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ABQ Reduction Of Service Over The Years. Why?  
User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4806 times:

So...title pretty much says it all. Along with a bit of a rant.

Why has ABQ had a steady decrease in service over the past few years? I remember US serving ABQ with a nonstop/nonstops to PIT, as well as America West having nonstop LAS service, as well as A320-sized aircraft to PHX. Also, I clearly remember ABQ having nonstop service to AMA, and possibly one other Texas destination, as well as CO having a nonstop to EWR.

Not only that, the destinations that have stayed...have had frequency cut, for example, I remember last summer, or maybe the summer before...US served ABQ-PHX with a mix of A319s and 733s. Now, all we get is 5x on US Express, and some are only CR2s, at that.

I started this rant/discussion, because ABQ is going to soon lose nonstop service to PDX, at least seasonally, and my main question is, why? Why can ABQ not support the flights that it used to? Aside from the most obvious excuse (the economy), is there any specific reason for certain routes/airlines, or is it just unprofitable in general?


Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3814 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4731 times:

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
I remember US serving ABQ with a nonstop/nonstops to PIT,

Not a hub anymore

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
America West having nonstop LAS service,

Not a hub/airline anymore ( WN flies this im pretty sure)

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
Why can ABQ not support the flights that it used to?

No. I think everything you wrote pretty well answers that question.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
Aside from the most obvious excuse (the economy), is there any specific reason for certain routes/airlines, or is it just unprofitable in general?

You wouldn't have as much service as you do if it were all unprofitable. Airlines have changed and evolved over the years, and all sorts of routes that used to fit into various route structures don't anymore. I see ABQ as a city with great air service.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
US served ABQ-PHX with a mix of A319s and 733s. Now, all we get is 5x on US Express, and some are only CR2s, at that.

I can't tell you how many cities have had the same thing happen. Just one of those shifts in the industry.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6494 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4683 times:

At least ABQ should be grateful that DL still sends 757s on ABQ-ATL in the spring and summer. Very few cities of ABQ's size gets 757s nowadays.


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4655 times:

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 1):

The PIT comment was meant more for the fact that ABQ had service to the East Coast more than it does now. ABQ-EWR and ABQ-PIT. We've got 1x to BWI, and 1x to IAD. When did that other ABQ-BWI nonstop end? I could have sworn we had 2x to BWI..



Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4595 times:

Yes, but the ABQ-PIT was only because PIT was a major hub.

If you think ABQ service, destinations and frequency has gone done - you should see what levels of service PIT and CVG have today since their are no longer hubs.

My friends at Louisville used to drive to CVG rather than SDF because of cheaper, more frequent and more destinations. Not any longer.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25193 posts, RR: 48
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

ABQ is not alone. Lots of small/medium sized communities around have experienced shifts in air-service patterns

Here are some factors:
o Death of point to point flying = Virtually everything is to a hub
o Airline consolidation = Less hubs
o Less industry capacity = less capacity assigned to secondary markets
o Economic mailaze = reduced travel demand.


But seems to me at the end of the day the ABQ metro area with a population of not even 1million (908,000 per Census) is doing OK.
You have service by all the majors, a pair of LCCs along plus local commuter services providing access to all the nearby hubs amongst 25 or so nonstop destinations.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6494 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
If you think ABQ service, destinations and frequency has gone done - you should see what levels of service PIT and CVG have today since their are no longer hubs.

DL still considers CVG a hub, although service is a far cry from when CVG was DL's #2 hub behind ATL.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineglbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4442 times:

Ah yes.... But the main sit down restaurant has just reopened. Watch those passenger numbers climb!  

User currently offlinecrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1902 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4376 times:

As has been mentioned already, I would not feel singled out at ABQ. I would say that far more airports in the U.S. have lost a good chunk of their capacity, since 9/11. This damn incident has had lasting effects throughout the aviation community. The costs to operate a flight today, vs a pre-9/11 flight are higher. Airlines have traditionally operated at low margins. It has always been part of the business. Unfortunately, 9/11 has pushed many marginally profitable routes and cities into the red, causing their eventual demise. The America West red-eye bank out of LAS to nearly every major/medium U.S. city is a perfect example of a 9/11 casualty.

User currently offlineFutureUScapt From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 765 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

Well, I'll go ahead and take the unpopular stance in this thread and say that I think ABQ is actually over-served, primarily by WN to the west coast. Because the Wright Amendment prevents nonstops from DAL to the west coast, WN funnels much of the westbound traffic from DAL over ABQ and ELP. Once Wright is fully lifted, I expect that you will see a reduction in the number of nonstops WN has from ABQ to places like DAL, LAS, LAX, OAK, PHX, SAN and SEA. In the case of TUS, and maybe even SLC, nonstop service might be suspended in its entirety.

