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UA/US Airways Hubs  
User currently offlineThomacf From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 542 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1658 times:

I just want to know if this merger goes through which hubs will be shut down. It seems to me the Charlotte would stay connecting traffic north-south along the eastern half of the U.S. What do they plan to do with Philly, Dulles and JFK. They all handle international traffic for one or the other, but they seem so close to all be hubs. What about Pittsburgh. I read that this hub would be first to go. Being in between O'Hare and those three mentioned before, it seems that it would really serve no purpose. Plus the pop. of the Pittsburgh metro. area isn't all that big to support the current operation there. If this is true I could see Southwest invading Pitt.!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

From what I know-all hubs will remain in their current states, and expansions are going to occur in terms of flight. I am a PHL-based traveler, and I know that UA intends to add a couple of routes, the only significant one being PHL-Vancouver, BC, a route that I think was much needed here.

G.R.



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User currently offlineGolfhaus From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

From what we've been hearing, United won't shut down any of US's hubs. They can't shut down PIT because they need to keep it open to maintain the support of Pennsylvania legislators - they need all the help they can get in the political arena.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1599 times:

Obviously in the short-run they will keep all of the hubs open. UA has big plans for CLT, that is the real prize, to build it up as something that could be serious competition to ATL. I'd imagine they would have it the same size as ORD or DEN. What would happen to IAD, PHL, and PIT in the long run remains to be seen. JFK is not much of a hub and most traffic is O&D. Honestly I could actually see PHL as being the one to go. Flights to the other UA/US hubs would stay and maybe commuter service and the transatlantic flights would get divided up between CLT, IAD, and ORD.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineCNBC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

All the hubs will stay. They aren't going to free up spots so that some rival airline like American or Delta can start a full-fledged hub in the Northeast. Neither of the two airlines have one right now and UAL would love to keep it that way.

User currently offlineNY-JFK-LGA From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 374 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1590 times:

Well, its true that Delta doesn't have a full fledged hub up here in the northeast, but I would love to see it happen though. I must say though, that having a lot of service at LGA & JFK, Delta is pretty big here. I would say that NY is Delta's "home" in the northeast. I will forever hate United. So in NY, its my Delta & Continental that rule, and hopefully soon to be, my jetBlue also, heheh.


Bring back McDonnell Douglas & T W A!!
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

Dear All,

DesertJets is right--all hubs will stay in the short term. Wolf and Goodwin made a big deal about keeping US plans for a new maintenance hub in Pittsburgh, they definitely need to keep PA legislators and atty general happy.

Again, the merger is almost certain to be shot down by DOJ, but if it goes through give it a couple of years. If they have to *build* a maintenance facility at PIT just to get approval, it'll probably stay to recoup the cost. But I'd look for UA to build up IAD and PHL for their location and massive population bases, and CLT for its Atlanta-competitive location.

Despite its great runway layout and well-designed terminal Pittsburgh is the loser in this transaction. The hub there would go within five years. I doubt that any of the other majors would move in there; they all have commitments elsewhere. The only possibility among the majors I could see would be a move by Continental from Cleveland, with its hemmed-in airport, to hub-friendly PIT. But that would be a lateral move, not a growth move.

I'd also look for Southwest to come in and pick up the wreckage at PIT as one of you suggested--just as they did at BNA after AA shut down. But if Continental moved from CLE they'd probably not do it.

In any case, Senators Santorum and Specter should throw holy water at Steve Wolf and Jim Goodwin rather than believe a word they say. And fight the merger like hell.

Jim K.
Washington, DC



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1581 times:

This is probably another reason why this merger won't go through... I would just be a mess for many people and communities involved. Maybe United should just expand their n/s east coast network on their own and leave more choices for the flying public.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11275 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (13 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1578 times:

I actually believe that should the merger happen (which it won't) all hubs would stay indefinitely. The reason is, although there would be three hubs in a triangle 200 miles on a side, that area is very densely populated, and can easily support three hubs.

