MountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 490 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2740 times:
I love following the evolution of airlines and airports over time. Since the DL/NW merger, two airports have given me a keen interest, MSP and DTW. DTW is generally regarded as the second largest DL hub after ATL and the most likely candidate for future expansion. MSP, on the other hand, is often regarded as perhaps stable, not necessarily likely to suffer the same fate as CVG and MEM, yet likely to be reduced over time in favor of building up other hubs such as DTW.
Recenly I was looking at some government statistics for airport activity for the twelve months ended October 2011 (latest data available), and I found some interesting facts on both MSP and DTW. I was not able to figure out how to make the respective airports stick in links, so after clicking on the link below, you must select MSP or DTW manually from the airport list near the top right.
Some key and somewhat surprising things I noted from these reports:
-MSP's total passenger numbers are slightly higher than DTW.
-In addition, MSP actually grew by nearly 3% during the twelve months ended October, 2011. If this trend continues through the end of the year, this would actually be the first annual growth in passenger numbers for MSP since 2005. DTW on the other hand, grew by less than 1%.
-MSP had nearly 2 million higher DL mainline passengers than DTW for the time period.
-MSP had total number of departures growth during the twelve month time period vs a decline at DTW. However, DTW had higher numbers of departures due to its higher regional traffic.
-It is difficult to tell total number of combined DL and DL Connection passengers since the report separately lists the regional carriers and only gives individual numbers for the largest ones, but it would appear they are just about neck and neck.
So, given those facts, what are your thoughts? Is the growth at MSP due to DL or is it other carriers? I do realize this data only goes through the end of October, however, it covers a twelve month span and compares it to the same twelve month span one year prior. Does anyone have any other data to add/compare to this?
point2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2808 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2577 times:
Quoting MountainFlyer (Thread starter): Recenly I was looking at some government statistics for airport activity for the twelve months ended October 2011 (latest data available), and I found some interesting facts on both MSP and DTW. I was not able to figure out how to make the respective airports stick in links, so after clicking on the link below, you must select MSP or DTW manually from the airport list near the top right.
Just a quick comment on this source, and that is if one uses just this site, then these are probably just domestic numbers. And if the numbers are just domestic, so with that then obviously international pax numbers are being omitted, and that may prevent a full picture of what's going on.....
is a site where the DOT gives some international information. On a page near the end, it shows how many international pax are handle by an airport. In this case, the time frame is YTD Sept 2011, and the numbers of int'l pax for MSP are 2,259,982 and with DTW it is 3,023,572. And since DL is most likely a high percentage of the international traffic for both airports, could this alter the overall count of both airports somewhat?
MountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2520 times:
Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice that was US data only. That changes things a bit, although not immensely. It would appear given that information that DTW remains on top in overall Delta passengers, although I still find it interesting that DTW's domestic traffic appears to be declining while MSP is at least somewhat stable if not growing.
Also, it's possible that the international numbers at MSP have more dilution in them due to Sun Country flying a good amount of international relative to the "other" airlines at both MSP and DTW. Without knowing, I would imagine that DTW has no other carrier besides DL that flies any significant amount of international.
HPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4925 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2466 times:
DTW always took a back seat to MSP in terms of domestic connectivity. It is, however, the Worldgateway and as such there is larger gauge of aircraft at DTW than at MSP, overall. Many international routings will connect domestic pax through MSP, on to DTW to take a flight overseas. So I'm not surprised at these numbers and they show that imho not a whole lot has changed in the relationship of MSP to DTW since the DL/NW merger.
point2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2808 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2421 times:
Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 2): Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice that was US data only. That changes things a bit, although not immensely.
Yes, changes some, and I'll agree most likely not really immensely.
With some additional research and paperwork review, the airports themselves probably have the best source of data here concerning what you are looking at..... I think that if looking here for DTW and selecting the correct time frame
and then with this info, although probably not in any way drastically altered from what is posted above, I think that there will be some better precision as to the picture of both airports than what the DOT site can give .
So after reading that information, it would appear that MSP did in fact post a growth in passenger numbers for 2011. That is still significant considering they have been declining since 2005. However, it would also appear that nearly all of the growth at MSP can be attributed to Southwest, Sun Country, and F9 (even when combined with the loss of Midwest numbers).
Another interesting note from that data, DL as a whole was relatively flat (0.03% growth 2011 over 2010). When you take into account the old NW numbers, it appears that mainline as a whole has decreased around 5% with regional flying picking up the slack. At DTW, the picture is similar with about an 8% decline in DL mainline passenger traffic in 2011 largely picked up by regionals.
Your welcome, and I think that usually the airports themselves will offer a bigger picture of what's going on there than does the DOT, since the DOT tends to, most importantly, usually separate domestic from international.
is probably better for DTW than that that I posted above.
Yes, that is what I ended up using. Their numbers are not as concise as MSP's nicely formatted numbers. I had to do some good old ten keying to figure out the DTW numbers. It paints a very interesting picture though as I mentioned above. I think I am more impressed at the Sun Country numbers than anything else: nearly 18% passenger growth at MSP in 2011, and that with MSP's "hometown airline."
It is much easier to compare basic traffic data between several airports using this than going to each of the individual airport sites. You can get on their email list too and it will be sent to you every week.
747fan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1847 times:
Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 5): Another interesting note from that data, DL as a whole was relatively flat (0.03% growth 2011 over 2010). When you take into account the old NW numbers, it appears that mainline as a whole has decreased around 5% with regional flying picking up the slack. At DTW, the picture is similar with about an 8% decline in DL mainline passenger traffic in 2011 largely picked up by regionals.
Alot of this has to do with the DC-9 retirements. Much of this capacity, especially on former DC-9-30 routes, has been shifted to large RJ's (such as Compass E-175's on many shorthaul markets out of MSP). In the case of DTW, cities such as SYR, ALB & PVD that used to get DC-9-30's & '40's now see perhaps more frequencies to Detroit than before but now these routes are mostly dominated by 50-seat RJ's.