Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
America West To Close Columbus Hub  
User currently offlineBoeing757/767 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2282 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7774 times:

I'm actually surprised this didn't happen sooner:

America West Eliminates Unprofitable Columbus Hub Operations
Monday February 10, 1:14 pm ET
Airline To Phase 12 Columbus-Based Regional Jets Out of Fleet


PHOENIX, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA - News), the nation's second largest low-fare airline, announced today that it is eliminating hub operations in Columbus, Ohio, and, as a result, phasing 12 regional jets out of the America West Express fleet.

"The airline industry continues to face very difficult economic conditions, and the outlook for the foreseeable future offers little relief," said Douglas Parker, chairman and chief executive officer. "A necessary and critical component of restoring industry profitability is the elimination of consistently unprofitable flying. While it's clear that the airline industry's hub-and-spoke system is here to stay, it is also clear that we, as an industry, have far too many hubs.

"America West simply will not retain unprofitable portions of its operation in hopes that things might one day get better. To that end, we have made the decision to discontinue utilizing Columbus as a hub within the America West network and to concentrate our assets in our stronger hubs in Phoenix and Las Vegas," added Parker. "This is a most difficult decision for us because it impacts our loyal customers, the city of Columbus and, most importantly, our employees. However, as we look ahead it is clear that this is the right decision -- a step we must take to enhance America West's financial position, which will benefit everyone associated with our airline in the long run."

While it no longer will be a hub, Columbus will remain an integral part of America West's network as a field station, or destination city. Between early April and mid-June, America West will gradually downsize the hub to a planned four mainline flights per day to Phoenix and Las Vegas. Today, Columbus accounts for 49 daily departures to 15 destinations.

"America West established Columbus as part of a strategy to connect passengers within the southern and central United States to East Coast markets," said Scott Kirby, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing. "However, as flights from our primary hubs of Phoenix and Las Vegas grew to major East Coast markets, the value of Columbus as a connecting hub has diminished."

According to Kirby, a number of other factors have also changed in recent years. "Due to the large number of regional jets now deployed by many airlines throughout the east, an abundance of capacity exists relative to demand in the markets served by Columbus today. Additionally, Columbus has seen a much larger decline in profitability during this economic downturn than the rest of our system."

As a result, he said, despite America West's best efforts to improve financial performance, the airline is incurring losses of approximately $25 million per year from its Columbus hub operations.

As part of the downsizing of the hub, beginning April 1 America West will phase 12 Columbus-based regional jets, all of which are currently operated by Chautauqua Airlines under the America West Express banner, out of its fleet. The aircraft, which form the nucleus of America West's hub in Columbus, are scheduled to be fully transitioned out of the fleet by mid-June. All 12 jets will remain with Chautauqua.

"Chautauqua Airlines has been a valuable partner to America West in Columbus, and we regret having to end our very close relationship," said Kirby. "As a regional partner to other major airlines, Chautauqua understands the difficulties facing our industry and has been very supportive of our position."

About 65 America West employees will remain in Columbus. The remainder of the approximately 400 Columbus-based employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other positions within America West. Those who choose not to relocate will receive severance packages.

"We take this action with particularly mixed emotions," said Parker. "Our employees in Columbus are outstanding. They've done a great job over the years of building a hub, representing America West in the community and providing wonderful service to our customers. We are hopeful that all of them will remain a part of the America West team. Those choosing not to will be treated fairly and with respect.

"Likewise, business and political leaders in Columbus and throughout Ohio have been incredibly supportive of America West. Fortunately for the people of Columbus, America West faced major airline competition on nearly every route that we are discontinuing, so the city will not lose significant non- stop service to any market."

With the downsizing of Columbus, America West must eliminate service to New York City LaGuardia Airport because perimeter rules at that airport prohibit flights beyond 1,500 miles. This precludes service from America West's hubs in Phoenix and Las Vegas. However, the airline will continue to serve the New York metropolitan area through both John F. Kennedy and Newark International Airports. With the exception of LaGuardia, no other year-round America West destination will be closed as a result of the elimination of the Columbus hub.

