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Which Hubs In The USA Are Most Vunerable?  
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7808 posts, RR: 25
Posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12760 times:

I would love to hear everyones thoughts as to which hubs in the USA are the most vunerable because of the economic climate here. This thread is open for discussion on any hub or focus city of any major carrier in the USA (LAX, SFO, SEA, PDX, ORD, MSP, DTW, CVG, MEM, DFW, IAH, ATL, MIA, IAD, DEN, SLC, PHX, LAS, EWR, JFK, BOS, etc.).


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74 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCAL764 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12734 times:

IAH is an example...When Rita hit, the climate affected the economic's. Sorry, I saw the thread title, and that's what came to mind.


1. Fly to Win 2. Fund Future 3. Reliability 4. Work Together CO: Work Hard, Fly Right...
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11972 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12715 times:

If we're talking about which hub markets are most "vulnerable," or most susceptible to the current economic downturn, I suppose it is logical to start with which major cities in the U.S. are having the hardest time.

That pretty much leads us to the Northeast, the Rust Belt, California, Florida and Arizona. These high-tax, low-growth, real estate-busted, union-dominated economies are being hit hardest by the recession because they have the weakest economic fundamentals (Northeast and Rust Belt) and/or have suffered the most severe swings in real estate values (especially California, Arizona and Florida).

Now, that being said, this isn't a hard and fast rule, since, for example, AA's Miami hub continues to grow - while the rest of the airline is shrinking - at that airline's hub has incredibly strong fundamentals. Similarly, JetBlue shows no signs of slowing down in JFK, and Southwest seems to be doing just fine in Phoenix, for example.

The hubs that will likely tend to weather this storm the best from my perspective are, not surprisingly, tied to the urban areas that are weathering this storm the most. That means, generally speaking, the South. The three biggest and strongest hubs in this region - Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston - will most likely do just fine in this climate relative to other major hubs. These metro areas are low-tax, low-cost, pro-business and have very strong economic fundamentals.


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12691 times:

We'll leave Southwest out of the picture, as they do not have hubs in the traditional sense.

LAS is no longer a hub for USAirways, so that one is pretty much gone.

CVG and MEM have been discussed here quite a bit, and I will not be surprised either way if they are built up or dismantled. I lean more towards dismantling, but I have no insight.

LAX is not a "hub" for anyone, but one of the highest O&D airports in the world. UA And AA will continue to have small connectivity operations from around California, but that's it.

Of the remaining hubs you have mentioned, I think only Portland might see a shift from mainline to regional flying if Alaska downsizes.

SFO, SEA, ORD, MSP, DTW, DFW, IAH, ATL, MIA, IAD, DEN, SLC, PHX, EWR, & JFK maintain very high levels of O&D passengers and downsizing will be limited only to elimination of certain routes from those airports.

My two cents.



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User currently offlineMMEPHX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12622 times:

Given the catastrophic collapse in the real estate industry in Arizona along with an economy almost exclusively based on tourism and growth related industries such as construction with some jobs in that other basket case sector; finance. I would hazard a guess that the US hub in Phoenix is one of those at highest risk. Business traffic has never been strong out of Phoenix (compared to LAX, IAH, ORD, IAD etc.) and the reduction in leisure/convention traffic also has to hurt. US already took a fairly sizeable knife to capacity last Fall and I can see further cuts later this year if the recession continues as many expect.

If we use house prices as somewhat of a guide to relative strength of the economy the real estate market in Phoenix isn't even forecast to begin recovering until 2012 and that will be from a very low point. Could point to a lengthy duration in depressed air travel in Phoenix.

WN has the slight advantage of being perceived as the lower cost option to travel and (arguably) a better product than US Y class. So even though they have trimmed a bit and may further, I doubt we'll see a big withdrawal of WN from PHX. (there again I could be completely wrong!)


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months ago) and read 12622 times:



Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):
The three biggest and strongest hubs in this region - Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston - will most likely do just fine in this climate relative to other major hubs. These metro areas are low-tax, low-cost, pro-business and have very strong economic fundamentals.

I wonder how much of that is tied to the economy and how much is related to those being inherently strong hubs. How would DL's strategy at ATL or AA's strategy at DFW be different if Texas or Georgia had a Phoenix-type economy? You might see a few more cuts and a few fewer new destinations, but I'm not sure they'd look too much different.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineJM017 From Jamaica, joined Jun 2002, 1227 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12535 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
LAX is not a "hub" for anyone, but one of the highest O&D airports in the world. UA And AA will continue to have small connectivity operations from around California, but that's it.

