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US Files Objections To PHL Expansion  
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7511 posts, RR: 24
Posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9427 times:

Since the old thread on this subject has since been archived; the below-link gives the latest update

US Airways Files Objections to Philadelphia Airport Expansion

Key Exerpt (Bold emphasis added):

"If we are unable to operate profitably from Philadelphia, we may need to significantly reduce our business at Philadelphia, or move that business to another of our hubs," US Airways said.

"Our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be harmed by an increase in airport rates and fees charged by Philadelphia International Airport in connection with, and following, the airport expansion."


Personal take: everything has a price even an airline hub. It looks like the PHL hub for US isn't as sacred as many thought. Although I would've thought US would reduce its PHL hub only if it merged with another carrier that has a neighboring hub.


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
60 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 911 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9293 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Thread starter):
Personal take: everything has a price even an airline hub. It looks like the PHL hub for US isn't as sacred as many thought.

This is just posturing. Delta made similar threats 1-2 years ago to move a substantial portion of traffic from Atlanta to Memphis. Did they? No. Would they have? Highly unlikely.

[Edited 2012-02-23 06:13:37]

User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9175 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Thread starter):
Personal take: everything has a price even an airline hub. It looks like the PHL hub for US isn't as sacred as many thought.



Absolutely. A business exists to make money. If the hub turns unprofitable, it is not out of the question that it will be eliminated, especially when facing high oil prices this year.

However, US has a very limited number of hubs (unlike DL or UA) and cannot close PHL without significant impacts to their network, so it does seem to be a lot of posturing at this point.

But I think this reinforces the fact that airlines prefer hubs where competition cannot grow due to some type of capacity restrictions (ORD, PHL, EWR, etc.). This keeps competition out, fares high, and hubs profitable. What is good for the airline is not necessarily good for the consumer, but this is a tough industry that struggles to make money on a consistent basis.


User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1991 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9165 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 1):
This is just posturing. Delta made similar threats 1-2 years ago to move a substantial portion of traffic from Atlanta to Memphis. Did they? No. Would they have? Highly unlikely.

I bet PIT would make one heck of a bid to get them back. They had a hub at BWI at one time too, but WN is there now.

Furthermore, they could move some of the flights to DCA even though its slot restricted, they just picked up a number of those slots.

[Edited 2012-02-23 07:00:08]

[Edited 2012-02-23 07:01:39]

User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4085 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9121 times:

Delta drew down DFW, AA drew down BNA...so the precedent is there for an airline to 'vaporize' a hub. Not to say US would do the same to PHL, but it's just a matter of how tight the screws are put to them by the Airport Authority.

User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3387 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9003 times:

Posturing. Nothing more, nothing less. Close a top 5 market like PHL where you have a virtual fortress (ask WN) and be left with two 20-something market hubs. Mr. Parker must have fallen and hit his head unless he plans to buy AA.


"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8928 times:

Well here is an interesting side note from the article......

"US Airways' hub in Charlotte, N.C., is its largest, with 595 daily flights. But Philadelphia, an international hub with 429 daily flights, generates more revenue."

CLT has ~160 more flights, but generates less revenue than PHL. Substance over size.


User currently onlineFlaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8848 times:

I'm not so sure that it's all posturing. If expansion increases costs to the point where the hub isn't profitable they don't have much choice. There is also truth to the thought that they are protecting their niche. Who wouldn't? If anyone thinks this is a bluff look no farther than PIT.
US has some serious issues with their east coast hubs in the decade ahead. Both PHL and CLT are dreadful places to connect. While CLT is very nice and they have done a great job with what they have to work with, it was never built for the volumes it handles. The corridors are tight, the gate areas are tiny and the walking is extensive. The gate areas are so small that passengers actually clog the corridors even further slowing the flow of passengers attempting connections. Some travelers (myself included) avoid these hubs for those very reasons. At some point, major expansion will be required at both of these facilities. At that point the cost advantage US enjoys will evaporate.
PHL is particularly troublesome due to it's location underneath some of the most crowded airspace in the country. In addition to the increased fees related to expansion, the increased cost of airspace related delays from even more traffic can do nothing but push US's hub costs even higher still.


User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3388 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8753 times:

Is the possibility of the FAA redesigning the airspace even on the table? Or is their essentially no airspace to redesign with WAS and NYC receiving preferrential treatment and PHL will always suffer? Why don't the city and US join together to put some pressure on the FAA.

You have to understand US' side of the argument. Yes, the airport should really have another runway but if 10 years from now PHL still faces the same airspace type of delays what good is the runway. I forget, does the runway also alleviate some of the taxi way issues? I know the proposed new B/C terminal would eliminate a number of the alley delays.