Quoting crownvic (Reply 8):
Unfortunately, 9/11 has pushed many marginally profitable routes and cities into the red, causing their eventual demise. The America West red-eye bank out of LAS to nearly every major/medium U.S. city is a perfect example of a 9/11 casualty.

While you're right that 9/11 was the impetus for the first large round of cuts in this decade, its not really accurate to say that 9/11 is what shuttered the HP/US LAS night operation. Since nearly all of the flying was utilization flying, fuel was the primary expense so as fuel rose, the profitability declined.


User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4232 times:

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 7):

It did? I'm so glad. xD Love that place to spot, since it's in the middle of both concourses. It, and the second floor area, were closed for a few months for refurbishment..so it'll be nice to have that again.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):

Well, now that you say it like that...I guess ABQ isn't hit as hard as I thought it was, compared to other airports. That being said...a bit more service wouldn't hurt..



Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4228 times:

Quoting FutureUScapt (Reply 9):


Over the summer, on one day, I counted 16x daily nonstops to Arizona. 5 on US, 9 on WN to PHX, and 2x to TUS.
I don't think they'd drop TUS, because I'm sure the southeast-TUS flights are routed through ABQ, and there are only two flights daily nonstop. And it's not unpopular..just a different viewpoint.  



Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
User currently offlineRedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4212 times:

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 11):
I don't think they'd drop TUS, because I'm sure the southeast-TUS flights are routed through ABQ, and there are only two flights daily nonstop. And it's not unpopular..just a different viewpoint.

The ABQ route from TUS does serve (or at least used to serve) a purpose other than a connect between the two cities. I know there were many times before the MDW route came in, I routed family from TUS-ABQ-MDW-DTW all on the same flight number and aircraft (no plane change). Besides MDW (which wasn't added until 2006), ABQ is the only way for WN travelers to get from TUS to WN's midwest and eastern cities without having to backtrack.


- Mason



Northwest Airlines. Now you're flying smart! (RIP 1926-2009)
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4057 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4203 times:

Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 12):
ABQ is the only way for WN travelers to get from TUS to WN's midwest and eastern cities without having to backtrack.

WN could very well change some routings around when Wright expires - and I fully expect they will. OKC, MCI or STL would be perfectly suitable and may well fill flights better than ABQ-TUS does. No way to know as of yet.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22931 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4035 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 13):
WN could very well change some routings around when Wright expires - and I fully expect they will.

I think so too, but I doubt ABQ (or MCI or STL or MSY or BHM) will lose more than 2 or 3 flights. For better or worse, there's always a certain amount of inertia in route planning, and the constraints at DAL will mean that WN can't serve all the nonstop destinations it wants to serve at appropriate frequency, so the connecting points will still play a role, albeit a reduced one.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3166 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3931 times:

I remember when TWA flew L1011's into ABQ, followed by 767's.


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineglbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3838 times:

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 10):
Love that place to spot, since it's in the middle of both concourses.

I think you may be thinking of the area that used to be called the Rt66 bar. That's been remodeled into a food court area and has been open for a few months now. I was referring to the old Gardunios just before security. That reopened under a new name this week after having been closed for a couple of years. Last time I was through ABQ, the airside upstairs viewing area was still closed as a part of the remodel underneath. Not sure what the schedule is for that.


User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6152 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
Why has ABQ had a steady decrease in service over the past few years?

If you go over to the RITA/BTS web site you can get some data on ABQ...

ABQ&Airport_Name=Albuquerque,%20NM:%20Albuquerque%20International%20Sunport&carrier=FACTS" target="_blank">http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airport...ernational%20Sunport&carrier=FACTS



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2755 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3752 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 13):
WN could very well change some routings around when Wright expires - and I fully expect they will. OKC, MCI or STL would be perfectly suitable and may well fill flights better than ABQ-TUS does. No way to know as of yet.

They could have done any of those already. Wright doesn't prevent them from funneling east-west passengers through OKC, MCI, or STL. The biggest development that has hurt ABQ as a connecting location for WN is their buildup of DEN. That operation allows for routings from the midwest and east that previously would have gone over ABQ, LAS and PHX. The expiration of Wright may result in a few lost frequencies to DAL and perhaps a couple westbound as connecting traffic decreases.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 11):
Over the summer, on one day, I counted 16x daily nonstops to Arizona. 5 on US, 9 on WN to PHX, and 2x to TUS.

