Gsoflyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1090 posts, RR: 1 Posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1388 times:
I am really curious.
I look at all the major airlines and I see a pattern emerge. It seems that alot of the majors focus more in the NE, Midwest or West but that Southeast (Louisiana up to KY/VA) is fairly neglected, except for Florida.
Yes Yes, I know that CLT, RDU, Nashville, and ATL are heavily used. But compare markets for other cities. You have Richmond, Roanoke, Lousiville, Knoxville, Tri-Cities, Greenville/Spartanburg, Birmingham, Greensboro/High Point, Mobile/Biloxi, Norfolk, even New Orleans getting majorly overlooked for service. There are so many other cities throughout the country that have much better service. Why is it that is seems that Southern cities are overlooked for service?
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1325 times:
I think that you raise a really intersting point; much has to do with demographics, the southeast has many cities, but not that many large, big cities filled with businesses, company headquarters, and lesuire travellers. There are few commuter routes within the southeast that attract lots of traffic (like San Francisco area to Los Angeles area or Boston to New York to Washington) that create lots of flights and traffic, and finally, the southeast does not have a major discount carrier (like Southwest) that pulls people out of their cars and into airplanes. Finally, there is the tourism aspect, and please dont take this the wrong way as the southeastern US is a beautiful part of the US, but there are not many major tourist destinations, such as a Las Vegas, California in general, Florida (plus the cruises that depart from Florida), NYC, etc, etc.
The situation may improve as Southwest is slowly working its way accross the country and has some service in the area, New Orleans and Mobile will have cruise ship departures that bring in air service, and the gulf coast is developing as a tourist destination with the addition of casinos and resort hotels.
The southeast also lost many of its "home-town" carriers, Piedmont became part of US Air, Eastern is gone, Southern became part of Republic and then NW, National became part of Pan Am and is gone, etc. ,etc. - many of these airlines were commited to the south. At the same time, airlines moved from point to point services to hubs and many cities in the southeast lost out with flights to various destinations being replaced by service to one or two major hubs like CLT or ATL. DL is the only major player with its history in the southeast, and they were always focussed on the ATL hub even before it was the trend. AA tried hubs in both Nashville and Raleigh, only to give up on both of them in favor of fortress DFW, and thankfully NW remains committed to MEM, although we always hear that the MEM hub works purely on conex traffic and its O&D numbers are terrible. New Orleans, for whatever reason, always seems to be overlooked by the airlines - wouldn't it be an ideal location for a central american/caribbean hub?
Regional Jets hopefully will improve the situation, and low-fare airlines like AirTran and Southwest may, at some point, focus on the US Southeast. Until then, lots of pax from that area will spend lots of time connecting in ATL, CLT and DFW!
Padcrasher From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1298 times:
Delta/ASA has the largest single airline operation in the World at ATL. It's really of such size that it has a gravitational pull in terms of pulling in the region's air traffic. IMO it's a major reason why CLT,BNA, and RDU are not much larger hubs than they are today. Additionally, DL's DFW and CVG provide a defence against competitors in the region, allowing Delta to take Southeast passengers North, South, East and West. No other airline can do that save WN to a much smaller extent.