User currently offlinemainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2097 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8709 times:

Quoting Flaps (Reply 7):
Both PHL and CLT are dreadful places to connect.

PHL obviously wasn't designed as a hub, but few are in the US and it fares well when compared to other 'non-hub' hubs (EWR in particular). I've been through PHL many times, never had any severe delays (luck?) and find the security staff courteous and friendly. Not a problem.

The US MAN - PHL service apparently caters for quite a healthy level of O&D business travel and cargo (between the UK and PA, VA, DC and DE), but for the rest of us, it would make no difference if we were to connect in PIT or CLT.


User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3387 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8663 times:

Quoting Flaps (Reply 7):
If anyone thinks this is a bluff look no farther than PIT.

Different time. Different story. They had three and a half hubs (PHL, PIT, BWI and DCA) all very close to each other. They had to do something and PIT and BWI were low on the totem pole.



"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11212 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8622 times:

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 10):
Different time. Different story. They had three and a half hubs (PHL, PIT, BWI and DCA) all very close to each other.

Not that different.

People need to remember that PIT and PHL are as far apart as ATL and CVG. As for DCA and BWI, DCA has always been just a focus city, and BWI's hub had long been drawn down by then.

Another example: US no longer has a hub at LAS.


With that said, I cannot foresee a situation where US is not hubbed at PHL. I think even with an American Airlines buyout (which I see as likely), PHL will still be a hub for the combined airline.



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User currently onlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8596 times:

There are two things in play with USAirways thinking here.

1. If PHL builds a new runway, USAirways does not want to pay for it, and neither do the other airlines. I read one article where it wasn't just US objecting, but most of the other majors serving PHL as well.

2. US apparently feels its more profitable to operate a hub with constant delays if it keeps competition out as opposed to a hub that has fewer delays but more competition.

There was an interesting letter to the editor of the Philly Tribune yesterday from the PHL CEO. He criticized USAirways for their stand and hinted that USAirways set up their own study to support them, and not PHL as a whole. He also hinted that he would not pander to US just because they are the biggest carrier in PHL, as in his opinion PHL is much more important as a whole than just the hub airline. I say, good for him.


User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4036 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8479 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 12):
There was an interesting letter to the editor of the Philly Tribune yesterday from the PHL CEO. He criticized USAirways for their stand and hinted that USAirways set up their own study to support them, and not PHL as a whole. He also hinted that he would not pander to US just because they are the biggest carrier in PHL, as in his opinion PHL is much more important as a whole than just the hub airline. I say, good for him.

Good luck to him. I bet he would change his tune if PHL shared the same fate as PIT. PHL benefits greatly from having an airline hub there...even if US left and the capacity were backfilled by other airlines, the airport would still lose out on the profits generated by a hub schedule.

Ultimately I do not see US leaving PHL - as of now, they have no other option in the Northeast. Although it would be cool to see them flow some connections over PIT again.


User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3388 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8453 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 12):
2. US apparently feels its more profitable to operate a hub with constant delays if it keeps competition out as opposed to a hub that has fewer delays but more competition.

Well kinda of. I think they are trying to argue that just because you build a runway does not mean delays will decline drastically, mostly due to the airspace issues over much of the NE.

Whether they really buy into that or whether they really want to keep PHL as a delay prone airport so as to keep competition at a minimum is anyone's guess.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7511 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8299 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 1):
Delta made similar threats 1-2 years ago to move a substantial portion of traffic from Atlanta to Memphis.

Apples and oranges comparison; MEM was a much smaller hub for NW than ATL is for DL. When the DL/NW merger news first broke out; I, for one, knew that MEM's days as a hub were numbered.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 3):
I bet PIT would make one heck of a bid to get them back.

The PIT hub was sacrificed due to US being in Chapter 11 (for the 2nd time) at the time AND the fact that they knew darn well that if it merged with ANY carrier at the time; its PIT hub would eventually be gone.

Unlike PIT, PHL has a much more O&D demand. IIRC, in its days as a US hub; the majority of passengers on those PIT flights were connecting.

Quoting D L X (Reply 11):
People need to remember that PIT and PHL are as far apart as ATL and CVG.

You must be joking. A quick glance at a U.S. map shows the distance between ATL & CVG being noticably larger than the distance between PHL & PIT. Were you actually referring to ATL & MEM as opposed to CVG?

Quoting milesrich (Reply 3):
They had a hub at BWI at one time too, but WN is there now.