I remember when WN was up into the double digits on the ABQ-PHX route in the late 90s. I think it was up to 13 daily on some weekdays.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 1):
Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
I remember US serving ABQ with a nonstop/nonstops to PIT,

Not a hub anymore

The route was ended well before the hub was closed. US couldn't make it work.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
I remember US serving ABQ with a nonstop/nonstops to PIT, as well as America West having nonstop LAS service, as well as A320-sized aircraft to PHX. Also, I clearly remember ABQ having nonstop service to AMA, and possibly one other Texas destination, as well as CO having a nonstop to EWR.

PIT just didn't make money so US pulled out. The LAS flights by America West were victims of the hub closure. The downgauge on ABQ-PHX is a little surprising to me as well, but we don't get to see the numbers their route planners and revenue management team have. AMA-ABQ was about connecting passengers and with the DEN buildup WN shifted the route over there. ABQ-EWR was poorly timed for connections in EWR and seemed to be more about utilizing an aircraft during down time. Flying a 737-500 on that long a route became unsustainable with high fuel prices, as did the once a week ABQ-CLE on an ERJ.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6752 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 12):
Besides MDW (which wasn't added until 2006), ABQ is the only way for WN travelers to get from TUS to WN's midwest and eastern cities without having to backtrack.

DEN is also an option for reaching TUS on WN now.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 3):
The PIT comment was meant more for the fact that ABQ had service to the East Coast more than it does now. ABQ-EWR and ABQ-PIT. We've got 1x to BWI, and 1x to IAD.

Before the merger with America West, US Airways had no hubs away from the East Coast -- so the only way for them to serve ABQ would have been from PIT, CLT or PHL. And the number of non-stops to the East Coast really hasn't changed all that much; the WN non-stop to BWI essentially supplanted the US non-stop to PIT.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
Why has ABQ had a steady decrease in service over the past few years?

Many medium-sized markets have seen reductions in service. Some of it is due to the airlines being more aggressive in matching capacity to demand; the days of 70% system load factors are long gone. Look at GSO, which serves a metro area of 1.6 million and has less than a half-dozen daily mainline departures across all airlines.


User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 16):

Last time I flew out of ABQ, the food court was closed for the remodel you mentioned. I was referring to the upstairs airside viewing area, which I think is a nice place to spot, but it was closed too...that was in July.



Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2755 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3621 times:

I feel that ABQ has lost out on some of the longer routes because it can't fill 150 seats consistently on them, and fuel prices make flying a 100 seat aircraft uneconomical, if they're even in the fleet. The seasonal cut to PDX is just the latest example. The holes in the route map for ABQ are all routes that probably need a 100 seat aircraft, but the distance makes it uneconomical. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, South Florida, Mexico City are all in this boat. Maybe an aircraft like the C-Series can turn this around, but until the economics change in the current 100 seat fleet or ABQ goes through a big population boom, anything over 2.5 hours is going to look very marginal.


It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineRedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

Quoting ScottB (Reply 19):
DEN is also an option for reaching TUS on WN now.

Ugh, I always forget about DEN, thanks for the correction!


Even though TUS-ABQ has been around a long time, I would like to see something more like HOU, STL, or even directly to DAL once Wright is lifted.


- Mason



Northwest Airlines. Now you're flying smart! (RIP 1926-2009)
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 2103 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

Glad to hear the observation deck is open. If the couches are still there, it is a great place to catch a nap.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Thread starter):
I started this rant/discussion, because ABQ is going to soon lose nonstop service to PDX, at least seasonally, and my main question is, why?

The PDX flight has come and gone Jan/Feb for the last few years now. I like the PDX-ABQ-TUS flight if it's timed right. In fact, I always try and route through ABQ if it's available. A much nicer airport experience than the disgusting hell-hole at LAS or LAX.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 3):
I could have sworn we had 2x to BWI..

They did. As recently as this spring. Are you sure the second BWI flight isn't coming back?

Quoting FutureUScapt (Reply 9):
In the case of TUS, and maybe even SLC, nonstop service might be suspended in its entirety.

Not sure about SLC, but TUS-ABQ is probably going to stick around. Those flights are the most direct way to get to most of Texas (not just DAL), Orlando, BWI, as well as MCI/STL if the timing is right.