In the first quarter of 2003 the company expects to record a pre-tax special charge of approximately $10 to $15 million resulting from the elimination of its Columbus hub operations. The charge is related to the costs to terminate certain contracts, the write-off of leasehold improvements and employee transfer and severance expenses.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause America West's actual results and financial position to differ materially from these statements. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and government responses, the resulting negative impacts on revenues due to airport closures and reduced demand for air travel, increased costs due to enhanced security measures and related government directives, the ability of the company to obtain sufficient additional financing if necessary to survive the adverse economic effects following the September 11 attacks, limitations on financing flexibility due to high levels of debt, financial and other covenants in debt instruments and cross default provisions and the potential dilutive impact of the warrants and convertible notes issued in connection with the term loan and related transactions, the cyclical nature of the airline industry, competitive practices in the industry, the impact of changes in fuel prices, relations with unionized employees generally and the impact of the process of negotiation of labor contracts on the company's operations, the outcome of negotiations of collective bargaining agreements and the impact of these agreements on labor costs, the impact of industry regulations and other factors described from time to time in the company's publicly available SEC reports. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release.






Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJrlander From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7736 times:

The EMB planes are going to the Delta Connection operation of Chautauqua. A separate press release was issued to disclose this. Any new destinations planned?

User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4612 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7713 times:

Good luck to the hundreds that have now joined the thousands on the street.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7711 times:

Like the original poster said, this isn't a shocker. Even in this dramatically slimmed down times there is still too much capacity out there. What was left of mainline HP at Columbus could be better deployed out of PHX and LAS. And it seems that Chautauqua's 12 ERJs have found a new home, which also isn't much of shocker.

The raison d'etre of the Columbus hub which pretty much diluted by the mid-90s with the massive influx of the A320s into the fleet, which made flights from Phoenix and Las Vegas to destinations that were only serve from Columbus possible. Had times been better (doesn't that seem to be the mantra these days) there was certainly potential to make CMH viable. But it still begs the question, would that type and level of expansion come at the expense of Phoenix and Las Vegas. Ultimately it is a smart decision by Parker and company to keep America West flying.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7705 times:

I'm not really surprised by this either. This hub never could compete with DTW,CVG and PIT all surrounding it.

Looks like the Chautauqua RJ's will find a good home with DL however.

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/030210/102437_1.html

DL also hinted that they will be adding more new service at CMH. My bets are CMH-DFW and CMH-BOS. HP will be abandoning both these routes and they fit well within DL's strategic goals to improve feed at DFW and buildup BOS. DL might also add another flight from CMH to MCO.

Question, what happen's to HP in-perimeter slots as DCA and LGA? HP already said that they will be forced to abandon LGA completely because of the perimeter rule. HP has 6 beyond perimeter slots at DCA, but they also have in-perimeter slots for the flights to CMH. I assume they will go up for bid by the DOT....might be Airtran's chance to get a hold of more slots.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13704 posts, RR: 61
Reply 5, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7680 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I seem to recall a request by HP on the DOT docket for an exemption to the 1,500nm LGA perimeter rule so they could fly PHX-LGA nonstop. LGA is currently the only HP destination to be closed by the CMH downsizing, since it's the only city they could serve LGA from.

The idea behind the request was that HP was at a "competitive disadvantage" in the NY market since they could only offer nonstops to EWR and JFK from their LAS and PHX hub operations, while other carriers enjoyed the ability to serve LGA from one if not all of their hubs.

Does anyone have an idea what the status of this request is?



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7670 times:

RSW will also be closed since it is only served from CMH. I think this flight was only seasonal anyway.

Of course, HP is free to start service from RSW to PHX/LAS. However, I don't see that happening in the near term.


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7647 times:

I also thought Toronto was still served only from Columbus, or was that cancelled or moved back to Phoenix as well?


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlinePetazulu From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7593 times:

I was recently on an LGA-Denver flight. Is that the longest current nonstop route from LGA? I was curious about that at the time.

Seems kind of arbitrary to allow Denver flights, but not Pheonix, Salt Lake or Las Vegas.


User currently offlineFlyCMH From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 2287 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7540 times:

As an America West employee at the Columbus hub, I feel like a shell of my former self. There are so many wonderful people here that will be left without a job. This airline made it possible for me to finally realize my dream of being a part of the aviation industry, and now I am watching my dream smashed to pieces.

All I can say is this, I still love this airline, I wish it the best of luck without Columbus, and godspeed to all my fellow coworkers, that they all may see better times.

Crushed in Columbus,

flyCMH


User currently offlineUnited777 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1657 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7523 times:

I've always wondered why America West has Columbus as one of there hubs.

User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7482 times:

About 65 America West employees will remain in Columbus. The remainder of the approximately 400 Columbus-based employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other positions within America West. Those who choose not to relocate will receive severance packages.

Beats the alternative.

Does anyone know how AA/Eagle is doing with their Columbus station these days?


User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7472 times:

Yeah, me too. I'm guess that about CMH hubs is close for AWA. I wish that will best good luck for without Columbus, OH. Well, when is think now with Delta Connections will chance expand more flight out of CMH to midwest or the south? Please let us know! Thanks!!

