Midwest Starts Milwaukee - St Louis on American's Turf

Last Updated Sep 17, 2009 2:03 AM EDT

I just noticed that Midwest announced late this afternoon that it will fly from Milwaukee to St Louis. That might not seem controversial, but it is either going to really anger American or American is doing something in St Louis that we don't yet know.

Midwest announced it would fly 3 times daily between Milwaukee and St Louis beginning March 1, 2010. The flights will be on 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135 aircraft operated by Chautauqua, another fellow Republic subsidiary.

So why is this a big deal? Well, American also flies that route three times a day. One of those is operated by American Eagle, but the other two? That's right, Chautauqua operates them as American Connection. So Republic has decided to add a new market where it will be competing head-to-head with itself under the American name. American can't be happy about this.

Or can they? This makes you wonder if Midwest knows something that the rest of us don't? Might those American flights not be around by March next year? I wonder if another St Louis pulldown is in the works. There's not much left to pull down.