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Who Started "Hub And Spoke" System  
User currently offlineToksans From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9729 times:

We are hearing the argument between "hub and spoke" and "point to point" operation recently. But I wonder who actually developed "hub and spoke" system.
Mel Olsen, who developed American Airlines "hub and poke" system, experienced it already at Atlanta in 1972.
However, FedEX seems to have it at this time, in 1972, at their Memphis.
I would appreciate if anyone clarify it.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyMIA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9676 times:

I pretty sure it was Fed Ex who created it.
Good question. I am sure someone can answer it a little bit better.

Sorry about the doulb post my browser went to far back.

[Edited 2005-06-09 04:44:10]

User currently offlineTinPusher007 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9596 times:

Delta was the first pax airline to start hub and spoke ops out of none other than ATL. This is according to an article I read in Airways or Airliners magazine...can't remember which one.

User currently offlineN867BX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9587 times:

I think Al Gore invented the hub and spoke system.

User currently offlineCkfred From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9586 times:

I've always been under the impression that it was DL. If you were on DL's 6am departure out of Augusta, GA for ATL, you could be anywhere on the DL route map, east of the Mississippi River, for a breakfast meeting and anywhere west of the Mississippi for lunch.

User currently offlineWorldXplorer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9577 times:

Quoting N867BX (Reply 4):
I think Al Gore invented the hub and spoke system.

 rotfl   rotfl  Hahahah! That is one of the best ones I've heard around here lately.

WorldXplorer


User currently offlineKnope2001 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9569 times:

The hub & spoke system existed way back in the 1950's, with two of the largest and most coordinated "banked" hubs being Delta in Atlanta and United in Chicago.

A few things made hub & spoke more pronounced in the 80's after deregulation:

(1) Carriers were allowed to fill in gaps at their hub city. In the regulated days, even a comparably large-scale hub like United at O'Hare lacked flights to key "spoke" cities. For example, United didn't get to have flights from their Chicago hub to Atlanta (Delta, Eastern & Northwest), Cincinnati (Delta & American) Dallas (American & Braniff) Houston (Braniff & Delta) Kansas City (Braniff & TWA), Phoenix (TWA & American), any Florida city (Delta, Eastern 7 Northwest) and several additional cities. When deregulation came, United and other hub airlines could quickly fill these long-desired missing spoke routes.

(2) Under regulation, airlines were required to serve money-losing markets and routes, many of which were linear "milk runs". Over the decades the big airlines slowly shed some of these, but deregulation gave them the chance to really get out of these markets and focus on their profitable core cities.

(3) Under regulation, routes were awarded in fits and starts over the course of years. So until about 1980 many airlines had small smatterings of point-to-point routes in many different areas. Deregulation let them concentrate on key focus cities and dump peripheral routes to other airlines. This help airlines to naturally become very hub-focused after deregulation.

(4) Code-sharing regional airline deals and the end of widespread interlining really forced airlines to chose a few select cities to focus on. It used to be that someone flying from, say, Omaha to Louisville would fly United to Chicago and then Delta to Louisville with a joint fare between the two airlines. When United started flying Chicago-Louisville themselves, suddenly all the traffic bound for Louisville from places like Omaha, Des Moines, Lincoln, Grand Rapids, etc flying United into Chicago stopped feeding the Delta flights to Louisville in favor of the on-line connection with United's Louisville flights. Hubs and connecting traffic became very much polarized, and so point-to-point routes outside of the hub & spoke system quickly dwindled.

The hub & spoke system definitely became more popular and pronounced in the 80's after deregulation. But it did clearly existed decades earlier.


User currently offlineCommavia From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9500 times:

Quoting N867BX (Reply 4):
I think Al Gore invented the hub and spoke system.

Classic, simply classic. ROTFLMAO.

Anyway, as to who "invented" hub and spoke, the answers are a bit illusive, IMHO. The first "hubs" probably appeared in the 1970s, but true hubs -- in today's sense of the word -- with millions of flights, to millions of cities, tons of gates, tons of people, etc., probably didn't really happen until the 1980s in the post-deregulation environment. I think Braniff deserves a lot of the credit for developing the modern hub as we now know it. Their DFW hub was probably the first hub in the today's sense of the word, with 727s coming in from every landing strip within 1000 miles connecting to other 727s going everywhere else. All the other airlines ran with the hub and perfected it, and today it is undergoing somewhat of an evolution as more and more airlines that can are moving their hubs to a depeaked, non-banked hub schedule model pioneered on a large-scale first by AA in ORD and then in DFW.


