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Topic: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: olddominion727
Posted 2013-01-30 22:48:00 and read 9407 times.

This may sound crazy but there are many markets that AA could fly in the South and be very competitive should they not merge with US. Would MEM give AA a magnanimous offer they couldn't refuse (with the down-sizing of DL), or could they jump back into BNA and retain their former loyal customers? The only way we're going to get back some of the glory days of AA is to stop contracting and start investing, while blazing trails of old.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: USAirALB
Posted 2013-01-30 23:29:11 and read 9324 times.

In a transportation studies class I took last semester, we did a case study on the number of airline hubs located in a megalopolis. In short, the study determined that a megalopolis can only have so many airline hubs before the region becomes over saturated, and eventually, the weakest (or weaker) of the hubs will likely be shut down, simply because it cannot compete, especially in today's market.

Historically, the Piedmont Atlantic mega region has had three hubs. (Yes, RDU and BNA were "hubs" at one point, but they were never as large as DL,EA at ATL, US/PI, EA at CLT, or NW at MEM. CLT was a hub for EA, and PI, which eventually changed to US, and Republic at MEM, which eventually merged into NW.) After September 11th, and years of consolidation, it just became unnecessary for airlines to have so many hubs located literally on top of each other. So we saw the closing of PIT and STL, as well as the "closing" of CVG. After the DL/NW merger, it became apparent that MEM would likely eventually be closed, which DL is currently in the process of doing. Again, the weakest of the hubs in a region will be closed, and in the case of the Piedmont Atlantic, this hub was MEM.

In today's economy, the Piedmont Atlantic can only support two hubs: ATL and CLT. Sure, you can have tiny focus cities like DL in RDU, but no airline will ever built another hub in the South. Even if they did, where would they build it? RDU is too close to CLT, and BNA has WN.

IMHO, AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-30 23:37:40 and read 9294 times.

Reading through the many pro/con threads for DL's MEM hub, the Memphis metro area doesn't seem to have a robust enough local base of O&D to support a hub, which is one of the reasons DL is letting it go. I'm not sure what purpose creating a hub at MEM would serve, when there could be other more lucrative opportunities for where to use a fleet of shiny new planes, rather than competing with ATL and CLT for connecting traffic to/from/within the South.

Which money-making routes would you think that AA could offer as a better choice for passengers by routing them via a new hub located somewhere such as MEM or BNA vs. the existing competition?

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: jmc1975
Posted 2013-01-31 00:13:41 and read 9203 times.

Airlines don't just open hubs for kicks & giggles. They must have a strategic purpose and be able to contribute significant value to an airline's network. That said, with the DL pullout in MEM, existing legacies could likely back-fill some of the capacity by means of up-gauging equipment on certain routes; and LCCs such as WN would do well to enter MEM and expand their operations...not as a major hub, but perhaps a 30-40 departure/day operation.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: EricR
Posted 2013-01-31 07:04:58 and read 8761 times.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):
AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.


I don't think you can say that in hindsight. You would need to place yourself in the environment of the early 1970's before you can come to that conclusion.

In other words, back in the 1970's, the aviation industry was a regulated industry. It is not like today where you can just open up a hub anywhere and fly whatever routes you desire. Furthermore, RDU may not have been an ideal location for a hub back in the early 1970's. The metro pop, business environment, and airport facilities were not the most ideal to support a hub of decent size during the early 1970's.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: OzarkD9S
Posted 2013-01-31 07:25:23 and read 8658 times.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):


IMHO, AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.

So AA just saunters into the CAB in the early 70's and says "we want a slew of routes from RDU because we'll need a Southern hub in 2013"?   

Good one!

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: TWA85
Posted 2013-01-31 07:46:47 and read 8565 times.

If AA does not merge with US, then their best (although not likely) option for the area would be to first strengthen their presence from the south to their already existing hubs and focus more on transporting passengers to/from the south vs. transporting passengers within the south. After strengthening their presence from the south to their existing hubs, then AA would be in a position to consider re-building a hub in the south. If AA was going to re-build a hub in the south, their best option would probably be to re-build both the BNA and RDU hubs in tandem as they did before. Yes BNA and RDU are not as strong as ATL and CLT, however combined they are comparable to ATL or CLT and each would their own distinct traffic flows that complement each other more than competing with each other. The ultimate problem with RDU and BNA before was the lack of the right size of aircraft at the time. The MD80 and 727 were too large and the AA regional aircraft at the time were too small. Now that AA has more relief on the APA scope agreement in regards to large regional jets, AA will be in a much better position to build regional hubs in BNA and RDU with the right size aircraft than they were in the mid 80's - mid 90's.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: ItalianFlyer
Posted 2013-01-31 08:04:32 and read 8485 times.

