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More CLT Domestic Flights?  
User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3421 times:

I was wondering if more potential domestic routes were possible from CLT?

From many points in the Mid Atlantic, Mid West and Chicago, fares to Charlotte are high. Of the LCCs, AirTran and JetBlue are there, but Southwest isn't and AirTran's ATL changeover becomes day consuming for those in Mid Atlantic (etc) looking to get into CLT. AirTran has a CLT-BWI flight which links to BOS, not a real hub routing and more or less a route WN would have covered.

As AirTran didn't pick up CLT-MDW. I wonder if it will add CLT-MKE too.


Is the airport not friendly to the LCCs, there's a limited gate availability, or its just WN's decision not to go there and which shouldn't be anyways related to other LCCs plans to possibly service or expand from there?

[Edited 2009-12-29 19:58:13 by flytravel]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3404 times:



Quoting Flytravel (Thread starter):
Is the airport not friendly to the LCCs, there's a limited gate availability, or its just WN's decision not to go there and which shouldn't be anyways related to other LCCs plans to possibly service or expand from there?

Every LFC that has wanted to serve CLT for at least the past 7 or 8 years has gotten the gate space it wanted (and at fairly reasonable prices - CLT is a cheap airport). So it's not something with the airport.

I'm not sure that WN would have a huge effect on fares at CLT. You aren't going to see WN flying to places like ORF or JAX even if they open CLT, so fares to those cities will remain high (not to mention fares to similar mid-sized markets that aren't WN cities like RIC or MEM). CLT has LFC service to many of its largest markets (New York, Boston, Washington through BWI, Orlando), and Chicago is the only arguable hole, though fares to Chicago don't tend to be that bad. What holes are there?

I think WN will be in CLT in the next 3-5 years, but I don't see CLT as desperately in need of WN.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineTheGMan From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 606 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3373 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
I'm not sure that WN would have a huge effect on fares at CLT. You aren't going to see WN flying to places like ORF or JAX even if they open CLT, so fares to those cities will remain high (not to mention fares to similar mid-sized markets that aren't WN cities like RIC or MEM). CLT has LFC service to many of its largest markets (New York, Boston, Washington through BWI, Orlando), and Chicago is the only arguable hole, though fares to Chicago don't tend to be that bad. What holes are there?

I don't know. WN did a job of PHL.


User currently offlineRyefly From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

CLT is pretty much maxed out in gate availability currently. It doesn't mean they would turn away business, I just don't think there is enough space to make much of a dent to compete against US Airways presence heavily right now. I do remember reading that the final addition to terminal E will have 5 gates that will accomidate aircraft up to a 737. The buzz around town was that these gates could be for Southwest, but I haven't heard anything about it lately. These gates will be very close to the end of 18L which I am sure would be attractive to an airline like Southwest that likes to do a quick turnaround.

In the not to distant future a new international terminal will be built off of 18C near terminal A. Once complete concourse D will likely be changed to domestic. I do not believe US AIrways has long term leases on most of the gates in terminal D, so they could be up for grabs.


User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3218 times:

CLT isn't that huge a local market. Its metro area is smaller than STL and PIT, cities that have rather conspicuously lost their hubs recently. Metro areas with ±200,000 of the population of CLT are (in size order) PIT, SMF, PDX and CVG. None of those airports even come close to CLT. CLT is the 13th-busiest airport in the US and the 12 above it serve only 11 cities (two are JFK/EWR), while it is the 24th largest metro area. CLT is busier than DTW, MIA, MSP, SEA, PHL or BOS. OK, MIA doesn't really count because of FLL and PBI, but you can combine BOS, MDT and PVD and you won't even get close to the amount of traffic at CLT. Sure, those three handle almost purely O&D traffic, but it's O&D traffic for a metro area with a population more than triple the size of CLT's. CLT is one of the 25 busiest airports in the world. It's busier than any airport in Canada or Australia - or the entire continent of Africa. By no logic should Charlotte have a busier airport than Toronto or Sydney. Even SIN is barely busier than CLT.

In other words, CLT is very, very heavily dependent on connecting traffic. Nobody is going to make a dent at CLT. WN might serve CLT ... around when it decides to serve ATL. You'd probably see flights to MDW and BWI and that's it. Maybe F9 would come in and fly to DEN. But really, there is not a whole lot of room to work there for a new entrant. US will defend CLT to the death. It is to US what ATL is to DL or DFW to AA or IAH to CO. And those are all much bigger O&D markets, of course....



