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St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 18th, 2012, 12:22 am
by mulad
St. Cloud claims to be close to getting service to Chicago and Phoenix, partly because of a $750,000 grant under the
Small Community Air Service Development Program they received last year and a pledge of $6.2 million worth of ticket sales from area businesses.

http://www.startribune.com/local/166060656.html

Of course, at this point I'll say I'd rather they just extend Northstar (the only reason I heard about this was because someone wrote a letter to the editor saying the same thing). But that definitely has drawbacks -- it'd cost way more (probably $100-200 million) and it wouldn't really shorten trips from what people there have to do today (a pain to take one 90-minute train and then another 30-minute LRT ride when you'd basically be there already if there was a direct flight). It would have a lot more benefit for in-state travelers, though.

I wonder what the ticket prices will be from STC -- I think it was pretty expensive when they last had service.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 18th, 2012, 8:21 am
by dmdhashw
I'm sure it would be considerably cheaper to take the train to MSP as opposed to take a flight, though. Regional flights tend to be the most expensive. Think of all of the people who drive from central Wisconsin to fly out of MSP or MKE, instead of flying CWA.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 19th, 2012, 12:19 pm
by MNdible
The new service will likely be to Chicago, not MSP, which will plug you into somebody else's route schedule, not locked into Delta. I could see this being a competitive option for people in the northern suburbs. Free parking too.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 23rd, 2012, 6:18 pm
by mulad
Looks like the new carrier is Allegiant Air, with the first route planned to be St. Cloud to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) in Mesa. Rather underwhelming since it's 35 miles or so from central Phoenix and a good 50-minute drive. The service is supposed to begin in December.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... w-airline/

Looking at the airport's Wikipedia page, Allegiant also plans to start service to Rochester airport (RST) at the beginning of November. Many of the other destinations served by Allegiant at AZA are in Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas, so they really seem to be serving the snowbird market more than trying to operate as a hub. There are connections to Las Vegas, Oakland, and Honolulu, though.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 23rd, 2012, 7:32 pm
by nasa35
it's a good start

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 23rd, 2012, 9:33 pm
by beykite
Yea I figured it would be Allegiant. They usually serve the small market spring break and vacation crowds. Hopefully things will go well and they'll start up service from Saint Cloud to Las Vegas and Orlando Sanford. As for the Chicago service my guess would be United, considering they already do the Duluth-Chicago route pretty successfully. Does Saint Cloud not qualify for subsidies? Otherwise I could see Great Lakes providing service, granted it'd be on their small prop planes.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: August 23rd, 2012, 9:48 pm
by MNdible
beykite wrote:Does Saint Cloud not qualify for subsidies? Otherwise I could see Great Lakes providing service, granted it'd be on their small prop planes.
No, I think that St. Cloud is too close to MSP to qualify for Essential Air Service. Delta's old service into MSP from St. Cloud really didn't make sense, and I'd think Great Lakes flying into MSP makes even less sense. They really need service to a different hub (Chicago or maybe Denver) to capture some market.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: May 12th, 2014, 9:39 am
by mulad
United Airlines started (resumed?) daily service to Chicago from STC on May 6th, two daily round-trips: http://www.stcloudairport.com/index.aspx?nid=119

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: May 12th, 2014, 9:57 am
by mattaudio
I think this is new- the only service STC ever had, besides less-than-daily getaway flights on Allegiant and Sun Country, was to MSP on NW Airlink, which Delta cut within a year or two after the merger.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 8:04 am
by Chauncey87
"SkyWest reimbursed $803,000 for revenue losses in St. Cloud"

"ST. CLOUD, Minn. — SkyWest Airlines will be paid $803,000 to cover lost revenue for the first three months of flights from St. Cloud to Chicago."

http://www.startribune.com/local/276447961.html

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 8:13 am
by mattaudio
St. Cloud suffers from a lack of critical mass. Even RST does much better by comparison, but there's obviously a large trip generator at that end of the St. Cloud - Rochester corridor. But I'm not sure the best way to build critical mass there other than to impose restrictions on operations at MSP (which needs to be done due to safety concerns anyways). If STC had operations to ORD, DEN, Florida, maybe one or two more hubs, it could get that critical mass as a reliever.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 9:17 am
by MNdible
Not saying that SkyWest will definitely make money on this route, but being able to tie directly into United's O'hare hub should certainly be enough to make it viable. If you're living in the northwest suburbs, it's probably faster to get to St. Cloud than it is to MSP.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 10:30 am
by nate
Unless your destination is Chicago, though, a transfer at ORD is necessary. If I lived in the NW burbs, I'd rather drive slightly further and pay for parking for a direct flight out of MSP than risk a transfer in Chicago.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 10:38 am
by MNdible
Hey, I've got no love for O'hare, believe me.

But in pricing business travel, I've found that one-stops through ORD are frequently ONE THIRD of the price of Delta's direct flights out of MSP.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 23rd, 2014, 10:50 am
by mattaudio
I've driven to RST for flights to Europe via ORD on multiple occasions since it's significantly cheaper than DL or even MSP-ORD-Europe. Airline pricing is a weird thing.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 24th, 2014, 8:12 am
by froggie
Alternate: Southwest flights via Midway to MSP. It's what we're using in a few weeks.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 24th, 2014, 10:37 am
by MNdible
Sure, there are lots of alternatives. But the point of the current discussion was, does scheduled service out of St. Cloud make sense? And I'd argue that, for many people (especially for the 200,000 in the St. Cloud metro area, and probably for another half million in the northwest suburbs), it probably does make sense.

Currently, they only have, what, 100 seats a day flying out of there? You'd certainly think they should be able to make that work.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 24th, 2014, 1:40 pm
by Smoothuser
MNdible wrote:I'd argue that, for many people (especially for the 200,000 in the St. Cloud metro area, and probably for another half million in the northwest suburbs), it probably does make sense.

Currently, they only have, what, 100 seats a day flying out of there? You'd certainly think they should be able to make that work.
Agreed, and even more so if the Northstar rail goes to St Cloud (with an airport stop or extension). Even people in Downtown Mpls may be able to save money and/or time but taking Northstar to St Cloud.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 24th, 2014, 7:28 pm
by Suburban Outcast
My uncle and aunt who live north of Sartell did a roundtrip to Dublin last month from the St Cloud airport via O'Hare and Toronto to Dublin, and then via Newark and O'Hare; getting there they did alright, but their flight to O'Hare from Newark got cancelled and they ended up flying straight to MSP that night instead where my grandma and I had to drive them to Anoka to meet my cousin to pick them up to drive them the rest of the way. My uncle is an impatient prick, but that went to show that relying on transfers out of O'Hare can be risky.

Re: St. Cloud Airport

Posted: September 25th, 2014, 1:09 pm
by exiled_antipodean
Two problems for St Cloud developing as a secondary airport for the region are 1) MSP is pretty efficient and a nice airport to use, and 2) Off peak congestion in our region is not that bad.

Secondary airports have a market in metropolitan areas where the primary airports are not great (think LAX, NYC) and where getting to a major airport is a pain. Neither of those situations really apply here.

St Cloud is also not well situated to reach the wealthier parts of the metropolitan area. Anoka County has the lowest median income of the suburban counties, and the wealthiest parts + businesses of Hennepin are in the southwest suburbs.

I just don't see the potential for more than incremental growth unless the city was going to subsidize service.