IMHO what doomed AA's southern strategy was building RDU and BNA at the same time. The split stream idea cannibalized RASM and guaranteed losses on both ventures. If they had done one or the other.....I'm willing to bet it would still be alive today. The second caveat was the collapse of EA and the void left in ATL. In the wake of EA's demise, the city, state and airport authority were literally freaking out over the suddenly unoccupied space in B & C. Officials were chasing every airline with some handsome incentives to back-fill the vacuum....AA & UA were the prize targets.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2013-01-31 08:17:19 and read 8403 times.

Quoting olddominion727 (Thread starter):
. Would MEM give AA a magnanimous offer they couldn't refuse

AA had such a hub at STL - and basically abandoned the airport as a hub - saying there was no reason for a hub in that region of the nation. (STL & MEM are both closer to DFW than ELP)

Geographically ATL or CLT would be a better location for a southern hub than BNA or RDU.

However, I don't think AA sees a viable business case to creating another hub with ORD, DFW and MIA all within easy reach of cities in the south. Yes, it involves some backtracking in many cases.

Perhaps the real reason is that ATL is so strong for DL that nobody, including AA, is going to succeed in building a highly profitable network in the south.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-01-31 08:21:42 and read 8378 times.

AA already has a southern hub. In regards to a southeastern hub, all the viable ones have already been spoken for. That region can only support a total of 2, and those 2 will always be ATL + 1 of either CLT or RDU. In the 80s CLT and RDU fought it out for the region's #2 hub, but CLT won. At this point, absent a merger, AA's only option is to bolster direct flights from major regional markets to DFW, MIA and other hubs (basically what they've been doing for the last 6-7 years).

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 8):
basically abandoned the airport as a hub - saying there was no reason for a hub in that region of the nation.

That wasn't AA's justification at all - quite the opposite, actually. AA never contended that there was "no reason" to have a hub in the midwest/central U.S., but rather that AA already had 2 hubs essentially in, or close, to that region - DFW and ORD. Given that, STL was superfluous.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: TSS
Posted 2013-01-31 08:23:43 and read 8367 times.

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 7):
IMHO what doomed AA's southern strategy was building RDU and BNA at the same time. The split stream idea cannibalized RASM and guaranteed losses on both ventures. If they had done one or the other.....I'm willing to bet it would still be alive today.

I'll agree in theory, but the question then as now is: Which one? I'd expect BNA has plenty of the coveted premium pax courtesy of the recording industry while RDU has a larger overall pax base due to the number of schools there.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-01-31 08:38:05 and read 8288 times.

Quoting olddominion727 (Thread starter):
Would MEM give AA a magnanimous offer they couldn't refuse (with the down-sizing of DL), or could they jump back into BNA and retain their former loyal customers?

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. If DL cant make MEM work, how could AA????? MEM would just use up large RJs AA needs in ORD and NYC. Also MEM is too close to DFW. BNA???? Ok good luck taking down those 90+ WN flights per day.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):
IMHO, AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.

The early 70s??? Really??? When RDU had a population 1/5 what it has today and the CAB gave out route awards.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):
In a transportation studies class I took last semester, we did a case study on the number of airline hubs located in a megalopolis. In short, the study determined that a megalopolis can only have so many airline hubs before the region becomes over saturated,

I think that is true. Look at the midwest and southeast in 1990 and today.

GONE:
PIT-US
SYR-US
IND-US
MCI-US/EA/BN
MKE-NW/YX/F9
BWI-US
DAY-US
CLE-gone by 2017
CVG-gone by 2015
MEM-Gone by 2014
STL-AA
RDU-AA
BNA-AA
MIA-UA
ATL-TW
LAS-HP


There will be no more hubs opened by legacy carriers anymore.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2013-01-31 08:46:36 and read 8237 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 9):
That wasn't AA's justification at all -

Maybe I should have said ANOTHER hub in that region. Yes, the reason STL was not needed as a hub was that DFW and ORD were already serving the region well.

Quoting TSS (Reply 10):
Which one? I'd expect BNA has plenty of the coveted premium pax courtesy of the recording industry while RDU has a larger overall pax base due to the number of schools there.

