cut, which includes some hubs that have already been downsizing or wouldn’t make sense after this crisis.

After this is over, airlines will have slashed their fleets by some % as demand really won’t return for years at this point.

Even if STL is cheaper to operate, what demand will there be?


Yah I think they cut all flights out of Belleville. I was watching the 1982 world series then for 2 seconds they came on iin said it. I am getting tired of 20 year old sports games. I wonder whose gonna win I know LSU

For the fact that it is cheaper. Airlines will go for hte cheapest airports first so they can get income then they can expand. I think the airlines will recover more fast then we think

Air New Zealand is struggling too, this is because they operate to almost every large town/city in NZ, and because of this if they shut down some routes, people are not going to be able to travel around the country, which results in massive economy loss. Since Jetstar are pulling out of NZ, there is pretty much no outside funded airlines operating here, which puts more pressure on ANZ to generate an income for the NZ aviation industry. Unfortunately this may ultimately mean that some small regional airports may shut due to inactivity, just so ANZ can stay afloat.

I understand where you’re coming from, but there is possibility that KSTL could end up like KDFW. Most people go through DFW because they have to get a connecting flight, not because it’s the biggest tourist destination in the U.S. That’s why KDFW has so many flights and such high profits. It’s also AA’s headquarters and major hub. But I do see your side, and I don’t think its certain at all. Just speculation.

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I love St Louis (Go Blues), but I can’t see a future right now where any major carrier expands into St Louis, especially given the condition of Terminal 1 right now, with it being extremely dilapidated and old. It would be very expensive to renovate Terminal 1. Southwest doesn’t have any plans to leave the E Gates in any capacity as far as I know, so as much as I want KSTL to become a bustling hub again, I don’t think it’s in the cards right now.


I do think that KCLT may close out of all of AA’s hubs because AA has KPHL and KDCA very close, along with the NYC Area and they only stayed with KCLT because of the USAir merger.

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Terminal 1 is being cleaned and re floored as we speak. They are pitching STL to international airlines this summer late July. Also, Concourse D is home to 20 potential gates and concourse B has 8-10 I think we have plenty chance to do it. Also with the talks of a F concourse (a very small one) We have a chance

While that is great news, I don’t know any international airline that would want to expand at this time, especially to St. Louis. A fresh terminal would be nice, but I don’t think it’s enough to draw new international routes to St. Louis, especially given the current world situation with most airlines forecasting that they’ll be scaled back for the foreseeable future.

But where’s the demand for the expansion? How will they fill the flights out of these cheaper and smaller airports.

It’s true there will be a rebound, but look at 9/11. This crisis is much worse than 9/11 and it only look four months for air travel to plummet to 1950 levels.

9/11 caused several airlines to collapse (Sabena, Swissair, etc) on top of numerous hub closures. I believe Delta closed its Dallas/Fort Worth hub and began a decline of its Memphis hub. US Airways shut down its Pittsburgh hub gradually. Pretty sure AA shut down its STL hub after 9/11 as well.

Regarding costs, how would that work? Wouldn’t STL have to offer a massive deal to airlines in order to get them to build operations there? Then wouldn’t other airports start offering incentives and keeping their airlines there?

That’s true, but wouldn’t STL’s geography overlap some other airline hubs? DFW/ORD for AA, IAH/ORD for UA, ATL/MSP for DL.

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LH and BA are sounding very likely to add routes to Heathrow and Frankfurt. Before this 500 poeple a day were headed to Europe from STL. That could be 240 million a year in profits

NO it was TWA. TWA had their largest HUB in STL and they went bankrupt after 9/11. STL wouldnt have to offer much. We would just clean up Concourse D and use it. At least that is the plan

But American had the final say in the STL hub. I think they still had flights to Paris and London after 9/11 but shortly cut the routes and downsized the city