The BWI hub was pulled down years ago. Its pulldown centainly helped WN expand its presence there. And again, that hub being fairly close to its PHL hub was starting to take its toll on US' overall operations back then... especially during the recession of the early 90s.

Anyway, I've stated this before and I was state it again. Just because an airport serves a major metropolitan city doesn't mean that having an airline hub there is an automatic birth-right. IF the demand for airline service exists at a given airport; then carriers (note the plural) will come in and fly the routes.

Should US drop its PHL hub due to this (the CEP fees), a merger w/another legacy carrier (no down to three) or liquidation (US dodged that bullet w/the HP merger back in 2005); trust me, other carriers will come in to pick up the routes that are indeed in demand.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinesouthwest737500 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8220 times:

Bring it all to Charlotte, it's a gold mine down here

User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4036 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8096 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 15):
You must be joking. A quick glance at a U.S. map shows the distance between ATL & CVG being noticably larger than the distance between PHL & PIT. Were you actually referring to ATL & MEM as opposed to CVG?

According to Great Circle Mapper:

ATL-CVG 373 mi
ATL-MEM 332 mi
PHL-PIT 268 mi


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11212 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8084 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 15):
Quoting D L X (Reply 11):
People need to remember that PIT and PHL are as far apart as ATL and CVG.

You must be joking. A quick glance at a U.S. map shows the distance between ATL & CVG being noticably larger than the distance between PHL & PIT.

Don't just look at the map, because the map will appear distorted. The distances are surprisingly comparable: 373 miles vs. 268. 6 hour drive Philly to PIT, 7 hour drive Atlanta to Cincy.



Send me a PM at http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/sendmessage.main?from_username=NULL
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7511 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 18):
Don't just look at the map, because the map will appear distorted.

Don't need to now, since HPRamper posted the distances (Thx BTW HPRamper). 
The only reason why I did not do more in-depth search earlier was because I had work to do.

Quoting D L X (Reply 18):
The distances are surprisingly comparable: 373 miles vs. 268. 6 hour drive Philly to PIT, 7 hour drive Atlanta to Cincy.

Using your time estimates and the above-distances, I get an average speed of roughly 45 mph for PHL-PIT (not that any one would necessarily drive from airport to airport) vs. ATL-CVG average of 53 mph.

Most people I've spoken with that have driven between Phily and PIT; the average travel time (barring major traffic jams) is closer to 5 hours not 6.

Besides, DL has already started to gut its CVG hub (due to its relatively close proximity to the larger DTW hub) so its ultimate fate may very well be similar to what PIT presently is.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3388 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7642 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 18):

Don't just look at the map, because the map will appear distorted. The distances are surprisingly comparable: 373 miles vs. 268. 6 hour drive Philly to PIT, 7 hour drive Atlanta to Cincy.
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
Using your time estimates and the above-distances, I get an average speed of roughly 45 mph for PHL-PIT (not that any one would necessarily drive from airport to airport) vs. ATL-CVG average of 53 mph

Ok, I don't know why we are really getting into distances between cities but lets take a step back here. If you want to purely compare distances than the great circle is fine, however it is not applicable for driving. Goggle maps tells me it is 305 miles (5 1/2 hours) from PHL-PIT if you were to drive, which is much greater than the great circle distance.

Quoting southwest737500 (Reply 16):
Bring it all to Charlotte, it's a gold mine down here

Can CLT handle much more capacity? Also it probably can't handle (from a demand perspective) many more TA flts than it already has, which is one of the things that makes PHL so lucrative.


User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7525 times:

Ultimately what suits PHL may not suit US, and vice versa.

Where would US move that capacity to?.


User currently offlinejreuschl From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7507 times:

Would US pull back any international flights and would any of them be taken over (or expanded) by international carriers?

User currently offlinedon0245 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7486 times:
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PHL one of the worst US airports!! Delays, lack of runways, very poor connecting airport. Just Sayin!!

User currently offlinesouthwest737500 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7486 times:

Quoting usairways85 (Reply 20):

Well we're getting 2 additonal wide body gates by S12 and by 2015 a new terminal should be built which give US ample amount of gates. Obviously they wouldn't bring everything at once. But long term we could handle it