The recording industry and colleges are neither business travel generators for airlines. Which is the core group needed for a hub to succeed.

The business drivers for BNA would be healthcare, automotive and insurance/ finance. Probably on par with SDF as a business travel generator.

The business drivers for RDU are the high tech research associated with the region (and thus the colleges do contribute) and life sciences. RDU is probably on par with San Antonio/Austin as a business travel generator.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: AVLAirlineFreq
Posted 2013-01-31 09:21:32 and read 8149 times.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
The recording industry and colleges are neither business travel generators for airlines. Which is the core group needed for a hub to succeed.

The business drivers for BNA would be healthcare, automotive and insurance/ finance. Probably on par with SDF as a business travel generator.

Although AA has had a nonstop BNA-LAX for 25 years precisely because of the entertainment industry, I understand your point with regards to hub traffic.

BNA also generates significant meeting and convention traffic, which SDF does not.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: tonytifao
Posted 2013-01-31 09:44:25 and read 8076 times.

MEM and ATL are too close for DL, that's why it doesn't work for DL, but it could work for AA.

BNA would be a great hub for AA. AA has MIA and ORD which are right on the edge of the map, making tons of back tracking.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: ERJ170
Posted 2013-01-31 10:37:39 and read 7920 times.

BNA is already a WN hub and therefore they would have to go into a strong WN station.. something AA hasn't really done before. There may be DAL, but they put a stranglehold on WN in order to limit their flights there so I doubt AA would be interested in restarting a BNA hub. It would be a competitive nightmare and WN would probably win.

Everyone says that the southeast already have two hubs in ATL and CLT. But the Southeast is growing very fast and has probably added more residence than any other area. With the lower cost of living and lower cost of working in the southeast, it has drawn quite a large number of residence in business so I think it can handle a third hub. The options are RDU, BNA, and GSO. BNA has WN and GSO doesn't have as large a base. RDU would be the best choice in my opinion and would be able to manage the traffic similar to ATL and CLT. It is also strategically geographically located to capture North-South, Europe-West, North/Northeast-Caribbean, and South/Southwest-North/Northeast/Europe..

Now, currently RDU is pretty content not being a hub but probably would not mind a build up of focus city by American. It currently has 8 gates that could probably handle a few more flights and if desired, could potentially work with RDU to secure more gates on the C concourse of Terminal 2. A large scale hub would require AA to move to Terminal 1 and build Terminal B to include a FIS. They could add as many gates as needed and there is room for a 3rd parallel runway if needed.

But all of this is hypothetical. If AA needed a southeast focus/gateway, they could easily return to RDU and build it up to do it. And they would be able to compete with US at CLT and DL at ATL.. the big question is what would DL do and IMO, they would probably fight because I do believe they now consider RDU their turf..

But, that's just my opinion..

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-01-31 11:34:02 and read 7713 times.

Quoting tonytifao (Reply 14):
MEM and ATL are too close for DL, that's why it doesn't work for DL, but it could work for AA.

MEM is too close to DFW. What do you get from MEM you dont get from DFW????

This thread is a waste of bandwidth

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-31 11:57:38 and read 7479 times.

To the best of my recollection, the reason that AA built up BNA and RDU in the first place was to support the routes to London that they had just been awarded. I don't believe the DOT was going to award these route unless it was obvious that they had the support needed.

Having said that, DL was in competition, in the compeition for a London route (with SLC-LGW) at the same time AA was trying for RDU and BNA. Only two routes were to be awarded and DL thought they had it made. DL & AA were the only two carriers, I believe, that had applied. An airline could only get one route award, but they got around it because the officials in BNA (with the help of Tennessee senators, officials, etc.) by applying for the route on behalf of the city. Once they were awarded the route, AA was chosen to operate it, by offering the airport to open up a hub there. Pretty slick way to get around the rules and shut out DL.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: tonytifao
Posted 2013-01-31 12:06:35 and read 7380 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 16):
MEM is too close to DFW. What do you get from MEM you dont get from DFW????

This thread is a waste of bandwidth

BNA would be a better choice. It connects your east coast passengers with the southeastern region.

Take flying out of Orlando MCO to KY, OH, VA, ATL, SC, NC. You either have to back track from MIA, ORD or DFW.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: AVLAirlineFreq
Posted 2013-01-31 12:06:45 and read 7382 times.

