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Eastern Air Lines At CLT 1970s?  
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4133 times:

During the 1970s and into the early 1980s Eastern had a significant presence at CLT, 'just up the road' from their ATL 'megahub.' In addition to their non-stops between CLT and their large northeast, midwest and southeast markets, EA (mainline) also flew to a number of smaller markets within ~200 miles of CLT, such as CAE, CHS, GSP and SAV. Daily frequencies between each of the cities served from CLT averaged 3-4 each way, and northbound/southbound departure times appear to have been banked to facilitate connections. So...

Was CLT considered a smaller hub (than ATL) for EA 'back then' -or- was it more of a focus city turned 'incidental' hub? If a hub by design, why did EA choose a location so close to their main hub in ATL? Also, how strong was CLT as an O&D market for EA during the 1970s-early '80s?

Lastly... was Piedmont's build up at CLT as their primary hub (from ~1982) the main reason for EA's drawdown at CLT after 1985, or was it more due to EA's general 'beginning of the end' decline that was occuring at the time?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedoug From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

I think that CLT was a strong focus city only ATL and MIA were true hubs I could be wrong about CLT, but ATL at its peak had 310 daily flights MIA 110 the other focus cities were probably around the 30-60 daily flight range MCI,CLT, e.t.c.

User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4002 times:

I counted 42 departures from CLT in their Sep 1972 schedule....which is ALLOT of lift for those days. Also notice on their system route map that CLT is in CAPS, just like ATL,NYC,MIA and ORD.

http://www.departedflights.com/EA090672.html

vs Piedmont

http://www.departedflights.com/PI010973.html

The March 1982 timetable shows 46 departures with the same basic connectivity and market presence.

http://www.departedflights.com/EA050181.html

vs PI

http://www.departedflights.com/PI060182.html

I think it is a safe bet that by the early-1980s, when everyone was carving out their fortresses and PI focused on CLT, that EA decided to pick its battles and focus on fighting DL in ATL.


User currently offlineUSPIT10L From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 3295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3819 times:

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 2):

Actually, EA kept a sizeable presence in CLT until around early 1986. By then, Lorenzo had decided to focus EA on specific markets like ATL, BOS, MIA, NYC and MCI. The smaller focus markets were cut back significantly, particularly IAH and CLT.



It's a Great Day for Hockey!
User currently offlineCV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1134 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3665 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Was CLT considered a smaller hub (than ATL) for EA 'back then' -or- was it more of a focus city turned 'incidental' hub? If a hub by design, why did EA choose a location so close to their main hub in ATL? Also, how strong was CLT as an O&D market for EA during the 1970s-early '80s?

EA large presence at CLT dates back to the 50's/60's....As a boy, I spent many an hour on the observation deck at the old terminal, knew all the flight numbers and where they went. IIRC, the daily departure count exceeded 100 flights on EA, and consisted of M404's, CV440's, Electras, DC7-B's, Constellations, and B720's. CLT was basically a hub for the Carolinas as it was geographically in the center of the combined States. As EA progressively became smaller at CLT in the 70's and 80's, PI basically did the same thing, except that PI expanded more than anyone ever would have thought possible, and has continued the same under US.


User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1675 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3636 times:
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I remember flying Eastern Electras from RIC to ATL in the late sixties which made a stop in CLT. When they later put Whisperjets (B727s) on the route, it became nonstop. I believe the Electras originated in New York or Newark, so they were multi-stop flights.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA



Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
User currently offlinequickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

How big was Eastern in MCI compared to MIA, PHL, or CLT?

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

Quoting quickmover (Reply 6):
How big was Eastern in MCI compared to MIA, PHL, or CLT?

In their March 1, 1984 timetable (about a year after MCI became a small hub/focus city for EA) here's how the cities in question compare in daily mainline departures:

MCI 32; MIA 97; PHL 34; CLT 52

EA's May 1, 1987 timetable (MCI and PHL ops expanded, CLT reduced to a 'spoke') shows the following numbers of daily departures:

MCI 61; MIA 107; PHL 57; CLT 9

Backtracking to daily departures found in EA's January 12, 1981 timetable:

MCI not served by EA; MIA 107; PHL 39; CLT 49


User currently offlinequickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3438 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 7):
their March 1, 1984 timetable (about a year after MCI became a small hub/focus city for EA) here's how the cities in question compare in daily mainline departures:

MCI 32; MIA 97; PHL 34; CLT 52

EA's May 1, 1987 timetable (MCI and PHL ops expanded, CLT reduced to a 'spoke') shows the following numbers of daily departures:

MCI 61; MIA 107; PHL 57; CLT 9

Backtracking to daily departures found in EA's January 12, 1981 timetable:

MCI not served by EA; MIA 107; PHL 39; CLT 49

Thanks for the info

One last question. Was MCI mainly linking major cities for connections (EWR-MCI-LAX type of routes) or did they do more of a local midwest operation with short hops like STL-MCI-DEN ?