25 usairways85 : While that is still something yet to be determine and something that *may* happen well in the future PHL would likely up like BOS where you have more
26 PHLBOS : The distances between cities (airports more specifically) was brought into the picture with regards to how close a hub of a LARGE airline can be to a
27 flylku : Doesn't PHL get a larger share their largest aircraft? I am curious how PHL matches CLT on number of seats per day. It is still smaller, I'm sure, bu
28 usairways85 : Gates are only one piece of the puzzle, however if I understand correctly CLT is just about maxed out on gates. I've heard CLT has started to face so
29 southwest737500 : Your wright in that. But CLT is no where near PHL in terms of delays. Yes of course when that 6:00 push comes things get a little congested but it ha
30 USAirALB : PHL best be considering this project very, very seriously. But when CLT wants to start building Terminal 2 (Concourse F), will US object to that? I ag
31 Post contains images bjorn14 : US would be cutting off their nose despite their face. The airspace situation might change when the NextGen ATC comes online in about 2022. US could
32 Post contains images PHLBOS : All the E-170/175s are flown by Republic under the US Express banner. In terms of number of flights (as opposed to seats); I'm guessing that ZW has t
33 flylku : I would be shocked if it happened. But, reducing dependence on PHL by shifting to other hubs is a possibility. Also, a merger of some sort would infl
34 Post contains images D L X : Come on. We all know Doug Parker would never AAllow his AAirline to merge with AAnother.
35 HPRamper : It's just posturing by US. It would be akin to PMCO threatening to pull out of EWR. Not really a viable option. And with all respect to Dayton, it wa
36 mah584jr : If US left, I think a carrier like B6 would swoop in in a second. Where is US going to go that would provide a better alternative? US needs PHL a lot
37 D L X : Now, THAT would be posturing.
38 jporterfi : It may be just posturing, but I wonder if the proximity of another Star Alliance member, UA, over at EWR is causing US to rethink its scheduling to be
39 usairways85 : While US is a member of Star it is not an integral part and the Alliance certainly does not try to look out for US (i.e. No US in the ATI agreement).
40 toltommy : Not necessarily. US doesn't need to connect traffic over PHL. Philly generates more revenue than CLT does. I'm willing to bet that's because of the O
41 HPRamper : The connecting traffic is what feeds the international flights, and without the international, PHL isn't nearly as profitable. If US cut PHL to an O&
42 mah584jr : True, US could certainly go elsewhere. But if revenue is the name of the game then I have a hard time believing that another location will equal what
43 aeroblogger : No doubt, PHL needs US more. If US decided to move its hub operation to PIT or BOS and downgrade PHL to a focus city, PHL would hurt. Badly.
44 Post contains images RyanairGuru : Hmm I was trying to think where they could go: somewhere with international facilities, no hub and space to roam. RDU: no chance BNA: probably too cl
45 slcdeltarumd11 : I think the airport should listen to its largest and most important tenant in these cases where one carrier has a dominance If its an airport like RDU
46 flylku : Agreed. I never understood Dayton as a hub anyway. But I'll most A.netters of a certain age or younger don't even know at one time it was a small hub
47 D L X : Without a doubt, PHL needs US more. It's not close. However, this "who needs who more" when it is clear that they both benefit from each other is a p
48 sharktail : I've been reading all the comments and I think nobody is looking at it from a finance/business perspective. It really all comes down to cost. If the a
49 usairways85 : US isn't moving anywhere, there is no where to move. BOS...yea you have a better shot at winning the megamillion lottery. PIT...sure if you want to r
50 Post contains links and images point2point : Reading up on this, and using a couple of articles, I could see how US, and every airline, for that matter, is to be concerned about this. From the b
51 jporterfi : I hadn't thought about International presence, but I agree with you. PHL, with its proximity to New York City, is a much better international hub tha
52 D L X : I think PHL's proximity to Philadelphia matters a lot more than its proximity to New York City for international travel. WOW! Yes, that is a problem,
53 HPRamper : Yikes. I'll take and keep my 14 minutes of delay time. No wonder US is unhappy about it.
54 Post contains images point2point : We have to remember as well that one of the factors of the CPE is based on the number of enplanements. This is what costs remain to an airport after
55 usairways85 : With WN reducing a rather large number of flts, Year over Year PHL has seen a decrease in enplanements. In the short term I don't really see these nu
56 usflyer msp : $35 CPE is not going to work. Thanks to unions and restrictive laws, construction is generally very expensive in the PHL area but PHL needs to find wa
57 Post contains links and images point2point : Yes, obviously with WN pulling down some, it will make CPE go up, assuming, of course, all other things remain equal. And from the above, it already
58 mah584jr : I agree, but it seems this could be the path US and PHL are headed down. Hopefully, cooler heads prevail and both parties can come to some sort of ag
59 D L X : When I think about who needs to change their tune, I think about the analogy to a renter and a landlord. The renter has been a good renter, kept the
60 PHLBOS : IIRC, DAY was a hub US picked up during the PI merger. While DAY, as a hub, had a purpose for PI; when PI merged into US, it pretty much became redun
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