The BNA hub was opened long before AA received route authority for BNA-LGW. In fact, AA at one time considered BNA-STN before approval was granted for LGW.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-01-31 12:14:24 and read 7306 times.

IIRC, Bob Crandall said post-retirement that his biggest mistake during his tenure at AA was not driving WN out of BNA and making BNA a true rival to ATL and CLT (especially ATL).

Say what you will, but I think Crandall was right.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: GSPflyer
Posted 2013-01-31 12:17:52 and read 7281 times.

I said something about them having one at CLT post-merger with US, but then I read the "non-merger" part of the title, so I will provide some useful input.

I think it would be beneficial for them to have a hub within the Southeast. Most of the smaller southeastern destinations (like GSP) are only served by MQ to DFW. DFW is only a good connecting point from the area if one is traveling west. We no longer have ORD, which is in a good place for connections to Europe, the midwest, and sometimes the Northeast.

Other smaller Southern cities (like CHS) have MIA as well, but that's not great for connections other than South America, the Caribbean, and possibly Europe.

I think BNA or RDU could've been great for AA, but their mistake was building and maintaining both at the same time.

[Edited 2013-01-31 12:26:27]

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: rampart
Posted 2013-01-31 12:18:00 and read 7280 times.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):
In a transportation studies class I took last semester, we did a case study on the number of airline hubs located in a megalopolis. In short, the study determined that a megalopolis can only have so many airline hubs before the region becomes over saturated, and eventually, the weakest (or weaker) of the hubs will likely be shut down, simply because it cannot compete, especially in today's market.

I think that's a fascinating premise. Did you/your class do anything with the study beyond the class? Is it based on an existing published study? If you have an references you could shoot my way, your own or others, I'd appreciate it! PM me if you'd like.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 16):
This thread is a waste of bandwidth

Why are you here, then? Contributing to even more waste?

-Rampart

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: boeing773ER
Posted 2013-01-31 12:21:11 and read 7231 times.

It brings me much dispair when people say there will be no new hubs for legacy carriers. I don't know if everyone realizes it but DL built up LGA into a hub just last year. Of course LGA was sort of a special case; but it still did occur. Who knows; maybe DL will build a new hub some where else around the country. They are very good at finding special opportunities to open new hubs. Unlikely, but it is not imposible.

Who knows, more than likely there will be a major fuel hike in the future. This could just break the straw with a carrier; and they could bankrupt leaving a large Metro without a hub. With consolidation today; this will unlikely happen. But you can't say it is imposible.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: ipodguy7
Posted 2013-01-31 12:24:26 and read 7196 times.

Hypothetically, could something like this work?
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=bna-mem...PM=b%3Adisc3%3Ablack&MS=wls2&DU=mi

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: AVLAirlineFreq
Posted 2013-01-31 12:40:06 and read 7310 times.

Quoting ipodguy7 (Reply 24):
Hypothetically, could something like this work?
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=bna-mem...DU=mi

Indeed, that's basically what the old AA hub at BNA looked like.

The strategic premise of the RDU and BNA hubs was that there were two traffic flows identified by AA management in the early and mid-1980s, at a time when the Sunbelt was exploding in population growth:

(1) North-south traffic along the East Coast (which would be primarily served by RDU);
(2) And the "X" flow shown in the hypothetical example above, which connected Texas and the mid-South to the Northeast, and Florida and the Southeast to the Midwest through Nashville.

As noted elsewhere in this thread, both hubs were conceived in the days before longer range regional jets existed (and oil was cheap). BNA's longest Eagle route, for example, was probably BNA-PIT, which is a long way to fly on a Saab. Had the regionals existed in the numbers they do now, only one hub may have been needed.

[Edited 2013-01-31 12:40:53]

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-01-31 12:43:16 and read 7251 times.

It should be noted that BNA and RDU only worked thanks to B-scale.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2013-01-31 13:57:29 and read 6825 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 20):
IIRC, Bob Crandall said post-retirement that his biggest mistake during his tenure at AA was not driving WN out of BNA and making BNA a true rival to ATL and CLT (especially ATL).

Say what you will, but I think Crandall was right.

And I agree with you.

Incidentally I used to love taking the 722s between BNA and CHA!

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: MSYtristar
Posted 2013-01-31 14:03:36 and read 6808 times.