Regards!


User currently offlineScottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7457 times:

America West had served Toronto from PHX in the past, starting in Oct. of 2000; I believe the service was discontinued after 9/11/2001. Mainline service was restarted this past December, with flights to both LAS and PHX.

Interestingly, I think the beyond-perimeter DCA slots helped to kill the CMH hublet, since keeping DCA in the route system was probably one important reason for maintaining the level of service at CMH. And access to LGA with about 250 seats daily probably wasn't worth the overall expense of the hub, especially considering that they need to get the operation to break-even soon in order to start paying back their loan. Cash flow in 2002 looked to be close to -$150 million. 2003 looks to be as bad as 2002 or worse if there's a war in Iraq; it won't be pretty if their cash drops into the $100-150 million range.

As their press release stated, HP faced competition on virtually all its non-stop routes from CMH (WN to BWI, PHX, LAS, MCO; DL to LGA, DCA, MCO; US to LGA, DCA, PHL; AA to DFW, ORD, LGA, BOS; AC to YYZ, CO to EWR, UA to ORD; the only exceptions seemed to be BDL, RSW, and LAX), and that certainly didn't help the viability of the hublet. Not to mention being sandwiched between several larger hubs (PIT, DTW, CLE, CVG) within 250 miles. Annual losses of $25 million in the CMH operation mean that HP was losing, on average, $20 on every seat flown in and out of that hub.


User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7446 times:

It's a shame, becuase geographically, CMH is in a pretty good spot to be a decent sized hub. Perhaps we'll FINALLY see Southwest adding some new CMH service. That'd be a nice thing.

Steve in NOLA


User currently offlinePortcolumbus From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7408 times:

Sad to see it come to this. Any idea who will pick up the slack? WN? DL?

User currently offlineDan2002 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 2055 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

Does anyone what is going to happen to the 757 "City Of Columbus"?
I sure like that plane! It would be too sad to see it go.



A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7371 times:

I think that the point of Parker's statement is that there is no slack in that market. Likely Southwest and Delta might pick up a handful of flights, but nothing major and more likely related to build-ups elsewhere than in Columbus.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlinePortcolumbus From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7323 times:

Well, there must be some market here to warrant a few new flights after losing 45 departures. This is all after HP dumped money into those nice RJ gates.

User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2476 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7316 times:

Very bad news for all of us who use Port-Columbus International Airport several times a year. Losing one low fare airlines like HP will make ticket prices go up on certain routes.

To all America West Employees in Columbus, I wish you the best and thanks for making me feel at home every time I flew to/from Columbus.

Rojo



User currently offlineScottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7229 times:

I'm not sure I'd call America West a low-fare airline on all those routes; walk-up round-trip fares to LGA are still $798; CMH-BOS walk-up is $866; CMH-PHL is $750; CMH-DFW is $834; CMH-BDL is $552. Amazingly, though, CMH-BWI is only $182 round-trip...could that have something to do with Southwest?

To be frank, I believe that HP's conversion to a "low-fare" strategy was more-or-less an acknowledgement that they compete with WN on the vast majority of their routes -- and that they needed to be more like WN in order to compete with WN.


User currently offlineFlybulldog From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7190 times:

Too bad. I hope this doesn't cause tickets in the CMH market to increase. My company is starting to make us fly out of Dayton to save money.

User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7161 times:

I'm not sure I'd call America West a low-fare airline on all those routes; walk-up round-trip fares to LGA are still $798; CMH-BOS walk-up is $866; CMH-PHL is $750; CMH-DFW is $834; CMH-BDL is $552. Amazingly, though, CMH-BWI is only $182 round-trip...could that have something to do with Southwest?

It’s called the Southwest Effect.  Big grin

Dan2002, Good question about HP’s City of Columbus 757.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tom Turner



Anyone going to Airliners International 2003? I believe Columbus is the host city.


User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7139 times:

I don't think increased Delta operations will work there either with CVG so close, same with Chataqua as a DL connection hub there with Comair/ACA at CVG.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 44
Reply 24, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7111 times:

What Columbus hub? Last time I checked, HP had roughly the same amount of service as AE, what does that say about the reality of Columbus's former hub status? It wasn't much of a hub.