In addition, each has individual merits. Philly is a huge city, and makes great O/D. Charlotte is a great competitor to ATL, and is a burgeoning financial market. (Bank of America is there, for instance.) PIT is more than a very well designed airport. It also provides an excellent east-west hub. Do you realize that 50% of the US population lives east of PIT? (Guess where the other 50% lives.   ) On top of that, ORD is full. PIT still has a good bit of expansion left in it. Therefore, keeping both ORD and PIT would allow expansion in the transcon market that UA does not have much of now.



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User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1565 times:

As a resident of the Phildelphia-metropolitan area, and thus primarily flying out of PHL, this merger will have a big effect on me and my family, as we travel a lot. I went to UA's website, and they have a route map of new planned routes and PHL will be getting a lot if the merger goes through-here is the website
http://www.unitedairlines.com/site/primary/0,10017,2104,00.html

G.R.



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

They're gonna add BOS-NRT- Is that a high demand route up there-seems like it would be better suited for PHL or CLT

G.R..



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1557 times:

Dear All,

G.R.--Yes, Philly will get many new routes if United were to acquire US. That's because Philly is a huge city that is underserved on long routes, as US recognizes by adding new A330 transatlantic routes as fast as the planes come in. Somehow Philly got left behind in the big transcon/ transatlantic rush of growth in the late '90s and US and UA simply want to cash in on catching up. Which can be done without a merger.

DLX--that's about the only reason the PIT hub would stay, to relieve ORD. But Big Air management has consistently shut down hubs and overbuilt at a few places in the late '90s, all the while jacking fares even as they realize savings. History suggests that UA may not think as reasonably as you do.

DesertJets nails it again--UA should *Build their own East Coast hub* to expand their presence there. They have a great one at Dulles, with a huge population base and big business base to support all those 744s and 777s they already fly IAD-Europe. And maybe UA should add their *own* RJ flights between medium-sized Northeast cities and majors--eg SYR-LGA, ROC-BOS, BUF-PHL-if they want more traffic there!

Jim




Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

Thanks Jim,

Seriously with all that will be spent over the next 5-10 years with this merger, from the intial costs and capital outlay, to every possible thing that could happen until full intergration is reached they could spend that money and build Dulles. I believe IAD is only @ 130 flights a day... does this include Express or not? The money could be spent on accquiring more equipment, personel, etc etc.... Plus IAD, if built correctly could really take a lot of pressure out of O'Hare. Not only would it benefit from the rapidly growing communities in the Bal-Wash/N. VA corridor, it would also make an excellent connecting point for N/S traffic, and for points west. Does United fail to see this logic, or do they want the ready made hubs that Peidmont, Allegheny, Mohawk, and later USAirways have built at CLT, PHL, and PIT?



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineFlaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1270 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1530 times:

Many good points made above by all of you. I would like to expand upon something that DLX said about PIT though. All of the near term expansion proposed as a result of the merger is aimed at locking up the big East Coast population centers before the airspace surrounding them becomes saturated. Take a good look at the present situation at LGA. The same fate awaits PHL, IAD, BWI, EWR and possibly JFK in less than ten years. Although some of these facilities (especially IAD) have plenty of room to expand on the ground, they are all limited by congested and/or restricted airspace. It will be very difficult to fully realize the potential of these airports in the long term.

This brings me to my point about PIT. Admittedly, it does not figure largely in the near term plans. The second phase in the 5-10 year time frame would be quite different. PIT and CVG are positioned to benefit immensely from spillover traffic at ORD and the big East Coast airports. As delays continue to grow and slots become harder to obtain you will see the routes from ORD, IAD, PHL, JFK and EWR fill up with O&D passengers. Connecting traffic will spill to PIT, CVG and to a lesser extent CLE.

UA/US are attempting to positon themselves to completely dominate the Northeast. I expect them to sit on PIT until they have wrung the last bit of gravy from the other eastern hubs and then rapidly rebuild this city as a final nail in the coffin for their eastern plans.