UA considers LA a hub.

With DL and NW merging, I think that makes CVG vulnerable. I can't see both CVG and DTW being maintained.



"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3135 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12431 times:

I think the following are most vulnerable, in order of first to go:

CVG (DL) - DL has tried lots of things at CVG, but the hub just doesn't seem sustainable. Simplifares was tried and failed. They're currently reducing the number of banks, and also are tweaking the fares again. With poor performance and relatively close hubs at DTW, MSP, and ATL, I think this might be a goner.

MEM (DL) - This hub seems to be holding its own, but it's duplicative with other DL hubs and not much would be lost from a network standpoint if it were cut all together. However, there's little LCC competition so yields may be high.

STL (AA) - Having a reliever hub for ORD made sense at the time, but doesn't seem to make much now. We're past the era of connecting everyone through big hubs in small cities. Same problem we're seeing in CVG/MEM. There's a lot more point to point service now, and hubs of this size and nature struggle.

DEN (UA) - UA continues to hemorrhage cash, and DEN continues to be a weak spot. Not only is UA under severe attack from F9 and WN, but UA has had trouble expanding their international network from here. UA seems to be aiming more and more for premium pax, and with all the LCC competition and the lower yields (compared to bigger markets like SFO/ORD/IAD/LAX), it seems like DEN might be first to go if UA's financial performance doesn't improve.

DTW (DL) - This is a huge hub and has done well for NW, but with the impending economic crisis affecting Michigan especially, it may see some cuts. I emphasize "some cuts" ... I don't think it would go away entirely.

LAX (UA) - UA's strategy these days seems to be to cut back just about everywhere, and they've cut LAX a lot in the past year. I think at the first hint of a major AA/DL expansion, UA will abandon ship in LAX.

CLE (CO) - CLE serves a good purpose for CO as it stands now, but I could see it being cut if ties with UA continue to get closer (especially in the event of a merger).


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12388 times:



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 7):
MEM (DL) - This hub seems to be holding its own, but it's duplicative with other DL hubs and not much would be lost from a network standpoint if it were cut all together. However, there's little LCC competition so yields may be high.

STL (AA) - Having a reliever hub for ORD made sense at the time, but doesn't seem to make much now. We're past the era of connecting everyone through big hubs in small cities. Same problem we're seeing in CVG/MEM. There's a lot more point to point service now, and hubs of this size and nature struggle.

If these two are vulnerable, why haven't they been cut already? AA is eliminating AX, but rather than using that as an opportunity to pare STL down, they've replaced the AX flying with MQ nearly one-for-one.

Meanwhile, down I-55, DL has added several destinations at MEM, and as other cities bleed seats, it remains at a pretty steady size.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1299 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12313 times:

Since 9/11, we've seen large hubs at PIT (US), DFW (DL) and MDW (TZ) dismantled; STL (TW-AA) is on life support. Most other hubs and focus cities have seen capacity reductions from 25%-50% (in some cases, more); only a few have remained consistent or experienced growth. There's no doubt capacity will continue to be reduced as the economy slows and point-to-point flying grows, but how much further hub reductions can the legacy networks sustain?

DL will try to maintain all of its hubs, but if the economy crashes - or fuel soars again - CVG and MEM are sure to be downsized. CO has invested heavily in CLE -- which helps relieve EWR and fill a void within the Midwest -- but would relinquish it should it should CO consolidate with UA. And, of course, STL may finally hub in airline heaven. And I do agree PHX is subject to downsizing but it's still one of the few Western markets sustainable in providing hub-and-spoke service to many smaller communities. (Honorable mention: Midwest's MKE hub, should YX fold).

The remainder of our hub-and-spoke network just isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):
The hubs that will likely tend to weather this storm the best from my perspective are, not surprisingly, tied to the urban areas that are weathering this storm the most. That means, generally speaking, the South.

While very large and important business markets with significant amounts of O/D, ATL, IAH and DFW also dub as large transit hubs. Their central location and isolation from a large number of surrounding hubs/focus cities has much to do with their success. But all three seem tapped out for domestic growth opportunities (if economics remain favorable long term, some long RJ flying will return). And Texas is geographically challenged to be a leading intercontinental gateway.