redngold



Up, up and away!
25 DeltAirlines : As mentioned, I would not be surprised to see DL start CMH-BOS/DFW. However, I think these flights would not be with Chautauqua, but with ACA and ASA
26 FlyCMH : I had to defend this in the past, and I still do now, America West's operated a hub here in Columbus. America West connected passengers through the ai
27 FlyCMH : 10TV Eyewitness News just reported that Delta will be holding a news conference here in Columbus on Wednesday. Maybe some good news in light of loosin
28 AirOne : Hi, As a Columbus resident, it is hard to see them go. It will reduce the aircraft movements significantly and Terminal B will be a ghost house. On th
29 OzarkD9S : Wonder what AirTran makes of all this? CMH would fit very nicely into their system, maybe even a mini-hub.
30 PSU.DTW.SCE : I highly, highly doubt anyone will step up to take over CMH. There is simply way too much capacity available. This is a small step in the direction to
31 OzarkD9S : Probably not, but those gates wont sit idle for very long. Someone will find a use for them...and the low fare carriers/regionals are the only ones gr
32 Thomacf : I imagine a couple of new carriers may start service to CMH. Possibly Frontier, ATA, AirTran or JetBlue. I imagine Southwest will expand its service t
33 HlywdCatft : Delta might just be having a press conference to announce Song Air coming to CMH, since Delta Express serves there.
34 FlyCMH : Delta Express no longer serves CMH. The routes to MCO and TPA were taken over by Chautauqua ERJ-145s in November.
35 ContinentalEWR : The introduction of the A319/A320 into the HP fleet made the Columbus mini-hub redundant. East-West traffic no longer needed a connection point as the
36 Usairways85 : I dont see Airtran making a mini-hub at Columbus, they have no need to. They are already committed to BWI as a mini-hub with 9 destinations and i beli
37 FlyingTexan : What Columbus hub? Last time I checked, HP had roughly the same amount of service as AE, what does that say about the reality of Columbus's former hub
38 Portcolumbus : AE also had service CMH-JFK several years back.
39 Post contains links Portcolumbus : According to the AP story, Delta will be announcing expanded service. Associated Press America West Eliminating Ohio Hub Monday February 10, 5:22 pm E
40 EIPremier : Although this is not surprising news, I'm very disappointed to see HP discontinue their Columbus hub. I think they had the opportunity to develop a st
41 MAH4546 : I don't want to jinx it, but I think DL FLL-CMH service is a given, though MIA-CMH would be so much better.
42 ERJ135 : I'm not happy at all. I have pre paid three flights during this time including the day after my wedding. I don't need to hear this at all.
43 FlyCMH : It's been 24 hours, and the news is still sinking in. I have given much thought to what has happened and the reason it has happened. The hub in Columb
44 DesertJets : Excellent thought piece FlyCMH. Sorry about losing your job, but times are indeed quite tough. I think we have talked on this forum numerous times abo
45 AWA22 : I wish the best of luck on all the employees who are effected by the closing of the CMH hub. You guys in CMH have done a great job. Good luck to all.
46 Concorde SST : “Goodbye, Columbus” How very sad. My thoughts are with all the America West employees in the Columbus operation, and would likewise like to thank
47 Bhmal : Thanks for your input FlyCMH. Your information has always been very accurate and interesting. I too am sad to see the airline industry downsizing. It
48 DeltaRules : My computer was shot, so I couldn't post on this sooner... This is a pretty sad situation, although I didn't think the CMH hub was doing too well, con
49 Maiznblu_757 : I heard through the grapevine they are moving operations to Toledo.
50 ERJ135 : America west has been in touch with me regarding my booked flights that are now cancelled. In one case I will simply fly later that same day so no big
51 AA717driver : Sorry, flyCMH and your fellow AW employees! I think CMH is much like IND. They have a lot of business traffic in and out but not enough O&D to support
52 FrontierMan : Yeah kind of foolish to invest all of that money into Concourse B, especially the ramp upgrades.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
America West To Expand CMH Hub posted Mon Jun 4 2001 18:50:48 by FlyCMH
America West To MLI? (Back In The Day) posted Sun Oct 22 2006 05:51:24 by B757capt
It's Official - US Airways / America West To Merge posted Thu May 19 2005 21:54:31 by Haveric
US Airways, America West To Get $250M Airbus Loan posted Mon May 16 2005 19:19:58 by AeroPiggot
US Airways And America West To Merge posted Fri May 13 2005 10:23:50 by 777ER
America West To ANC posted Tue Jan 25 2005 05:27:47 by Lono
America West To Put In A Bid For All Of ATA posted Wed Nov 10 2004 14:54:36 by 7E72004
America West To Begin 2 New Routes In March posted Sat Oct 30 2004 22:19:56 by Jmc1975
America West To Start Daily Service To FSD posted Mon Sep 13 2004 18:33:46 by Iowaman
America West To Launch LAS-MSY And LAS-IAH posted Fri Jun 18 2004 17:51:50 by Jmc1975