All of this however is probably for naught. At one time I felt the merger had a very good chance of going through. Since then it has become a political football with every politician, industry exec and their mothers, brothers and sisters attempting to stick their fingers in the pie. This proposal is going to become so bogged down in red tape, testimony, and counter proposals that it wont be worth the bother for either company.

Look for UA to take the money they would have spent on the merger and build up IAD. US will continue plodding along and eventually either build up further west on their own or make an aquistion of TW or America West.


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11275 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1528 times:

UA mainline has around 130-150 flights daily. (Compared to about 70-80 on US.) UA Express (ACA really) is the biggie with over 250 flights a day... if you like J31s and J42s. Sure, they have RJs, but not so many of the flights are on them as on the puddlejumpers.

I disagree with the idea that IAD could relieve ORD. They are nearly 600 miles apart, and definitely service different markets. As you said, IAD could make an impressive East Coast N/S hub if UA ever got off their duff and made it so. But, it isn't so hot for E/W as it is too far east. No one likes flying east to get west. ORD is the mother of all E/W hubs, and obviously doesn't have that problem. (Possibly the only problem it doesn't have.   The two airports are very complementary.

To pick apart my own argument a bit, there are definite advantages to keeping as few hubs as possible, and concentrating everything at select hubs. The more flights landing and taking off an hour later, the larger your 'bank' is. A large bank of flights means that even the smallest of cities are given a very large number of destinations.

PIT would obviously suffer in a merger with UA (or AA for that matter) if not for the fact that ORD is full. PHL, IAD and CLT could survive harmoniously because of the density of the areas they serve. Remember, nobody wants to fly north to get south. DC Area folks will not like to connect in Philly to get to Florida. Philly Area folks will not like to connect in DC to get to Europe, etc. There are enough people imo living in this area that eliminating one of the three hubs would be a major annoyance, and would eat away at the customer base and route network that makes US so profitable.



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User currently offlinePitrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3176 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

As much as I like Pittsburgh, I don't think the city will benefit from this merger. Sure, it's a great airport, but an airline isn't going to expand at an airport just because it happens to have the room for it. The airlines seem to want to expand in the most profitable cities, whether the airport is congested or not. Look at New York La Garbage, the worst airport in the world. The airlines know it is congested but still want to add hundreds of flights. Anyway, back to PIT's fate, the fact is that Pittsburgh is the weakest of all the US/UA hub cities. Due to 50 years of unbelievably inefficient local government, and the most pathetic, embarrasing highway system (thanks PENNDot), manufacturing has left and big business has given up on Pittsburgh. It has slow job growth and is still losing population, which means little O&D traffic. The fact is British Airways left PIT and US Airways has not expanded here in ten years. In fact they had more mainline flights from the old terminal than the new one. Just today they anounced CLT would get 9 new regional jet flights, while US Airways Express is dropping the PIT - London, Ontario route.

I hope I'm wrong about the future of PIT.

By the way, does anyone know why a US Airways regional jet has never touched PIT yet?



FLYi
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1511 times:

Dear All,

Flaps--I'd look for exactly what you predict to happen if and when the merger fails: UA will spend some of that money building up IAD. The only weakness of IAD--and I suspect this is one reason why United has mysteriously not exploited IAD more--is that it is further south than ideal to catch intra-Northeast traffic.

PHL is far north enough that the company travel officer in Buffalo or Ithaca can convince a salesman to connect there to get to, say, Long Island or Providence. That's not a ton of travelers to be sure, but I suspect it figures in UA's strange behavior re IAD.

But IAD is very well positioned to handle N-S traffic, and as Atlantic Coast gets rid of those awful Junkstream props (which, as one of you noted, they still have an awful lot of) United may well spend a lot of mergerbucks on making it an East coast powerhouse. The merger proposal is evidence of how badly United wants to get into the act in the East.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
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