You know, there is so much talk on here about airlines switching, dropping, swapping, buying, selling, eating, bartering, liquidating, and digesting various hubs. I'll tell you what, most of it is just water under the bridge. Some of these comments have no validity whatsoever.
Stop and think for a minute how difficult it would be to relocated a hub. This is not an easy process at all. There are so many aspects that need to be changed that it cannot be done overnight. You cannot just simply pick up and move hub operations at once. You cannot get out of airport leases that easily. Then new leases at the new airport have to be negotiated. Then there is the whole employee issue. Are you going relocate all the hub employees too? let alone how many would actually like to transfer. Then you have to move aircraft and ground equipment. It would be no easy to task to relocate a couple thousand pieces of ground equipment. Then now you've completely abandoned your customer base in one city, stranding numerous very elite customers. Now you walk into a new city where you have to build up a new customer base. Then you have to deal with your customers at the spoke cities too. Don't forget having suitable maintenance facilities for overnight checks too. What about your regional partners too? Or getting governmental approval to operate international flights. What about the political struggle, bribes, and deals that will be offered to keep the hub in one city versus another.
This is not an easy task to accomplish. I don't know of anytime in the past that such a move has been accomplished. Let alone, the financial state of the industry, such a move would be a grave mistake on any airline's part. You would start to turn a profit from the start. In order to accomplish such a feat, you would have to gradually draw down flights from the one hub and gradually build up operations in the new city. Even when AA
closed up BNA
, and SJC
(the first time) they didn't just halt operations overnight. Instead it happened over a couple year period. At the same time MIA
was being built up. The HP
situation at CMH
is different, that was barely a hub, if you even wanted to call it that. It was nowhere even close to the magitude of an ORD
, or SLC
. Any other airline would call it a focus city.
Right now there is too much capacity in the industry. Its been said that the loss of any one (or even two) hubs would not create a "gaping hole" in the US airline system. The hub city would obviously lose numerous city pairs and flights, but the O&D traffic would have more than enough opportunites to travel to other airline's hubs or on some point-to-point routes. Airlines would operate larger equipment and you might see a few new routes, but the hub would not be necessary right away.
Everyone has been calling for UA
's death, well they were all calling for US to fall too....it hasn't.......nor who is to think that UA
will or will not. Same goes for the fate of AA
The only facts are:
is closing its hub at CMH
(not even noticable in the big picture of things)
has given a warning to CLE
3) US has given a warning to PIT