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Hub-and-Spoke Vs. Network  
User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

What I'm referring to as "Network" is Southwest Airline's route configuration, which obviously is successful. However, as Northwest Airline's CEO explained, the hub-and-spoke system allows "us to take you from Minot, ND to Tokyo with only one stop." I personally think that the benefits of hub-and-spoke system are significant, allowing for greater expansion into other markets. Any thoughts?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

Actually, I think what you're referring to as "network" is more acurately termed "point-to-point". Network is commonly used to refer to the large, established airlines, as opposed to start-up LCC's. But, hub-and-spoke is a very efficient system!


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineCanadaEH From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 1341 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3462 times:

I think point-to-point works better domestically. Internationally, the hub-and-spoke obviously works better. There are a lot of major airlines considering smaller, regional (60-110 seat) aircraft to operate more point-to-point service. I think you'll see more and more airlines going away from the hub-and-spoke system and more going towards the point-to-point service with smaller aircraft.


EH.
User currently offlineL1011Lover From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 989 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3462 times:

I personaly think it depends very much on what kind of airline you are running!

Hub-and-Spoke system is probably the most efficient way to operate a major domestic/international carrier that covers all of the US/Europe etc. and other important international markets!
It´s the only way making sure passengers will be able making fast, easy and seamless connections!

Point-to-Point might work for LCC´s and leisure airlines!
But days are long gone when major carriers offered mostly point-to-point flights! It´s also very doubtful hat this kind of system will work for any major airline nowadays!
People are always in a hurry and wanna get from point A to B as fast as possible, without flying through C, D, X, Y, Z...

L1011Lover


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12104 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3438 times:
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With the new jets coming on line I think the trend for point to point flights will continue and grow. Even if only once or twice a week, or even seasonally the demand is there for non hub flights.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1522 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days ago) and read 3370 times:

From the strict viewpoint of a route network, hub-and-spoke is indeed effiecient. However, if you factor in the the direct costs associated with hub/spoke ops (employee, facilities) and indirect costs (airfield delays/fuel consumption, inefficient usage of employees), the point-to-point model works much better.


With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineLhr001 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days ago) and read 3344 times:

Network -

This airlines are much more appealing to the passengers that live in non-hub destinantions such as

SMF
BOI
GEG
SNA
SAN
BNA
MSY

All of which have greatly risen in air traffic due to the likes of Southwest Airlines.

Hub and Spoke-

The American Airlines, way of thinking. It is a good conceot.. But not as convenienent for most passengers-

SMF-DFW-LGA
OAK-DFW-BOS
SEA-DFW-BWI
HNL-DFW-LAS

Airlines are seeing that flights that opt on a Network basis i.e. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Air Tran... usually offer more suitable connections, flight durations, and airfares!


User currently offlineJafa From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 782 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3258 times:

It should be clear that hub and spoke service is here to stay. It offers multiple frequencies to many many destinations for smaller markets. Point to point carriers have to rely on a large population bases. There is a need for both types of service, point to point and hub and spoke.

User currently offlineAA7573E From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

Aren't international flights, exclusive of the connections they offer to PAX, the absolute embodiment of point to point service?

Most airlines that claim to disavow the hub and spoke system, WN, Jet Blue and Air Tran - have at least one, if not more than one true hub in their system. I have always found it odd that WN has hubs at DAL, BWI, PVD, PHX, LAS, HOU and other aborts, yet they claim that the hub and spoke system is the downfall of the network carriers. How is this possible, when Southwest, by making PAX, flying from TPA to LAX, connect through HOU and El Paso, gives new life to the hub and spoke model? (routing was hypothetical, please don't break out the time tables to call me on the flight!)

Same thing with Jet Blue. I don't know much about the airline, but I know they have a huge hub at JFK and one at Long Beach. On the flip side of the coin, how about NWA, which is becoming more of a true integrated airline, through their endeavors at MKE, which are well documented on this site. At what point does their service at MKE cease being point to point, and start operating as a mini hub?? Where is the line drawn?

The point is, every airline, in some shape or form, uses the point to point and hub and spoke system. I suppose in time people will start to refer to it as THE system, since separating out the component parts and trying to put airlines in one category or the other, is becoming more and more difficult today.



See you up front!
User currently offlineProudtoflyaa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

Even with the use of regional jets, only markets of a certain size, and certain markets at that, can support a point-to-point route network. Through a hub system, many smaller communities are able to sustain a level of airline service that a point-to-point network could not give them.

User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6849 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3192 times:

Well, WN is not a hub and spoke in a pure sense...

Hub and spoke is to get as many people to go from any point to any point by collecting them and redistributing them at a hub... or collect them at one hub, mass transport them to another hub, then redistribute them again.

Unless WN start focuses on a market where they say you can fly from anywhere to anywhere via a particular city, I don't consider that as a pure hub and spoke system. If my "guess" is right, WN is still operating more on the point to point market system.

Point to point is to get people who want to fly from A to B. It means serving the market that is there for cities A and B. If city A is a megapolis, it could have heaps of routes from that city... because it is serving the needs of that city.

Is either one the perfect solution? No... Hubbing allows you to mass transport passengers from one end of the country to another through a hub or 2 hubs (in the case of the really small towns).

The joys of having a choice...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3183 times:

I think hub-and-spoke is better.

I was just on SWA's website, and is not possible to book a flight from Albany to Tulsa. I tried 1/7/04 through 1/10/04.

On aa.com I was able to find flights Albany to Tulsa with a connection in Chicago on 1/7/04 returning 1/10/04.

Of course, the O&D traffic between ALB and TUL? Probably 0.002%. But still, if I want to fly WN, I can't because they don't go there. But, then again, WN has done just fine without a central hub.


