Miami is either the second or third highest O&D market without nonstop service from Columbus. I agree that service between CMH and MIA is necessary. The reason America West decided to start new service to MCO most likely stems from Delta Express' discontinuation of 3 of 4 daily nonstops between Columbus and Orlando, in addition to the fact that it's one of the highest O&D destinations from CMH. I would like to see nonstop service between CMH and MIA return, but with American Eagle. Columbus desperately needs Miami service to ensure easier and more connecting opportunities to South and Central America.
I remember hearing the rumor concerning Mexico City service. Currently though, I don't think there is enough O&D traffic between CMH and MEX to warrant the service. If more connecting flights to Columbus are added, maybe America West could make an attempt at MEX service from CMH. Neither Continental nor Delta have flights to Mexico City from their hubs in Cleveland and Cincinnati respectively, so it could be to America West's advantage to start flights from CMH to MEX once there is a sufficient amount of traffic available.
San Francisco service was planned to begin in 1998, but it never materialized. As one of Columbus' highest O&D destinations without nonstop service, I hope America West looks at service to see SFO sometime in the near future.
FlyinRyan99 & DesertJets:
With America West's planned addition of the A318 to their fleet, I am hoping the airline will base several in Columbus to satisfy the demand for long, thin routes, as well as take over some popular CRJ routes.
For example, Hartford is one of America West's best destinations from Columbus, constantly filling the CRJ's that fly the route. San Diego is a very popular destination from Columbus with high O&D numbers, and is not served nonstop from Columbus or Hartford. America West could, hypothetically, operate an A318 originating in BDL, have it stop in CMH, and then continue on to SAN. The flight would drop off Hartford pax terminating in Columbus, then load up with connecting passengers from other cities, passengers originating in Columbus, and then Hartford pax taking advantage of the one-stop flight between BDL and SAN.
I also agree that connecting traffic is needed in order to classify Columbus as a full-fledged America West hub and to warrant more service to Western cities such as SAN and SEA. Currently, America West serves solely O&D traffic from CMH. I believe America West should continue to focus on high O&D traffic destinations from Columbus, and then branch into regional flying. Service to Kansas City and San Antonio with regional jets and mainline service to San Francisco should be added to further strengthen the America West route system from Columbus, as well as add more connecting opportunities if America West were to venture into regional flying. Once a sufficient amount of destinations have been successfully initiated, then America West should look at serving medium-sized Midwestern cities with limited connecting opportunities and few or no low-fare carriers and funnel traffic from those cities into CMH.
For example, America West Express could start nonstop service between Columbus and Toledo. Toledo's connection opportunities are limited to only 5 cities, and has only on low-fare carrier. There are also no nonstop flights between TOL and major cities in the Northeast, such as Boston and Philadelphia. America West Express could offer nonstop service between TOL and CMH for passengers wishing to connect to other cities served from Columbus such as Los Angeles and Phoenix, but then also offer direct service to the major cities in the Northeast, such as BOS and LGA.
Finally, concerning the DCA and RDU flights. It looks like America West is planning on having nonstop service between CMH and DCA resume in mid November, with 2 CRJ's and an A319. There was a rumor that America West Express was going to start CMH-RDU service, however with American Eagle now serving that route, I doubt America West will attempt starting that route.