I miss the AA BNA hub. I used to fly through there fairly often out of MSY on 727-200's. They used to market the heck out of the BNA-LGW flight in the local newspaper. down here They took a full page ad out several times promoting the direct/change of gauge flight between New Orleans and London via Nashville. 72S from MSY to BNA and a 762 from BNA to LGW. That being said, I can't see anything like this being attempted again (at least in the foreseeable future), should the merger not go through.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: USAirALB
Posted 2013-01-31 14:16:50 and read 6683 times.

Quoting EricR (Reply 4):
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.

I don't think you can say that in hindsight. You would need to place yourself in the environment of the early 1970's before you can come to that conclusion.
Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 11):
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 1):IMHO, AA should have built RDU up in the early 70s, when PI was still a local carrier, but these days, the ship has already set for RDU to become a hub.
The early 70s??? Really??? When RDU had a population 1/5 what it has today and the CAB gave out route awards.

Ok, so maybe not in the early 70s. But I wonder if AA could have, or should have gone after PI before US did.

Quoting rampart (Reply 22):
I think that's a fascinating premise. Did you/your class do anything with the study beyond the class? Is it based on an existing published study? If you have an references you could shoot my way, your own or others, I'd appreciate it! PM me if you'd like.

It didn't really go beyond the case study. We studied three main forms of transportation: air, ground(including rail), and water. I was taking it to satisfy a minor requirement in Geography. It was a really interesting class. I can see if I can still access the class's website, and I can I'll PM you the link of the case study.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2013-01-31 14:27:31 and read 6636 times.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
The recording industry and colleges are neither business travel generators for airlines. Which is the core group needed for a hub to succeed.
Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 13):
Although AA has had a nonstop BNA-LAX for 25 years precisely because of the entertainment industry, I understand your point with regards to hub traffic.

The recording industry certainly IS an economic force. A few years back, AA was going to pull service from LAX(another recording capital, by the way) to BNA. This would have left WN as the only nonstop service between the two cities. There was a bit of a protest in BNA about this......WHY??.........most people in the industry fly First Class, soley for the purpose they can carry equipment, master recordings, instruments, etc.....which they didn't want to check. WN does NOT offer this, and they DO pay full-fare for this. AA relented and kept the route. The yield is certainly there.

Perhaps making it a "mini-hub" would be the answer......Have a combination of the existing routes, plus a few select others. Currently AA has LAX/ORD/LGA/DCA/MIA..........and maybe adding LAS/YYC/SGF/ACY to it would be workable.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: txjim
Posted 2013-01-31 15:14:35 and read 6240 times.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 30):
The recording industry certainly IS an economic force. A few years back, AA was going to pull service from LAX(another recording capital, by the way) to BNA. This would have left WN as the only nonstop service between the two cities. There was a bit of a protest in BNA about this......WHY??.........most people in the industry fly First Class, soley for the purpose they can carry equipment, master recordings, instruments, etc.....which they didn't want to check. WN does NOT offer this, and they DO pay full-fare for this. AA relented and kept the route. The yield is certainly there.

Help me understand this. The route was full of high-yield travelers and AA decided to pull it? And retained it based on protests?

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-01-31 16:34:17 and read 5806 times.

Quoting txjim (Reply 31):
Help me understand this. The route was full of high-yield travelers and AA decided to pull it? And retained it based on protests?

Yup. The people who flew AA were planning to cut up their AAdvantage cards if AA ended BNA-LAX.

Ironically, I think the route is safe now that LAX is one of AA's cornerstone cities...

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-01-31 17:00:06 and read 5628 times.

AA has stated repeatedly what their strategy is and it's not opening another hub in an area where they already have coverage and there is a ton of competition. They have DFW, JFK, ORD, MIA and LAX as hubs already.

Their focus is using domestic feed to drive international traffic; that is where the better yields have been and still exist for airlines.

The O/P is suggesting opening a new domestic hub which is a money losing proposition. This is especially true given the competition, fuel costs and the economy.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: HSVflier
Posted 2013-01-31 21:33:29 and read 4384 times.

Not buying the SW stuff anymore....12 years ago i woud agree but A) they dont fly anywhere when compared to other carriers, B) the last few times ive flown between cities they flew it was cheaper to fly US, DL, AA etc C) it is a huge turn off boarding like cattle and fighting for a seat and anywhere you try to get involves stop after stop to get there.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-02-01 00:54:29 and read 4118 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 20):

AA could not drive WN out of BNA no matter how hard they tried.

Quoting FreshSide3 (Reply 30):
has LAX/ORD/LGA/DCA/MIA..........and maybe adding LAS/YYC/SGF/ACY to it would be workable.