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User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12268 times:

I'm going to go in the other direction and pick which are most stable:

ATL: strong economy, population is still growing and DL's growth there doesn't show signs of slowing much

DFW: This perennial powerhouse has seen tough economic conditions and recessions previously, however this time AA pretty much has the place to themselves. They will do just fine.

IAH: The Houston economy is not boom and bust anymore, the oil center has become the energy center which is more diversified and better able to weather the changing winds of the price of oil as well as the Politics of energy production. Add on top of that strong performance in Latin America and the IAH will be fine.

MIA: Still a lot of money flowing into Miami, especially from Latin America and Europe. AA's dominance will help them through.

MSP: it's in the Midwest but not the rust belt, economic crisis and foreclosures have not hit Minnesota that hard.

PHX: Population is still growing at a strong tick, with home prices coming down I see some smart baby boomers making the move to Warmer Climates like Phoenix and Tucson.

IAD: Big money flowing out of Washington which means big money flowing in to try and win some contracts, plenty of new Diplomatic efforts being made and new opportunities explored. I see UAL continuing to grow IAD and benefit greatly from the stimulus and Washington policies. Northern Virginia economy holding up.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12232 times:

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 9):
DL will try to maintain all of its hubs, but if the economy crashes - or fuel soars again - CVG and MEM are sure to be downsized.

I agree, though it's probably worth separating these two; events of the past 6 months or so suggest that CVG is in more danger than MEM; that makes some sense since it's more geographically isolated (in the DL network) than CVG.

[Edited 2009-02-23 19:58:28]


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineCV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1137 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12197 times:

Oh come on........


Nobody crapping on CLT yet? Home of two banking fiascoes. Still was a good hub for PI for years before the banks became powerhouses.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12165 times:

Sorry to post twice in quick succession; my computer is acting up.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 9):
And, of course, STL may finally hub in airline heaven.

I don't know that I agree with you here. AA has historically had no trouble shuttering underperforming hubs, and yet STL remains quite a bit larger than places like SJC, RDU, or BNA are today. Furthermore, AA and WN have reached something like a competitive equilibrium; they largely stay out of each others' way (look at service from STL to SDF, IND, and BNA, for instance).

As I mentioned in another thread, the termination of the AX contract gave AA an excellent opportunity to reduce STL more, and AA did not take that opportunity. That suggests to me that AA is fairly happy with the size STL is now. If the economy shrinks for 2 or 3 more years, is STL in danger? Yes, but so too are a long line of other operations. It's far easier to single out the hubs that would NOT be in danger in that scenario than list the hubs that would be.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26145 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12112 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
LAX is not a "hub" for anyone, but one of the highest O&D airports in the world. UA And AA will continue to have small connectivity operations from around California, but that's it.

While maybe not a mega hub, but United very much calls LAX a hub.

Quote:
United Airlines serves 119 destinations throughout 26 countries, with major United Airlines hubs in Chicago, Denver,Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. With dedicated service and daily United Airlines international departures, United Airlines has proven itself as a leader in world travel.

And as of January had 181 daily departures. Also LAX is a much more balanced operation for UA compared to SFO which is primarily built around the noon'ish-Asia flying.

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 7):
UA will abandon ship in LAX.

Well their summer 09 schedule is growing at LAX again, even while the fleet shrinks.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12099 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
Meanwhile, down I-55, DL has added several destinations at MEM, and as other cities bleed seats, it remains at a pretty steady size.

The destinations they have added to MEM aren't major in any sense of the word and I really see MEM as a short term hub for DL. I don't forsee DL keeping it around for any major length of time. The economics aren't there locally and it just doesn't make much sense with ATL down the road.



Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7808 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12099 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 5):
How would DL's strategy at ATL or AA's strategy at DFW be different if Texas or Georgia had a Phoenix-type economy?

The big difference is that both DFW and ATL have lots more international O&D than PHX. Not to mention that ATL has 1 million more residents than PHX and DFW has 2 million more residents than PHX (based on metro area population. Also the Atlanta Metro area was the fastest growing metro in the US in 2006 while DFW was the fastest growing metro area in the US in 2007.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 9):
And Texas is geographically challenged to be a leading intercontinental gateway.