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3192 times:



Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 4):
By no logic should Charlotte have a busier airport than Toronto or Sydney.

Sure, but as you ably mentioned, CLT (like ATL) is in a good natural location within the world's largest economy and air traffic market. So, that's something YYZ and SYD don't enjoy. Your analysis of LCC potential at CLT seems right on the money.


User currently offlineBrandonfsu05 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3144 times:



Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 4):
In other words, CLT is very, very heavily dependent on connecting traffic. Nobody is going to make a dent at CLT. WN might serve CLT ... around when it decides to serve ATL. You'd probably see flights to MDW and BWI and that's it. Maybe F9 would come in and fly to DEN. But really, there is not a whole lot of room to work there for a new entrant. US will defend CLT to the death. It is to US what ATL is to DL or DFW to AA or IAH to CO. And those are all much bigger O&D markets, of course....

I think you are exactly right.

Quoting Ryefly (Reply 3):
In the not to distant future a new international terminal will be built off of 18C near terminal A. Once complete concourse D will likely be changed to domestic. I do not believe US AIrways has long term leases on most of the gates in terminal D, so they could be up for grabs.

I heard the rumor that all the other carriers on A would be moved to D when the new intl terminal is done. US Airways could then takeover A. So they would have A B C E and the international terminal.


User currently offlineSilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1963 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3119 times:



Quoting Brandonfsu05 (Reply 6):
I heard the rumor that all the other carriers on A would be moved to D when the new intl terminal is done. US Airways could then takeover A. So they would have A B C E and the international terminal.

Good idea to consolidate all of the non-US traffic in one terminal but the walk from E to A or the new international terminal will require 60+ minute connections.


User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3040 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3114 times:



Quoting Flytravel (Thread starter):
I was wondering if more potential domestic routes were possible from CLT?

"Potential"? Plenty:
ABQ, PDX, SJC, SNA, OMA, CID, DSM, RNO, ISP, BTR, SHV, SLC, BTV, SWF, ACY, ICT, MLB

Some of these have already been served in the past



FLYi
User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3105 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
Sure, but as you ably mentioned, CLT (like ATL) is in a good natural location within the world's largest economy and air traffic market. So, that's something YYZ and SYD don't enjoy.

This is true, of course. But so are RDU, GSO, BNA and BHM.

And then, if you look on a map it is obvious that STL is a magnificent location. It's not going to be a hub again, though. CVG seems to be dying as a hub but a map will remind one why DL chose it in the first place, and why it has traditionally been such a huge transport hub, even before airlines. DTW is obviously in a different realm than CLE, and they're right next to each other. PIT near there too, and was once a tremendous hub (one of the few real hubs in the era before everyone had them, just like ATL). Now it's a mere shadow of its former self.

On the other hand, IAH looks like a poor location for a hub, except maybe a Latin American hub (but MIA beats it there). And yet, CO's IAH hub is third-biggest in the US, after ATL and DFW. MSP looks like a strange place for a hub too, but it works.

The really obvious hubs, I guess, are the ones that are both inland, in populated parts of the country, and have really big O&D markets too. ORD clearly tops this list, though it's divided so it almost isn't a "classic" hub. DFW on the other hand is. ATL is once again. So is DTW. After that, metro area sizes start declining rapidly and they stop being obvious, except perhaps DEN. CLT definitely isn't an obvious one - a city in its region (other than ATL) would be, but nothing stands out to me as a reason CLT should be it. In fact, I'm not sure why PI chose CLT to turn into a hub. Does anyone know? RDU must have almost as much R&D (CLT banking vs. RDU tech). GSO is nearby and was PI's traditional home. So why CLT?



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 9):
I'm not sure why PI chose CLT to turn into a hub. Does anyone know? RDU must have almost as much R&D (CLT banking vs. RDU tech). GSO is nearby and was PI's traditional home. So why CLT?

Good question. It must be a combination of things. And perhaps luck, as you seem to be suggesting. ATL obviously has to be a hub. No question of luck there.

This is a "look at the map" type question. The USA is heavily weighted to the East Coast. As such, several hubs are needed just to handle North-South travel within the Eastern zone, which puts CLT and ATL in the middle of the action. The East has most of the people and money in the USA. Most people are not going to Idaho.

BNA is also a fabulous location, but the city is not sufficient to support a legacy hub. TN and KY generally suffer from great poverty. This counts against a hub.

This whole thing seems literally a process of elimination. So far, CLT and ATL have survived because they lack fatal flaws. Your remark about RDU versus CLT is unanswerable. You have shown that this is to some extent a random process through time.