You think those adds would work?

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-02-01 08:05:15 and read 3947 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 35):
AA could not drive WN out of BNA no matter how hard they tried.

They didn't try hard enough, but they (oddly enough) were the same AAirline that drove countless airlines out of DFW to the point where the DOJ ran an antitrust investigation. And let's not forget NW's "heartland strategy" that AA could have taken a page out of for the BNA hub.

AA could have driven WN out of BNA (or at the very least kept it a small WN station) - they just didn't want to. And that's where Crandall saw his post-retirement folly.

[Edited 2013-02-01 08:09:55]

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-02-01 08:11:44 and read 3930 times.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 34):
anywhere you try to get involves stop after stop to get there.

WN flies more people nonstop than any other US carrier.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-02-01 08:22:02 and read 3902 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 36):
AA could have driven WN out of BNA

No, they couldnt. WN at minimum would have had flights to MDW and HOU. You cant stop an airline from serving points from their "hub". DFW is not a good example. Though I lived in DFW from 1995-99 and dont recall AA driving anyone from DFW. It is a myth that airlines fail due to the actions of other airlines (there might be 1 or 2 examples). Airlines fail due to their own actions or lack of actions. The DOT did indeed investigate AA for actions they took against Vanguard. But Vanguard wasnt driven off MCI-DFW.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-02-01 10:13:30 and read 3819 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 38):
The DOT did indeed investigate AA for actions they took against Vanguard.

Don't forget Sun Jet International. And I think there were a few others.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: rampart
Posted 2013-02-01 14:16:01 and read 3644 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 39):
Don't forget Sun Jet International. And I think there were a few others.

If they couldn't drive them out, they just bought them and dismantled them: AirCal, Reno, TWA. I don't have a lot of sympathy. Not thrilled with the actions of WN, DL, or NW either.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: JBAirwaysFan
Posted 2013-02-02 05:36:54 and read 3363 times.

If AA reopened a southern hub I could see certain smaller markets being reopened that AA cut after they closed RDU (DAB and MLB come to mind). Maybe even ISP and SWF which used to have flights to RDU as well.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: milesrich
Posted 2013-02-02 05:53:13 and read 3350 times.

The MEM hub was created, not because of robust O & D traffic, but because ATL could not support three airline hubs. With deregulation, the interline agreements between the trunk carriers and what used to be, feeder carriers, became less important to the larger carriers. Republic was a merger of two of those carriers, North Central, and Southern. Southern had a huge presence in Atlanta, serving many smaller cities in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, and JAX, as well as a few routes into South Carolina. (My last flight on a radial powered plane turned out to be a Southern Martin 404 from ATL to GSP.

With deregulation, RC had to find another way to fill their flights to cites like Dothan, Albany GA, VPS, and others, so they created the MEM hub and shifted the flights from their cities to MEM rather than ATL. The MEM hub was only necessary because Republic and later Northwest routed their traffic through there. But with the DL/NW merger, the hub is no longer necessary. Yes, Atlanta can be said to be over crowded, but as the 50 seaters are retired and replaced by larger aircraft, operating one hub makes much more sense.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-02-02 11:16:02 and read 3173 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 39):
And I think there were a few others.

AA was at least investigated, and I think sued by DoJ, for Ozark 2.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 34):
12 years ago i woud agree but A) they dont fly anywhere when compared to other carriers

From most medium-sized and larger WN stations, WN has many more destinations than the legacies. WN doesn't fly to the likes of HSV, GLH and MGW, of course, but those places don't have much demand.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 34):
it is a huge turn off boarding like cattle and fighting for a seat

YMMV, but I like the fact that I can be guaranteed not to be stuck in the middle, which isn't true on legacies, especially when buying close to departure.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 34):
anywhere you try to get involves stop after stop to get there.

What percentage of WN passengers are carried nonstop versus the legacies? As between a through flight and a connection on something like BNA-ABQ, I'd pick the through flight every time.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-02-02 18:38:50 and read 2982 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):

Which route did AA fly that ozark2 flew? I thought ozark2 only flew MDW-COU-DFW. I also thought they code shared with AA.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-02-02 19:09:28 and read 2935 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 44):
I thought ozark2 only flew MDW-COU-DFW. I also thought they code shared with AA.

