ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Recruitment efforts at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are slowly increasing in part by local companies expanding operations to different countries, according to airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.

Hamm-Niebruegge said last year the number of St. Louisans flying to Europe each day grew from 275 to 300 with a large part of that going to companies like RGA and Enterprise. On the flip side Hamm-Niebruegge said European companies “are very open” as well.

She admitted that the growth is not quite as strong as other cities, like Austin-San Antonio, boasting 450 flyers a day, but she said St. Louis doesn’t necessarily have to hit that number.

“If we can get another twenty-five or thirty average passengers a day going into these markets that just makes our case stronger,” she said.

With that said Hamm-Niebruegge expects 2014 to be a flat year nationally for flight growth after a decade of mega-mergers.

During Thursday’s “State of St. Louis” preview hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said increasing travel to Europe from Lambert is a priority.

“We have to try and improve our revenues, and we also need to work with airlines to see what we can do innovatively to get more flights to more destinations,” he said.

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