Yet its full of big business, has lots of international O&D on its own (both DFW and IAH), and its right now its economy is one of the most stable in the country.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 10):

My personal opinion is that the three major southern hubs (ATL, DFW, and IAH) are the most stable right now. All three have relatively good economies, (DFW and ATL are the fastest growing metro areas in the counrty while Houston is reporting the highest job growth in the US), are three of the most important business centers in the country, are full of O&D (both international and domestic), and are the HQ's for major Airlines.

When you add all that together, I believe that without question, DFW, IAH, and ATL are the most stable hubs in the US right now.



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User currently offlineDoug From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 858 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12049 times:

Out of the leisure market hubs does MIA out do or sustain compared to LAS?

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11972 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11963 times:



Quoting Doug (Reply 17):
Out of the leisure market hubs does MIA out do or sustain compared to LAS?

That question has a fundamental flaw: Miami is definitely not a "leisure market."

It has a leisure component, no doubt, but I think it would unfair and false to refer to Miami as a leisure market. Miami is a massive, massive business market with tons of high-yielding traffic from a variety of industries including financial services, entertainment, trade, and shipping, just to name a few. It may not have, in aggregate terms, as much business traffic as, say, New York or Chicago, but it is actually quite a diverse market in terms of business vs. leisure traffic.


User currently offlineSlcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11823 times:



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 7):
DEN (UA) - UA continues to hemorrhage cash, and DEN continues to be a weak spot. Not only is UA under severe attack from F9 and WN, but UA has had trouble expanding their international network from here. UA seems to be aiming more and more for premium pax, and with all the LCC competition and the lower yields (compared to bigger markets like SFO/ORD/IAD/LAX), it seems like DEN might be first to go if UA's financial performance doesn't improve.

DEN- I think that UA will always have a DEN hub. Fares are generally much lower than UA would like because of frontier and southwest on competing routes, but i think that will change after the turf war is over. UA is commited to DEN but its already such a fight they dont want to rock the boat they just want to weather the storm to lock down their turf.

I see Frontier as being the one to downsize/close the hub here. DEN can't support frontier, southwest, and united forever, someone will crash as you stated but I think it will be Frontier not united.

DLs increased pressure in SLC will probably further hurt frontier as they are fighting over alot of the same connecting traffic in the Rocky Mountain region. SLC has the advantage of a one hub airport and deltas commitment to expanding SLC in this weak economic time shows they arnt leaving/shrinking any time soon out west. You bet DL is watching what happens in DEN. DL does compete with Frontier and united for connecting customers out West. If frontier leaves DEN its good for DL because they will have a chance to grab some of the western connecting passengers, but its bad because they don't want UA to grow in DEN either. DL said one of the major reasons they wanted to start SLC-NRT now was because UA does not serve the route. So UA must have some ambition for international routes or their would be no pressure.

I'm voting for frontier to leave DEN before UA would even consider it. If UA did downsize DEN at all, I think it would only be temporary, they want that turf. If they didnt want it they would have already let frontier and southwest have it.

How about Frontier moving the entire DEN operation to STL? AA would probably help them pack up so they can completely abandon STL.


User currently offlineAirbusaddict From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11794 times:



Quoting Slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 19):
I'm voting for frontier to leave DEN before UA would even consider it. If UA did downsize DEN at all, I think it would only be temporary, they want that turf. If they didnt want it they would have already let frontier and southwest have it.

UA from winter of 2007 to winter of 2008 lost market share, but both Southwest and Frontier gained market share, so I wouldn't necessarily count out F9. I think UA is going to have trouble with WN if WN continues to increase and add destinations. To me, F9 and WN are two different airlines serving different markets. F9 is looking into expanding into smaller cities with similar markets like RAP, FAR, Wichita, and a bunch of other markets with their new Lynx service.



Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7808 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11797 times:



Quoting Slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 19):
How about Frontier moving the entire DEN operation to STL? AA would probably help them pack up so they can completely abandon STL.

I agree with Cubsrule's position on AA and STL. AA could have easily gotten rid of STL long ago. Remember that AA has no hesitation on closing down hubs when they underpreform and STL would be no exception. I think AA probably likes STL where it is.

Quoting Slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 19):
I see Frontier as being the one to downsize/close the hub here. DEN can't support frontier, southwest, and united forever, someone will crash as you stated but I think it will be Frontier not united.

Im not sure I agree. F9 is doing better at DEN than UA is.