That was the original route, but I think they later tried MCI-DFW before they became ZO. I will look when I get back to the office on Monday, but I thought there was something separate after the NJ / WestPac / Sunjet suit in mid-1999.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: HSVflier
Posted 2013-02-02 21:01:04 and read 2851 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):
From most medium-sized and larger WN stations, WN has many more destinations than the legacies. WN doesn't fly to the likes of HSV, GLH and MGW, of course, but those places don't have much demand.

As someone who flies internationally on a regular basis, which is a huge number of business people, they are simply not an option even domestically. The benefits of using a legacy carrier are far greater than what WN can offer.

Plus, WN does serve HSV via Airtran.....for the moment

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2013-02-03 07:14:39 and read 2688 times.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 46):
As someone who flies internationally on a regular basis, which is a huge number of business people, they are simply not an option even domestically. The benefits of using a legacy carrier are far greater than what WN can offer. Plus, WN does serve HSV via Airtran.....for the moment

exactly...WN may be big domestically but there are some areas who dont even see them. They are non existant in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana etc. They werent even in Iowa until they came to DSM recently. I live in CID and before DSM if I would have wanted to fly WN I would have had to drive over 200 miles to a WN station (MDW/STL/MKE/MSP/OMA/MCI).


Back to the original topic...I didnt realize Crandall regretted the closing of BNA. Thats interesting....I would have thought they would have desired RDU more as its more central to north - south traffic flows on the east coast and its research triangle / high tech business community, but I also now see the value of BNA, it has somewhat of a built in O&D for tourism and the entertainment industry, not to mention its a growing business market and growing in population. You have to wonder maybe at that time they should have maybe consolidated RDU and BNA into just BNA, they could have had a 500 flight/day operation there. BNA had just built that new runway and expanded the terminal I think they can have 3 simultaneous takeoffs and departures there so there probably would have been the room to grow. BNA would have done a better job and connecting those southeast markets like MGM/PNS/MOB/TLH/VPS/BHM/JAN/MSY etc to the northeast and midwest better than ORD/DFW/MIA can do now. As mentioned before its the timing...had the advent of the regional jet been just a few years earlier things may have turned out different. And to think if BNA were in the pic they probably wouldnt have thought of looking into TWA/STL. But hindsight is 20/20 I guess....

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-02-03 07:29:59 and read 2652 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 45):
That was the original route, but I think they later tried MCI-DFW before they became ZO.

I dont recall that. They only had the FRJ328. Great Plains served BNA-TUL-OKC-ABQ with 328Jets around the same time.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-02-03 15:34:50 and read 2470 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):
From most medium-sized and larger WN stations, WN has many more destinations than the legacies. WN doesn't fly to the likes of HSV, GLH and MGW, of course, but those places don't have much demand.

I don't suppose you'd like to count up total domestic destinations on WN vs DL, for example and then see if your statement holds up?  
Quoting milesrich (Reply 42):
With deregulation, RC had to find another way to fill their flights to cites like Dothan, Albany GA, VPS, and others, so they created the MEM hub

Didn't Southern have MEM as at least a large focus city if not a hub before the merger with NC?

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 19):
The BNA hub was opened long before AA received route authority for BNA-LGW.

My mistake.....I was thinking that BNA was opened as a hub for AA at the same time as RDU.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: AVLAirlineFreq
Posted 2013-02-03 17:53:56 and read 2386 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 49):
My mistake.....I was thinking that BNA was opened as a hub for AA at the same time as RDU.

No, you're right, they opened at roughly the same time in the mid-1980s. But they both received service to LGW in 1994.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-02-03 19:51:38 and read 2291 times.

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 50):
No, you're right, they opened at roughly the same time in the mid-1980s. But they both received service to LGW in 1994.

Ok, then.....my mistake was in thinking that their becoming hubs coincided with them getting the LGW routes.




It's funny......we were so sure, in SLC that we would get the LGW route that we were already planning the logistics of it in cargo. I think we learned, after that, to not count our chickens, yada, yada, yada......

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-02-04 05:56:37 and read 2126 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 48):
I dont recall that. They only had the FRJ328. Great Plains served BNA-TUL-OKC-ABQ with 328Jets around the same time.

Yes, they were the same 328Jets for both carriers.

I do need to correct my previous statement. While the enforcement action against AA related to WestPac, SunJet and Vanguard used evidence related to OZ (along with some others like TZ and SY), there was no enforcement action related to OZ.

Quoting mayor (Reply 49):
I don't suppose you'd like to count up total domestic destinations on WN vs DL, for example and then see if your statement holds up?

