FedExDC-10 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 196 posts, RR: 3 Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4419 times:
I'm an aeronautical science major and am writing a research paper on hub airports and the impact that hub status has on the local community. I have tentatively chosen to analyze Nashville (BNA) and its evolution from an American hub through closure and onto Southwest's current dominance.
I need information for the paper and I turn to the best resource I know of, my fellow a.net'ers LOL. Any guidance that you could give me would be great, especially on the subject of AA's hub (Timetables, destination cities, history, etc.) I am finding that this information is reasonably difficult to come by so any help, guidance, links, or suggestions that you folks could offer (both on AA and Southwest) will be GREATLY appreciated.
FedExDC-10 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 196 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4387 times:
Oh I forgot to mention one thing. It may go without saying, but just for clarification, I'm also interested in information regarding Eagle's ops there during that time period, so if anyone could offer guidance finding information on that it would also be greatly appreciated.
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4320 times:
I'll offer what I can though not sure on some dates - I'm in the process of moving so all my timetables are packed up. You can look on departedflights.com for timetables, etc. I do know the hub open around early 86, when the terminal was still on the west side of the airfield. Several temporary gates and jetbridges were built over there. The new terminal on the east side was planned and built along with runway 2R/20L and 2C/20C extended. Concourse C has 25 gates, and all were dedicated to AA's use. The concourse was built in a sort of "crooked elbow" design to minimize connecting distances for pax although it wasn't all so pleasant for O&D pax, especially if you were using the 20's gates. Concourse D was a short one used for Eagle flights, although at it's zenith, Eagle also operated out of gates on concourse B.
There were six connecting banks, three in each direction. It sort of started out as a north/south directional hub but when RDU opened, AA made it "omni-directional" (their words, for whatever they meant it). IIRC, at it's peak, mainline had about 135 daily departures, mostly 727's and M80's. A rare DC10 made an appearance, but very rare. Eagle flew pretty much everything they owned at one time or another. EM2, SWM, SF3, ATR, J31. Of course no RJ's then. They also flew around 130-140 departures a day. The only international flights were to Toronto, San Juan (some could argue it's not international, but...for a short time only) and in 1994 they flew n/s to LGW with a 763. That lasted maybe a year. By then, EA had died and AA had swooped into MIA, realized hubs at BNA and RDU were expendable. Mainline drew down, replaced by Eagle - I flew a couple Saab flights, one to JAX and one to PIT. Long flights on that plane back then. I don't recall the exact date they officially announced the hub dead. The only services they left were to the ORD and DFW hubs; their long standing service to LGA and LAX. MIA service was reinstated and a few years ago, DCA flights returned, another route AA had flown since the 60's.
As for WN, I'll let someone else fill in that piece. Hope any of this helps, I think I got it all close!
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10225 posts, RR: 62 Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4278 times:
Skyy summed up a lot of the operations well. BNA was a great hub to go through in those days - I remember flying through the hub as a kid coming back to Texas from the northeast - it was calm, convenient, not as crazy as, say, ORD or certainly JFK/LGA.
The hub officially opened in 1985, along with Raleigh and San Juan. This was during the height of the 1980s "Growth Plan" years. Essentially, Crandall got all of the mainline unions on AMR property (APA, APFA, TWU) to agree to "B-scales," a revolutionary concept for the time that has now long since done away with because it basically - in time - destroyed the backbone of the whole union concept. It meant that, for that time, the existing union employees at AMR would continue to get paid their inflated regulation-era compensation, but new workers brought in would be paid at new, lower "B-scales." Obviously, this was an enormous boost to AMR's bottom line, and lowered their labor costs substantially, making it possible for Crandall to commit to massive amounts of new aircraft spurred by the lower operating costs. (Virtually every other airline in the United States soon tried to get their unions to go along with "B-scales" to mixed success - it was part of why United's pilots did their infamous 1985 walkout.)
As such, Crandall had planes (MD80s) arriving at the rate of, believe it or not, 1-2 per week. They were coming in so fast he didn't know what to do with them all, and AMR began looking at opening up other U.S. hubs to develop traffic and take some of these planes, as it was obvious that neither DFW nor ORD could handle all of this new capacity alone. They determined that BNA and RDU would both be viable hubs in the eastern U.S., serving different markets. BNA was primarily the southeastern U.S. hub, linking lots of smaller cities in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, etc. to other AA hubs and major cities throughout the central and eastern U.S. (BNA did also have a nonstop link to LAX, and for a few years, LGW, too, and possibly LAS, but most of the BNA hub flights stayed east of the Rockies.) The hub worked well at serving its purpose - it was a great alternative to ATL and CLT if you were going to a lot of smaller cities in the region.