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User currently offlineFlywithken From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11743 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
Of the remaining hubs you have mentioned, I think only Portland might see a shift from mainline to regional flying if Alaska downsizes.

Why would Alaska be downsizing anything? They have a great cash position and things arent really 'broken' right now. Sure, there has to be some adaption to the current economic forces, but if they are flying nearly full airplanes, then why downsize?

But to play with the possibility of downsizing, If they go to more regional feeder routes (maybe utilizing the QX CR7's differently as more Q400's come on line), perhaps there will be more service to PDX that would historically have been routed through SEA. Canada and Montana come to mind. Of course this is not going to happen overnight. On a sidenote, I always wondered if PDX - Southeast Alaska would be feasible, even if just seasonal, using a CR7.


Cheers,
Ken


User currently offlineCompensateMe From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1299 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11646 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
AA has historically had no trouble shuttering underperforming hubs, and yet STL remains quite a bit larger

AA's never shuttered a hub the size that STL was. STL is penned to have 108 weekday departures this summer, about half of what was scheduled two years ago or so. I'll recycle some data I used elsewhere:

breakdown of STL-- [data pulled from OAG for summer weekdays & is current as of last week]
(all flights on ERJ unless noted)

feeder markets (less than 100 people per day)
CID (2x), DAY (2x), DSM (3x), XNA (2x), IND (4x), JAX (2x), MSN (3x), BNA (3x), ORF (2x), RIC (2x), SGF (1x), ICT (2x)
*DAY and ORF lack service to ORD
28 total departures

to AA hubs/focus cities:
ORD (10xM80), BOS (3xM80), DFW (9xM80), LAX (4xM80), MIA (2x757), LGA (4xM80)
32 total mainline departures

markets with more than 500 passengers per day - excludes hubs/focus cities
ATL, 4x -- DL & FL maintain more than 80% market share (DL, FL also fly this route)
LAS, 1xM80 (WN)
MCO, 1x757 (WN)
PHL, 3x -- market share has fallen below 25% (US, WN)
MSP, 5x -- 40% market share (NW)
EWR, 4x (CO)
IAD, 2x (UA)
DCA , 4xM80 -
13 regional, 6 mainline flights

markets with 251-499 passengers per day - excludes hubs/focus cities
AUS, 1x
CLT, 2x -- less than 15% market share (US)
BDL, 2x
RDU, 3x
SAT, 1x
SAN, 1xM80
SAN, 1xM80
SFO, 1xM80
SEA, 2xM80
9 regional, 5 mainline

markets with 100-250 passengers per day - excludes hubs/focus cities
MKE, 3x
MSY, 4x
OKC, 2x -- less than 8% market share (WN)
TUL, 2x -- less than 2% market share (WN)
11 regional

total: 66 regional, 42 = 108 departures

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Some of the feeder flights may be high-yielding, but virtually none could operate stand-alone (and a few carry virtually no O/D).
2. Unsurprisingly, AA's strength is to its other hubs/focus cities and communities in which it has a large consumer base (SAT, RDU).
3. AA is struggling to other airlines' hubs (the best it can do is 40% market share to MSP).
4. WN has healthy market share (usually about one-third) on routes it competes with a stop or connection.
5. AA's dramatically cut ORD. They're planning on operating just over 400 daily departures this summer, which is a 20% reduction vs. last year.
6. The summer schedule UA recently uploaded also reflects a dramatic capacity reduction at ORD. Capacity will continue to shrink as the 737 fleet is retired by year's end.
7. What if AA decided to consolidate STL's feed to strengthen ORD (taking advantage of UA's situation)?
8. Pulling the feed, low-volume & low-yield flights from STL would cause frequency reductions elsewhere. STL would be nothing more than a strong spoke linking to AA's hubs/focus cities... and perhaps a few destinations left over.

Don't think it couldn't happen.



Gordo:like this streaming video,Sky magazine,meals for sale at mealtime-make customer satisfaction rank so high at UA
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7808 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 11491 times:



Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 23):
5. AA's dramatically cut ORD. They're planning on operating just over 400 daily departures this summer, which is a 20% reduction vs. last year.