Let me try to be clearer: WN has more nonstop destinations from most stations than legacy carriers.

DL can get me to GLH, HSV, CRW, etc. and WN cannot, but I have to connect in ATL to get there.

Quoting HSVflier (Reply 46):
As someone who flies internationally on a regular basis, which is a huge number of business people, they are simply not an option even domestically. The benefits of using a legacy carrier are far greater than what WN can offer.

I don't think there are many business travelers who can use WN exclusively. But for a route like BNA-CHI, BNA-JAX or BNA-PHL I'd rather be treated like a human being on WN and get a nonstop flight on mainline equipment than deal with a legacy. Like a lot of business travelers in Nashville, I fly enough to have status on two carriers. WN is the obvious choice for one of those. In many medium-sized cities, it's simply impossible to be loyal to a single carrier if you value your time at all.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: NASCARAirforce
Posted 2013-02-04 06:36:54 and read 2087 times.

AA Southern hub? Can you get much further south than MIA? AA building up MIA is what pretty much put the end to RDU and BNA as a hub

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-02-04 07:57:42 and read 2037 times.

A friend of mine who works for AA said one of the underlying reasons that AA closed the hubs at BNA, RDU, SJC, and STL was the lack of O&D traffic. Those metro areas just didn't have enough local traffic to support a large hub operation.

I've always felt that BNA and RDU were too close together, and their missions were somewhat muddled. BNA was supposed to be the hub for traffic into and out of the Southeast, while RDU was supposed to funnel traffic into and out of Florida.

Yet, I know people going to Florida out of ORD who connected at BNA going one way and RDU the other, and a lot of connections for cities in the Southeast went through RDU.

If the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area or the Nashville metro area could have generated that kind of O&D traffic that the Charlotee or Atlanta metro areas generated, AA could have simply created one hub.

Further complicating matters was AA's purchase of the old Eastern hub at MIA. While MIA isn't a great connection for traffic into Florida, it made better sense to run non-stops out of DFW, ORD, BOS, and JFK/LGA to the major cities in Florida, and offer connections to smaller cities via MIA, while building up the western Caribbean and Latin American route system.

Obviously, AA is at a disadvantage to DL and US, when it comes to flying in and out of the Southeast. By the same token, UA isn't well positioned, with hubs at EWR, IAD, CLE, ORD, and IAH. Those hubs ring the Southeast, but none of are in the Southeast, the way ATL and CLT are. This explains why UA has a codeshare agreement with US.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: cessna2
Posted 2013-02-04 08:06:58 and read 2025 times.

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 53):

AA Southern hub? Can you get much further south than MIA? AA building up MIA is what pretty much put the end to RDU and BNA as a hub

MIA is too far south. If i'm trying to fly lets say RDU-MCI, I don't really want to have to connect via ORD, DFW, JFK, or MIA. I'd rather fly DL through ATL or AWE through CLT. They need a presence in the "Mid-Southeast." Sooner rather than later.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2013-02-07 12:13:25 and read 1762 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 35):
You think those adds would work?

Lots of music industry traffic between Nashville and Branson......Vegas, again music business, but BNA would offer a connection alternative to the big hubs. Calgary has an odd combination of things. Alberta tends to have a lot of country music fans who would come over for touristic purposes....but also sheep herders, and cattle ranchers too. The Nashville area does have some textile and leather goods factories. You also have musicians that travel to shows at ACY, which currently has limited air service, despite a large number of visitors.....and passengers in general going to ACY get a better option than EWR/PHL and bus. Then maybe throw in a weekend-only CUN or other beach resort destination into the mix.

Topic: RE: Hypothetical:AA To Re-open Southern Hub(nonmerger)
Username: milesrich
Posted 2013-02-08 09:50:14 and read 1595 times.

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 47):
exactly...WN may be big domestically but there are some areas who dont even see them. They are non existant in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana etc. They werent even in Iowa until they came to DSM recently.

To get to OMA from downtown Omaha, one drives through Carter Lake, Iowa, and Council Bluffs is right across the river from OMA. Using your definition, Cincinnati has no airservice. WN has no service to Eastern Iowa, but DSM had AirTran before WN replaced their subsidiary's service. And MLI had good service from AirTran until the WN purchase. But really, what other airports in Iowa, other than DSM, and CID, if you don't count MLI or OMA would qualify for service? MCW, FOD, DBQ, ALO? I don't think so. Wyoming has no mainline service period.


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