RDU was intended more as a hub for eastern-seaboard north-south traffic. Most of the hubs traffic was generated by linking up many major cities in the northeast (just about every big one you could name) with big destinations in Florida and, to a lesser extent, other large and small southeastern U.S. cities.
A few things led to the downfall of both hubs, and BNA especially. RDU began to collapse around 1994-1995 (ultimately closed in 1995) because, once AA bought the MIA hub from Eastern in 1990, there was no longer a need to shuttle people from the northeast to Florida over RDU. AA's own flights were now overflying RDU anyway and getting people to MIA/Florida nonstop. Second, with the economic downturn and air travel collapse (seems almost comical to call it that now, in hindsight, considering what post-9/11 was like), AA had to cut capacity in a big way, and it was easy to sacrifice two marginal hubs in RDU and BNA, as they certainly weren't going to touch DFW or ORD.
As for BNA specifically, some claim that Crandall's spat with the airport authority (to keep the hub, he demanded totally free landing fees, and they refused) was a contributor to their departure. I personally don't buy this, though. I think the hub was on its way out anyway and this was just a last-ditch effort to stave off the inevitable. AA had tried to make the hubs work, but it just wasn't going to be feasible: the hubs were competing with each other, which is not a good strategy when you're an airline. BNA was largely covering the same traffic flows that DFW and ORD could already handle, albeit as a reliever, just as RDU was now handling traffic that MIA was already taking over. In that environment, it just wasn't necessary to keep a BNA hub just for the 10-15 points in the southeast that it served exclusively (many of which, ironically, are now once again seeing AA/Eagle service for the first time in decades due to the Delta DFW pullout and ensuing AA/Eagle DFW-southeast expansion.)
So, in summary, here's what I'd say about BNA. It was a great hub from a customer service standpoint, and for its time, it did serve an important purpose in plugging many smaller cities in the region into the global AA network. However, long-term, it probably was not ever really viable as a legacy airline hub: the market there is just not big enough to support the type of hub AA wanted to use it for, and it was a small hub trying to tread water while basically doing about the same thing as two much, much larger hubs (DFW/ORD). AA definitely gave it a shot: they built the entire Concourse C, they added the London flights, etc., but they soon recognized that there was a compelling enough case for having a full-blown hub at BNA.
So, the hub was drawn down (I think either 1994 or 1995, like RDU) to just a regular spoke, although, just like with RDU, you still see the remnants of the hub there - they're unavoidable. For years after the pullout, even up until I believe about 1999, Eagle was still flying 3x daily SAABs BNA-RDU and rotating them back up to JFK. The London and hub flights might have disappeared, but even today, AA still maintains a sizeable schedule at BNA: nonstops to LaGuardia and LAX, plus the obligatory DFW/ORD/MIA. They also now have Eagle flights to DCA that were put in to bribe Tennessee's congressional delegation to vote against repealing the Wright Amendment, but apparently they're actually doing not bad. AA still uses the same hub-designed concourse it had then, now shared with Southwest. Nashville still has (back - it closed for a while) an Admirals Clubs, while there are AA stations larger than BNA that don't.
In the final analysis, I think BNA really did get a good deal. Sure, they lost the AA hub, but they have done just fine with Southwest there, which - much like in RDU and many other cities - came in after the hub pullout of the legacy carrier and picked up the pieces and reinvigorated the market. BNA is now a hub of sorts for Southwest, one of it's busiest stations, and still a great place overall!
FedExDC-10 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 196 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4202 times:
Wow! Thanks for that great information. That's exactly along the lines of what I'm looking for. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, do you happen to know any net or print sources for this so I can document access to it as hard information? And does anyone know how I could find out how many people AA employed at BNA during that time?
Thanks again, and by all means keep it coming if anyone has anything else.
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4129 times:
I think had the RJ's been around in significant numbers during the days of the BNA/RDU hubs, one may have survived on a scale such as CLE is for CO, or MEM for NW - a few dozen mainline flights and the rest regional jets. Obviously RDU got back some of their lost service after the collapse of Midway, and Nashville benefited from WN's expansion. One thing I do recall was that when the BNA-London flight was faltering, the city of Nashville tried to persuade the feds to allow the city/MNAA to purchase the route authority rather than have it awarded to a specific airline. That plan obviously never happened. Also, before WN began their buildup, a number of local investors attempted to raise capital to form "Nashville Air" and had already selected the A320 as it's aircraft of choice. That one too we all know what happened, and as they say, the rest is history.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10225 posts, RR: 62 Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4101 times:
Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 6): I think had the RJ's been around in significant numbers during the days of the BNA/RDU hubs, one may have survived on a scale such as CLE is for CO, or MEM for NW - a few dozen mainline flights and the rest regional jets.