The last round of cuts did hit ORD pretty hard. AA pushed alot of its domestic connecting traffic in the direction of DFW. DFW didnt nearly get hit as hard as ORD. For AA, DFW-West Coast traffic is higher yeilding than it is from ORD (with the exception of PSP). The reasons for this are mainly that DFW is further west (lower cost to operate the flights), and that the Chicago market has lots of competition from UA and WN. Its still puzzleing as AA faces competition from DFW to most major west coast cities (UA to LAX and SFO, AS to SEA, and US to LAS and PHX).

AA increased the gap between how large its hubs are at DFW vs. ORD and STL.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 23):
*DAY and ORF lack service to ORD

Which surprises me. I found it very difficult to believe that AA couldnt make ORD-DAY work.

Another thing AA did which surprised me was cancelling one of the ORD-SNA in addition to the STL-SNA flight. Im not surprised at all about STL-SNA gone, but one of the ORD-SNA flights surprised me. AA took both slots and shifted them down to DFW for additional DFW-SNA flights. DFW-SNA now has 11 flights a day up from 9 and ORD-SNA now has 3 flights a day down from 4. STL-SNA is gone all together.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 23):
8. Pulling the feed, low-volume & low-yield flights from STL would cause frequency reductions elsewhere. STL would be nothing more than a strong spoke linking to AA's hubs/focus cities... and perhaps a few destinations left over.