User currently offlineAA7573E From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3165 times:

I still contend that WN has a central hub, in point of fact they have a myriad of them. DAL, HOU and PHX,MDW just to name a few. They own those airports. I understand the point made by Mandala499, however to some degree I must disagree. I think that WN is becoming more hub and spoke rather than point to point.

As I said earlier, at what point do their operations at MDW or HOU cease being a major point to point service, and become hub and spoke? I went out to MDW the other day to pick up a friend, and more than 50% of the planes that I saw come in were WN. If that is not a hub, then what is. I know that volume of planes at a facility does not a hub make. However, the amount of cross trafficking and transfereing of PAX at locations like MDW, HOU and DAL is substantial....so much so that I look at them as hubs.



See you up front!
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3148 times:

However, the amount of cross trafficking and transfereing of PAX at locations like MDW, HOU and DAL is substantial....so much so that I look at them as hubs.

I concur. Look at B6. They say they have no hub, but 90% (guessing here) of their flights leave from JFK.


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3147 times:

I think point-to-point works better domestically

It's easy to think that living in a city such as LA, Chicago, New York, etc.

Try living in Topeka, KS and relying on pt to pt. It'd take you 3+ stops to do a transcon.


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6849 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

AA7573... true... There's nothing wrong with a Hub-and-Spoke system, or mixing it with Point-To-Point... I was trying to explain the conceptual difference. What's becoming a problem is mega-hubbing.

Yes, MDW, HOU and DAL are literally hubs...

As for B6 hubbing at JFK, well, it's logical... they're based there Big grin What would be interesting to know is the proportion of OD and transfer markets of B6 in JFK...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineExpressjetphx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3065 times:

I wonder why WN doesn't consider PHX a hub. 22 gates doesn't seem like a point-to-point city to me. I also believe that Kansas City is somewhat of a 'hub' for WN, along with MDW, HOU, DAL, LAS, PVD, BWI.

User currently onlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 903 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3003 times:

Well, it seems to me SWA has slowly moved from a pure point-to-point, to a mix of P2P and Spoke and Hub. What I often ponder is, is there an opportunity for the network carrier to being more P2P.

Here what I often think - (now these city pairs are pure fiction, so, try and avoid the "Those cities would never support that traffic" - these are only a starting point.)
--------
Let's say AA flys RIC to DFW 3X daily for S&H service. Now, let's take a look at RIC top O&D and say, ATL is in the top three and BNA is in the top 15.

AA now take ones of the the RIC flights and route it RIC-ATL-DFW.

At the same time, AA takes a ATL-ORD route and routes it ATL-BNA-ORD. This flight is timed with the RIC flight.

This now gives AA RIC pax the opportunity to fly N/S to ATL, connect in ATL to BNA. AA ATL pax now have n/s to BNA.

Well, anyway, If you can understand the above, what do you think? A possibility for the networks??
-------





DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineL1011Lover From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 989 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (10 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

I don´t think, that this really would be a possibility for the major carriers! As I mentioned before, it might work well, for the LCC´s, but not for the "Big 6"!!!
Just imagine how, complicated and costly it could, and probably would be, to connect passengers through other airports than the major hubs!
Why should the airlines do this, when they´re able to run a fast, efficient and convenient hub.
These hubs, allow passengers to make fast and easy connections!
And the airlines have everything there that´s needed for a trouble free and smooth operation! Personell, facilities, aircrafts... the list goes on and on!
Just imagine what trouble it would cause when one aircraft flying a point-to-point connecting service breaks down anywhere far away from the airlines base/hub city...
For a hub airline this would mean finding one replacement aircraft! But for a point-to-point carrier??? Then getting passengers from 4/5 different cities to their final destination could be a difficult and costly task!!!
And there is more and more which makes point-to-point unefficient for carriers such as AA, UA, DL, NW, US, CO...
Anyway they still do offer some point-to-point flights both domestically and internationally, but that is probably mostly just on-going services or O&D traffic, but very little (probably none) connecting passengers!
And that is what it´s all about these days: CONNECTIONS! It´s even an airline slogan: "We´ve got connections" !
And as ConcordeBoy mentioned: "Try living in Topeka, KS"! Then you definetly wouldn´t be a friend of the point-to-point idea!!!

Best regards,

L1011Lover


User currently offlineAA54Heavy From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 189 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

To me, the connections that WN offers seem to be more of an afterthought from their point-to-point service, since they offer so many flights to diffferent destinations out of PHX, MDW or even LAS, of course the opportunity to connect is from one flight to another is there.

However, in my experience, connecting with WN is a b***h, atleast sometimes. Any time I have flown HP through PHX or AA through ORD or DFW the connections are timed very nicely, no more than perhaps 60 to 70 minutes until my connection flight to various destinations. However, when trying to go to some west coast cities not offerred n/s or direct from TUS on WN, I would have to wait for like 3 or 4 hours in LAS or LAX to catch a connecting flight since their flights aren't timed nicely for connections...don't know where I was going with this but just wanted to input something



Roger that, turning to our "other" left
User currently offlineAvion346 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (10 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2779 times:

As an addition, what about applying point-to-point on intercontinental routes? Is hub-and-spoke more appropriate for such operations?

User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1522 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

As mentioned in the previous posts, WN surely has airports with hub-like characteristics. Surely a place like PHX with multiple gates and multiple routes would appear to constitute true hubbing. However, a couple of other considerations would be scheduling and the proportion of O & D pax to connecting pax. And in WN's case, perhaps the fact that they do not have feeder services would negate their ops truly being defined as hub-and-spoke.




With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
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