I think that BNA or RDU, though probably not both simultaneously for the same airline, would have each probably made a good RJ hub a la AA/STL, DL/CVG, CO/CLE, etc. Of the two, I must say, I think RDU probably has the stronger fundamentals, and would have made the better RJ hub, because of its location further east, but I think that it is definitely true that RJs would have gone a long way towards help one or both of these cities retain more a hub-like service level from AA back in the early 1990s.
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4048 times:
Quoting Indy (Reply 8): 11,000 daily? Is that right? On 408 daily departures? 27 passengers per? One of the numbers has to be wrong. Right?
No, there's an error there. That 408 figure is all movements, arrivals and departures, not sure what month they are quoting, but, if I counted right - the totals for departures in November are: (for statistical purposes, I count anything not made by Boeing, Airbus or McDD as mainline, everything else RJ)
Air Canada Jazz = 2 - RJ
American = 30 - 15 mainline, 15 RJ
Continental = 16 - all RJ
Delta = 19 - 4 mainline, 15 RJ
Frontier = 3 mainline
JetBlue = 3 (going away in January)
Midwest = 4 RJ
Northwest = 12 - 8 mainline, 4 RJ
Southwest = 84 mainline
United = 10 all RJ
US Airways = 18 - 4 mainline, 14 RJ (2 PIT flights go away in Jan)
If I count correctly, thats 201 departures, 402 daily movements. I beleive WN has a couple more flights to add in the spring but no other announcements I know of. We can also brag that we have 6x weekly China Cargo 744F's!
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4011 times:
Quoting Indy (Reply 10): 402 movements makes a lot more sense than what the article had. An average of 54 passengers per flight is a realistic number.
That daily pax number looks way off too. According the the official airport website, (the latest figures are for 2004 for some reason), the airport handled 8.6 million pax. (I'm sure it's higher now) That averages to over 23,000 a day. Again thats in and out, still close to your 54 figure. We all here on a.net know the media isn't exactly correct on a lot of it's facts when it comes to airports and airlines.
EMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9292 posts, RR: 12 Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3709 times:
Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 9): If I count correctly, thats 201 departures, 402 daily movements
That is still low if your including the Air China 747F..... don't forget about the FedEx 727 and MD-11, the DHL 727.. and all the other cargo planes that run through during the off hours. BNA is a busy little airport. It's funny though.. I can just about set my watch by aircraft departures. I get to the airport at 0530, and like clock work the first outbounds start leaving at about 0620... and the first inbound at about 0645
[Edited 2007-11-11 06:45:46]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
I find it interesting that Southwest started up Nashville in 1986;
The following cities/frequencies for BNA are the average flights a day for a year; so weekdays are averaged in with weekends, etc. If Southwest opened up a new route with 2x frequency in the middle of the year, it will be listed below as 1x frequency for the entire year.
HOU 3x; MDW 3x
BHM 2x; HOU 4x; MDW 5x; PHX 1x
BHM 3x; DET 1x; HOU 4x; MDW 5x; PHX 2x
BHM 4x; DET 2x; HOU 4x; MDW 6x; PHX 2x
identical to 1989.
BHM 3x; HOU 3x; MDW 7x; PHX 2x (I double-checked this. Yes, there was a reduction in flights.)
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3615 times:
Quoting EMBQA (Reply 18): That is still low if your including the Air China 747F..... don't forget about the FedEx 727 and MD-11, the DHL 727.. and all the other cargo planes that run through during the off hours. BNA is a busy little airport. It's funny though.. I can just about set my watch by aircraft departures. I get to the airport at 0530, and like clock work the first outbounds start leaving at about 0620... and the first inbound at about 0645
Yeah, I'm not sure I've ever been at the airport when any of those birds are on the ground. I do frequently see the China 744 taking off on one of the 2's climbing out, as they are around 0700-0900 time frame. I'm still surprised FedEx flies in, I'd assume they'd truck everything to MEM - or do they fly to another hub also? Do we get UPS or do they truck to SDF?
I'd forgotten about those little Fokkers. I used to see them alot when I'd fly in. I think I was also wrong on the LGW flight, for some reason I thought it was a 767-300, but now that I think of it, I do beleive it was indeed a 200.
Lexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2362 posts, RR: 9 Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3615 times:
I think (including the new frequencies out of BNA to MSY and FLL) WN's total number of departures would be around 87 or so today. I may be off on that, but then again who knows. But I believe it would be best to describe the growth that WN has put into BNA as that of slow and calculated growth. A perfect model for their business model.
Lexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2362 posts, RR: 9 Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3606 times:
Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 21): I'm still surprised FedEx flies in, I'd assume they'd truck everything to MEM - or do they fly to another hub also? Do we get UPS or do they truck to SDF?