If push comes to shove, I could perhaps see AA getting rid of the feeder flights. However I believe AA will maintain certain routes from STL including the major cities on the West Coast (SEA, SFO, LAX, and SAN). In addition to that, I fully expect STL to have service on AA to the major cities in the east and midwest.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
25 Slcdeltarumd11 : Does alaska really consider PDX a hub or focus city? I flew out of PDX on alaska it seemed like a normal airline there nothing special. Definitely did
26 Cubsrule : As I told you yesterday in the SLC thread, you're overestimating how big the hub was a year or two ago. In the summer of 2008, AA had about 155 weekd
27 BMI727 : It didn't make much sense then either. Why fly through STL when ORD has all of the international connections or go through DFW and get more frequency
28 AirFrnt : UA is in more trouble in DEN then people realize. They have been loosing market share (and it's corresponding twin, pricing power)for a while, and Sou
29 Adam42185 : Dont forget BOS in the list of cities with high O&D. I think BOS will do alright, partially due to the fact that there arent any airlines hubbed ther
30 LAXdude1023 : I think MEM actually has a good shot at being a hub for the airline and a reliever to ATL, whereas CVG is practically toast. Heres why: 1) MEM has re
31 MasseyBrown : With no throngs and fewer delays, the smaller hubs make more sense to me for easier connections than the mega-hubs do. I use the smaller hubs wheneve
32 Burnsie28 : According to UA it is, and its somewhat becoming one again for Delta. ATL is good international hub but for some MEM would work great for most, its s
33 Denverdanny : The Denver economy is doing pretty well right now, considering. We're in a lot better shape than most cities. Still a lot of building construction pla
34 PanAm747 : While I will agree that airlines might call LAX a hub, I still think whether it really is a hub for any airline is debatable. When one considers that
35 LAXdude1023 : DEN's problem isnt the local economy the same way it is for the other cities. DEN's problem is that there is way too much capacity there. That is why
36 Cubsrule : In every example you cited, that's true. But look at places like PHX or CLT. The cities are still growing, but neither local economy is doing swimmin
37 Denverdanny : If United ever did leave, which I doubt, than another airline would step in, like Continental. Denver has great airport facilities, is strategically
38 LAXdude1023 : Not really. It doesnt change the fact that DEN has too much capacity. I dont think anyone would leave per se, but I wouldnt rule out seeing a large r
39 Flyguy89 : I have to disagree. I do believe the fate of CVG is up in the air, but no more than it is in Memphis. I don't see how Cincinnati has ever performed p
40 Cubsrule : If Simplifares worked so well at CVG, why didn't DL return it to a CVG-only program when it failed systemwide? The people running DL are not fools...
41 Co767fa : Thanks for the good laugh..
42 Flyguy89 : That's exactly what they're doing right now with these recent fare reductions on certain routes out of CVG.
43 Hjulicher : In reality, coming from an area that has been probably the worst hit (Detroit), this economic crisis is something that is going to test airlines more
44 FlyMIA : Well MIA is not a lesiure Market as stated before. But MIA might be the strongest hub after JFK due to its Internaional influence i think its almost
45 Timaay419 : When is everyone on here just going to accept the fact that AA has right sized the STL market, and clearly has no intention of closing up shop? It's
46 Slcdeltarumd11 : DEN-SLC for example is operated by delta, united, frontier, and southwest. Equipment ranges from 757, md-90, 737, 319, 320, CRJ-900 There were a wopp
47 Congaboy : I have never understood the NW mentality of maintaining DTW and MSP simultaneously...they are what, 400 miles apart with ORD in between? Yet it has wo
48 BOStonsox : Almost every airline does that: AA- STL and ORD are 260 miles apart DL- CVG is 370 miles from ATL and 570 miles from JFK CO- CLE and EWR are 400 mile
49 Steex : I wouldn't say you'll get creamed for it, but I think MSP is automatically off the vulnerable list by virtue of the fact that DL has agreed (or will
50 LAXdude1023 : I would argue that MSP is much more stable than DTW right now. MSP is a very high yielding and profitable hub. Suffice it to say that under the curre
51 CO767FA : F9 is a great carrier to have in DEN, but they are in BK and while you believe their balance sheet looks good - they are limited in the expenses they
52 Mariner : Which expenses are they not paying? I can't think of any - gates, aircraft leases, rents, fuel - all are being paid. If anything, they are paying mor
53 Cubsrule : FWIW, MSP is probably also more important to the network. DTW is within 650 miles of 5 other hubs. MSP is within 650 miles of 1 other hub (in fairnes
54 Congaboy : Interesting point, BOS, but that doesnt make it right and/or profitable. STL, CVG, and CLE are more RJ hubs being down-sized, and dont compare to the
55 CO767FA : While December numbers looked better - the previous months did not - you can't say the balance sheet is looking "better". Until a carrier has a post-
56 Post contains links Mariner : They must file a POR within 18 months of filing and they have 20 months from that date to emerge. But, they've said this year, and Republic Airways a
57 Flyibaby : Isn't BOS a hub now for B6?
58 SESGDL : You must not have looked at O&D numbers for DTW and MSP. MSP and DTW's O&D was nearly equal for 2007 at around 16 million each, MSP's however is much
59 CompensateMe : Not really, I had my dates wrong -- I was thinking of summer 2007 (when I pulled the data from OAG two years ago, AA intended on operating more than
60 Nickofatlanta : Not really - I would call it more of a focus city based on O&D traffic primarily. BOS is not really on the way to other destinations geographically!
61 PSU.DTW.SCE : DL has stated they are committed to DTW more or less for strategic purposes. They recognize what they have their in terms of terminal facilities, airf
62 Cubsrule : You're missing my point, though. The removal of AX from the system presented a golden opportunity for wholesale cuts at STL-- it was an opportunity n
63 Soxfan : I think BOS is one of the most interesting cases (and not just because I'm a Red Sox fan) due to the number of airlines flying to different destinatio
64 Moman : US Airways has had this problem for 20+ years, since they shut their MCI mid-continent focus city/hub. The merger of US/AW was only to save the two c
65 SLCUT2777 : The DIA facility was built to be a large multi-carrier facility like DFW, ORD or ATL. DEN is now reaping what they sought to sow back in the 1980s wh
66 Slcdeltarumd11 : The key word there is departure levels. Personal opinion i think we are going to see quite a few routes switched from mainline to connection carriers
67 LAXdude1023 : The only problem with that is that DEN is slightly more than half the size of DFW and ATL and less than half the size of the ORD market.
68 Cubsrule : IIRC, the agreement provides a mainline departure level as well as an overall departure level.
69 Brilondon : According to the manager of DTW whose name fails me at this time, in Airports of the World, he predicts that DTW may see a reduction of about 10% in
70 Bmacleod : With the DL NW merger you'd think at least one NW hub would be on the chopping block. MEM is very close to ATL but it's costs are low and it's getting
71 Hjulicher : Just because it was built to be something by some planner doesn't necessarily mean it will play that role. Like I said, the amount of air service tha
72 CO767FA : Yet, it seems to keep coming back to a 3 airline town.
73 BMI727 : Yet there are always two losers. You'd think that they would learn. First it was Frontier, Continental, and United and United won. Now it's Frontier
74 PanAm747 : Yep!! Three banks of flights - early afternoon, centered around 1 PM, late afternoon, centered around 5 PM, and the overnight bank, with incoming wes
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