St. Louis pushing for international flights to and from Lambert

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 16 at 6:20 PM

(KMOV.com) -- As St. Louis continues to push for more immigration and more tech related jobs , the city still lacks direct air service to Europe.

Even as much smaller cities, like Austin, Texas, are getting direct flights overseas.

There’s no doubt Austin is an up and coming metro area. Even British Airways recognizes it - announcing direct service between the Texas capitol and London.

But with a metro population roughly a million less than St Louis News 4 wanted to know - why isn’t British Airways looking at us?

Lambert’s airport director, Rhonda Hamm Niebruegge says roughly 300 people start their day in St Louis and end their day in Europe. Another 80 travel to India, Asia, Africa and beyond.

She says Austin’s numbers are similar,- but they have the opportunity to draw passengers from nearby San Antonio - which gives them a significant boost over St. Louis.

Still, Niebruegge says St Louis is on the international radar.

“It’s starting to get traction; I think they look at us as a possible market we need to tilt that,” she said.  

A spokesman with the Austin airport said landing British Airways took several years - and New Orleans, another city smaller than St. Louis, was also in the running.

News 4 reached out to British Airways to find out if they have ever given us a serious look – and we are still waiting to hear back.

In the meantime, Lambert officials plan to continue their focus on growing non-stops domestically and  will continue to sell city to the international community, even offering incentives to get them here. 

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