UPS trucks to SDF and to their ground hub in North Nashville. FX flies to MEM and IND from here. The 727 is overnight express runs to MEM and the MD-11 is overnights to IND. BNA is a reliever for the two hubs (MEM primarily) according to the FX spoksperson that was at the facilities opening last year.
According to FX, they had wanted in this market for some time and just didn't have the land available to get it done. Now that the airport freed that land up for them to build on, FX came in and took a considerable chunk out of the landscape with their sorting facility here.
To date these are the only all-cargo carriers at BNA:
China Airlines Cargo: Boeing 744F
FedEx Express: McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and Boeing 727 (Occasional A300/310)
DHL: Boeing 727(occasional DC9 add-on)
Capital Cargo: Boeing 727
ATI: (Doglas DC8) Occasional visitor, but not regular
Kitty Hawk used to fly here two or three times a night, but we all know what happened to them unfotunatly.
SkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3584 times:
Quoting Lexy (Reply 22): I think (including the new frequencies out of BNA to MSY and FLL) WN's total number of departures would be around 87 or so today. I may be off on that, but then again who knows. But I believe it would be best to describe the growth that WN has put into BNA as that of slow and calculated growth. A perfect model for their business model.
That makes sense. The total of 84 I listed shows the 3 additions they announced back during the summer. If I'm not mistaken, WN's high was 88 departures, so we're almost back to that level!
Quoting Lexy (Reply 23): UPS trucks to SDF and to their ground hub in North Nashville. FX flies to MEM and IND from here. The 727 is overnight express runs to MEM and the MD-11 is overnights to IND. BNA is a reliever for the two hubs (MEM primarily) according to the FX spoksperson that was at the facilities opening last year.
Thanks for the FYI.
25 Lexy: We are very close to that now. THANK GOD! My pleasure. One of my coworkers is a former UPS guy from here in town. Plus, UPS is my company's main carr
26 AAR90: RDU was a N/S hub carrying traffic along the east coast. It did well (not outstanding) until AA purchased the MIA operation. Within 2 months we went
27 Tommy767: I flew LGA-RDU on a F100 in November 1993. My family and I continued onto PBI with an S80. The return was PBI-RDU on the S80 and an evening flight fr
28 ERJ170: Even though AA pulled out of RDU and dehubbed and built up MIA and closed up BNA.. I still wish AA would offer intra-MidAtlantic service from RDU on t
29 Simairlinenet: This will be useful: http://web.archive.org/web/200502050...biz.free.fr/Networks/AABNARDU.html
30 Commavia: " target=_blank>http://web.archive.org/web/200502050....html Thank you!!! I've been trying to find this article/website for a while. Does anyone know
31 ERJ170: Did BNA lose their local service on American after RegionsAir pulled out or was their local service already dismantled with the hub-loss?
32 Flight209: Speaking of runway work at BNA during the AA hub era, I think remember 13/31 being lengthened so that AA could fly the B762ER to LGW with suffiicient
33 Cubsrule: 3C flew BNA-STL, BNA-TRI, and BNA-ATL up until fairly recently (some time in 2005 maybe). BNA-ATL had a major corporate contract supporting it (BellS
34 EMBQA: BNA had F100 service up until nearly the very last days of American F100 service. I thought I heard one of the very last F100 flights came from Nashv
35 Simairlinenet: You can just use that link to access most of the site...or archive.org itself.
36 SHUPirate1: FYI, as of December 15, 1989, American had 145 flights (88 mainline, 57 Eagle) to and from Nashville, to and from 49 airports. (ATL, AVL, BHM, BOS, BT
37 SkyyMaster: " target=_blank>http://web.archive.org/web/200502050....html I think SHUPirate covers it better, the destinations on this map/list are incomplete. The
38 N702ML: Here we go.... Effective August 31, 1986: Asheville 3x (via Eagle) Baton Rouge 3x Birmingham 3x Boston 3x Chattanooga 3x Chicago O'Hare 3x Cincinnati
39 Ckfred: One good source of informaiton would be AMR annual reports from the early and mid 80s, when the hubs were being created. I remember there being a fair
40 N702ML: Effective April 4, 1993: Asheville 5x (via Eagle) Atlanta 4x (via Eagle) Augusta, GA 3x (via Eagle) Baltimore 3x Baton Rouge 3x Birmingham 3x Blooming
41 EXAAUADL: What hurt RDU the most was US Air....for instance AA's flights to LGA/BOS/DCA ddint depart until say 9am, after the arrivals from Florida and the rest
42 EXAAUADL: OAG Dec 1989 Arriving From Airline Flight Departs Arrives Meal Equipment Frequency Asheville, NC American Eagle AA 4627 7:30am 7:45am SWM Daily Ashevi