User currently offlineMariner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9429 times:

I always thought it was an adaptation of the European system.

Since, in the early days, each European country had it's own airline, they flew spokes from their capital, their hub. KLM at Amsterdam, for example.

The concept of connecting flights at that hub was at least a basic concept.

And didn't Pan Am do this decades ago at Miami when they bought Panagra?

Or maybe I am very wrong.

cheers

mariner


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9394 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 9):
And didn't Pan Am do this decades ago at Miami when they bought Panagra?

Minor point: Didn't Braniff buy Panagra?


User currently offlineMariner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9384 times:

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 10):
Minor point: Didn't Braniff buy Panagra?

Eventually.

http://www.panamair.org/History/earlydays.htm

cheers

mariner


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9296 times:

Hub and spokes were in existence for a long time prior to deregulation. TWA operated one in Kansas City in the 1930's, and later at Chicago, St. Louis and New York. Pan Am operated it's first real hub in Honolulu also before the jet age (the Miami "hub" was not really for connecting Pan Am to Pan Am flights but spokes out to the Caribbean and South America). Eastern was hubbing in Atlanta long before it was a flicker in Delta's eyes.

TWA 1935: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2...ps/TWA%20Compressed/*TWmap3508.jpg

TWA 1948: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2...mpressed/TWmap%20COMPOSITE4803.jpg

Pan Am 1948: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2...mpressed/PAmap%20COMPOSITE4812.jpg

Eastern 1936: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2...astern%20Compressed/EA3605-map.jpg

Compare to:

Braniff 1953: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2.../Braniff%20Compresse/BNmap5301.jpg

Delta 1946: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2.../Delta%20Compressed/*DLmap4607.jpg

United 1955: http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%2...Maps/UA%20Compressed/UAmap5511.jpg

etc. etc. etc.

Cheers.


User currently offlineODAFZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9295 times:

Just another historical fact, Middle East Airlines (MEA) was instrumental in establishing a Hub & Spoke system in Beirut in the early seventies. The morning wave coming from the Gulf states would connect to the dense European destinations served by the company (daily flights to ATH,ORY,LHR,FCO) and the evening wave coming from Europe would connect to the Middle East and Gulf destinations (daily flights to JED, CAI, AMM, BAH, DOH,...). It was an extremely bold and innovative approach which allowed the company to be extremely profitable during the early seventies

User currently offlineMariner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9249 times:

Um - I think we probably need some definition of hub and spoke here.

A number of airlines in other countries were running effective hub and spoke way back when.

MEA is quoted above in the early 70's, but in 1952, my father worked for a BOAC subsidiary, Arab Airways (Jerusalem) Ltd., based in Amman, Jordan.

They ran services from Cairo, Aden, jeddah, Baghdad, Damsacus, Beirut, Aqaba - and Jerusalem. It was, to all intents and purposes, hub and spoke, especially in the case of Jerusalem.

In those days, it was the only way to fly from Jerusalem (east) to other places in the Middle East. Flights were scheduled to leave Jerusalem and arrive in Amman in time to connect with some of the flights to Cairo, Beirut, etc.

It was enormously popular with tourists/pilgrims going to Jerusalem as, in those days, many of the most holy places were on the Jordan side.

There was a competitor airline, Air Jordan, which was part owned by TWA, that was doing much the same thing.

cheers

mariner


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9236 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 14):
Um - I think we probably need some definition of hub and spoke here

Mariner, you know you're really asking a lot, lol. Wasn't Job's Dilemma the difference between a hub and a "focus city"?


User currently offlineMariner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9223 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 15):
Wasn't Job's Dilemma the difference between a hub and a "focus city"?

I'm so glad you posted that!

I've been getting myself into some hot water over what is - and what is not - a hub. Or a focus city.

People have been swearing to me - at me - that Southwest, for example, does not have hubs.

Well, some of 'em sure look like hubs to me. A lot of planes arrive at one airport, people change planes (or stay put) and all those planes fly off to other airports.

But no, they tell me, a hub is defined by whether it banks. Or what the percentage of O&D as opposed to connecting traffic is. Or - I don't know.

I give up. I think Southwest hubs. People can swear at me at - to me - that they don't, and I'll agree.

But I won't believe them.  Smile

cheers

mariner


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9215 times:

(Pssst. Southwest hubs.) They began running hubs the day they started allowing people to check luggage through to their final destination, as long as it was on another Southwest flight. The difference is that supposedly each flight in and out of said Southwest hub has to be profitable as a standalone point-to-point service, not just as a feeder to the hub, or they'll drop it.

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