User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2962 times:

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 4):

CLT isn't that huge a local market. Its metro area is smaller than STL and PIT, cities that have rather conspicuously lost their hubs recently

It's metro area isn't that much smaller though. I think it's catchment area is bigger than PIT.

If I'd say PIT's catchment area is Pittsburgh's metro, Wheeling/Steubenville and the Johnstown/Altoona markets vs. CLT's catchment area of Charlotte's metro, Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson, CLT wins. Greenville-Spartanburg/Asheville has a pretty considerable market when added to Charlotte that it brings Charlotte up to Phoenix's size. If Greenville had mainline service, then it'd be another story. I didn't add Greensboro since it's 1/2 way between CLT and RDU, but even if I took 1/4 of that market it just adds more to CLT's numbers.

About RDU and CLT in general, is that since most of the other NC and SC, and So. VA markets are small, but as a whole there is a lot of people in those states, business and people leaving the Northeast and NJ/MD to those states, and then Charleston and Myrtle Beach are destinational, RDU or CLT then obtaining a rental car can be the most cost effective way to get in/out of those regions. ATL works in some cases, but it's a little farther (2-3 hrs drive to destination vs. say 4-5 hrs. from ATL).

[Edited 2010-01-02 09:11:42 by flytravel]

User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 4):

You'd probably see flights to MDW and BWI and that's it. Maybe F9 would come in and fly to DEN. But really, there is not a whole lot of room to work there for a new entrant. US will defend CLT to the death. It is to US what ATL is to DL or DFW to AA or IAH to CO. And those are all much bigger O&D markets, of course....

True about WN. I don't think they'd offer a lot new that's not already offered, and they would be hard pressed to compete against US head on for nonstop routes from CLT, point to point within the 500-1000 mile distance of CLT, where an under 2 hr. nonstop journey vs. an over 7 hr. with stop connection in MDW journey can be a day consuming big difference.

I like the fact though that AirTran is already at CLT, already connecting CLT to BWI though. And AirTran found some reason to start service ACY and ABE where WN passed, perhaps because WN figured both were too close to PHL and BWI.

Wish idea: I'd like to see AirTran offer a ACY-CLT-MDW no change of planes flight. It'd connect Atlantic City to both Charlotte and Chicago, and be some external competition on US but not result in a direct fare war since it would be two different airports than PHL or ORD between CLT.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):

CLT has LFC service to many of its largest markets (New York, Boston, Washington through BWI, Orlando), and Chicago is the only arguable hole, though fares to Chicago don't tend to be that bad. What holes are there?


In addition to PA and NJ, another hole would be from CLT to Ohio, which would be hard for any LFC in that US flies to all the major OH markets already CLT-(Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland).

[Edited 2010-01-02 10:13:38 by flytravel]

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

CLT has been NC's largest city for decades. It was a strong business market many, many years ago before RDU developed its technology draw.
PI timed their expansion after deregulation to the need for CLT to build a new airport anyway, and found they could keep their traditional passengers who connected via ATL by flying them all the way via CLT. Keep in mind that ATL developed a reputation many years ago as a large and sometimes bothersome connection city. People were loyal to PI who built on that customer strenght by selecting a strong business city in its homestate and expanding service rapidly from CLT to first-time ever cities. When you factor in that CLT was located in a prime location for businesses related to agriculture, furniture, medical research, large education institutions and of course banking and insurance, and a city growing its population at rates higher than RDU and GSO it was a wise and practical selection.
As the CLT hub grew, PI selected BWI as a hub even with its strength at DCA, again with the idea they could keep the passenger on PI all the way and avoid interline connections. As PI's growth continued to expand, they selected DAY as the "midwest" hub to great success and a welcome to communities that had not enjoyed such service choices. The final expansion was of course the intra-state Florida Shuttle service offering jet service to cities that had relied mostly on small turboprops for flight service.
All of this changed onward from 1989 as a result of the US merger, but there has never been any doubt that CLT was a goldmine and had developed into a dynamic airline operation for a relatively "small" city when you consider ATL, IAD, MIA, DFW, ORD etc. When you consider the population base between BWI/IAD/DCA and ATL and you stick CLT kind of in the middle of it as a choice, it meant immediate success. And not to diminish that PI had an enviable service reputation with a strong and loyal public following. CLT was and is a recipe for success, and regardless of your opinion of USAir, USAirways, and any mixture thereof, it continues to be the heart and soul of that airline.



watch what you want. you may get it.
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