User currently offlinen9801f From Samoa, joined Apr 2004, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3569 times:

In many ways, ABQ has enjoyed especially good service for a city its size.

For instance, it has typically had more flights and destinations than ELP or TUS, which are in some ways similar cities.

So the reductions start from an especially good base.

Part of the reductions you see (PDX reduction) is a seasonal effect. ABQ east-west traffic weakens substantially in the first quarter.

A second part is the recession and an overall decrease in airline activity in the USA (to nearly all destinations). Perhaps ABQ is affected slightly more than average because it has a lower proportion of business travelers.

A third part probably is the fact that Southwest Airlines fares, while still quite attractive, are not quite as cheap as they used to be. At higher fare levels, fewer people travel. And since WN is a large proportion of the activity in ABQ, the affect is quite noticeable.

Despite it, ABQ has done comparatively well over the past 20-30 years, and of course I hope it continues to do so. Hang in there!


25 HPRamper : Is the E190 too big, or is it just a fuel hog for its size? I remember several years back that the 190 was supposed to be the savior of the smaller m
26 desertjets : Similar but different still. From a quick search looks like both Tucson and El Paso both have lower median incomes. el Paso is a touch smaller, Tucso
27 planemaker : ABQ is not going to see a whole lot of variety when WN has 56.82% pax share followed by AA @ 11.65%, Skywest @ 7.32%, Delta @ 7.21%, Mesa @3.29% and
28 1337Delta764 : Pretty much everyone in Albuquerque prefers to fly Southwest if possible, regardless of actual fares. Look how quickly they became the #1 carrier on
29 desertjets : However being a joint use facility means lots of interesting military traffic. The other week I saw a B-52 departing and last week a pair of B1-Bs we
30 HPRamper : America West was in ABQ for a very long time and it was one of their core stations early on so I doubt it was a matter of US being snubbed by the loc
31 Sevensixtyseven : Right now, it's 2x daily. On November 4th, it drops to 1x daily with no direct (no plane change) flights. Several connections are available though. I
32 n9801f : These are cool ideas. However RJ's of all sorts tend to have trouble producing competitive seat-mile costs on long stage lengths, and especially when
33 1337Delta764 : Actually, Indiana now DOES observe DST. The only states that don't are Arizona and Hawaii. Also, U.S. outlying territories (such as Puerto Rico and G
34 Sevensixtyseven : Hmm. I wasn't aware about that. ABQ is gonna get a bit of a shift in all the Arizona flights coming up in a few days..as well as anything connecting
35 crownvic : FutureUScapt...To single out fuel as the reason for the shuttering of the night operation, can also be construed as equally inaccurate. Not sure of yo
36 Kcrwflyer : That doesn't sound like an economical addition. The 190 would make more sense, capacity wise, but I'm not sure they're flying those on anything that
37 IADLHR : The second BWI-ABQ flight is seasonal and will return in, early, 2012. Also, a few years ago, WN dropped the ABQ-TPA flight. I think, at that time, t
38 1337Delta764 : Did UA ever fly ORD-ABQ mainline? I know AA did, however, not sure about UA; AA has served the route much longer than UA has.
39 IADLHR : A couple of times. I flew ORD-ABQ-ORD.In fact, that was one of the more memorable flightts, and trips, for me, of all time. The UA flight was aboput
40 n9801f : UA started serving ABQ in 1982 (from DEN) and mainline service to ORD began in 1983. There may have been a gap in service around the 1985 pilots' str
41 Sevensixtyseven : Hmmm. I wonder what I'd have to do to get a suite. But yes, ABQ-Chicago is served by AA, UA, and WN. But not good enough timing for a daytrip to LGA.
42 XT6Wagon : Don't forget its the only real commercial airport in the whole state. Maybe things have changed but even people living closer to El Paso would go to
43 Post contains images EA CO AS : If an airline flew a widebody into ABQ these days, it'd be for a medical diversion. Or if it were scheduled service, the mayor would give the captain
44 Sevensixtyseven : ABQ already does see scheduled service on widebodies, daily. Unfortunately....they're from FedEx or UPS, so cargo only. Diversions of widebodies, yes
45 FutureUScapt : Not really. To suggest that fuel was anything other than a primary contributor to the LAS pulldown suggests a lack of understanding of what drove the
46 glbltrvlr : The reason has been discussed here recently. Current law states that any international aircraft that lands in the US, even for just refueling, has to
47 Alias1024 : Just went through ABQ and since there were some questions about facility upgrades I thought I'd tack it onto this thread. First, the construction prio
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