User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2247 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3329 times:

Prior to deregulation, EA had authority to serve some cities through CLT, but not ATL, such as DTW, CLE, CAE, CHS, and SAV.

Having a hub / focus city in CLT was the only way EA was able to connect these cities to the rest of its network.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3225 times:

Quoting quickmover (Reply 8):
Thanks for the info

One last question. Was MCI mainly linking major cities for connections (EWR-MCI-LAX type of routes) or did they do more of a local midwest operation with short hops like STL-MCI-DEN ?

You are welcome! Here are the cities EA served non-stop from MCI and number of daily departures in their May 1, 1987 timetable, when their ops at MCI were more or less at their peak:

ABQ - 2
ATL - 5
BOS - 2
ORD - 4
CLE - 2
DTW - 3
IND - 2
LAS - 2
LAX - 3
MIA - 1
MKE - 2
EWR - 3
LGA - 3
OKC - 3
OMA - 3
MCO - 1
PHL - 2
PHX - 3
STL - 1
SAN - 2
SFO - 2
SEA - 2
TUL - 3
DCA - 3
ICT - 3

Departure and arrival times were banked to facilitate convenient connections. While there was an apparent emphasis on connecting large east and west coast cities through MCI, a number of midwestern markets were served including smaller cities like ICT, OMA, OKC and TUL. Somewhat surprisingly, DEN, RNO and SLC were served from ATL but not from MCI.

By this time CLT had become merely a 'spoke' in EA's route network, with only 9 daily non-stop flights; 8 to ATL and 1 to ORF, which was the continuation of a flight routed ATL-CLT-ORF


User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1605 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3197 times:

Great shot of the old PI days at CLT prior to the new terminal.




Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3046 times:

Quoting Coronado990 (Reply 11):
Great shot of the old PI days at CLT prior to the new terminal.

Thanks for the photo! According to an article featuring Piedmont in a back issue of Airliners magazine (Fall 1988), PI 'officially' established their CLT hub in 1981; by the end of 1982, they had increased daily departures from CLT to 172...and kept growing from there. So EA managed to 'hang in there' for 4-5 years after PI 'took over' as the dominant carrier at CLT.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 10):
Here are the cities EA served non-stop from MCI and number of daily departures in their May 1, 1987 timetable, when their ops at MCI were more or less at their peak:

Cities and daily departures shown in reply 10 are mainline only. In addition, Eastern Express operated by Air Midwest served 19 more cities from MCI with 68 daily (weekdays) departures. (Didn't think to include/add this info until after the edit 'window of opportunity' had expired.)


User currently offlinequickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 12):
Cities and daily departures shown in reply 10 are mainline only. In addition, Eastern Express operated by Air Midwest served 19 more cities from MCI with 68 daily (weekdays) departures. (Didn't think to include/add this info until after the edit 'window of opportunity' had expired.)

Did any Eastern widebodys ever make it out to MCI?

How about those short hops to ICT and OMA, were they jet service?


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting quickmover (Reply 13):
Did any Eastern widebodys ever make it out to MCI?

Based on EA timetables from 1984, '85 and '87, widebodies were not regularly scheduled through MCI. In the '84 and '85 tt's, all service to/from MCI was with 727-100/-200 and DC-9-30/-50 equipment; in 1987 757-200s were scheduled between MCI and LAX/LAS/SFO/EWR/LGA/DCA on some frequencies.



Quoting quickmover (Reply 13):
How about those short hops to ICT and OMA, were they jet service?

Yes. Since MCI - ICT/OMA were both operated exclusively by EA mainline, by default* 727-100/-200 or DC-9-30/-50 equipment would have been assigned to these routes.

(*the only specific indication of aircraft types in tt's noted is Widebody and 757; 727s and DC-9s were the only other types opb EA from 1984-'87).


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