COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:36 am

AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:24 pm

Do you this AUS could support being a hub for an airline? Austin has a huge technology industry and is well located. The University of Texas is also located in Austin, and last time I checked had an enrolment of at least 50,000. I am not sure about gate space, but Bergstrom is a great airport. The only airlines I could see using it as a hub would be a startup or Jetblue.

-COTXDFW777AA
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:34 pm

Nope. Not a chance. Bergstrom is a great airport, but there's no way it could be expanded without a huge capital investment that no airline is or should be willing to make. There are only 25 gates, and all but 3 or 4 are currently leased -- and most of the open gates are used for charters.

In a recent Dallas Morning News article, JetBlue mentioned serving AUS, but only with its new Embraers. Furthermore, AUS customers are already pretty loyal to AA, CO, and especially WN.

I live in Austin, and while the tech industry is big here, it's still struggling. UT is big, but to be honest, a university isn't going to support a hub airport. The city just isn't big enough; at 1.2 million, it pales in comparison to Dallas and Houston, both of which are pushing 5 million. As much as it hurts to say it, I don't think we'll see another hub airport in Texas for a long, long time. Three airlines are headquartered here, and they all have fiercely loyal customers. Austin and San Antonio have nonstop service to the country's biggest markets, and most people have gotten used to the fact that they'll have to connect through Dallas or Houston to get to the other places. Unless either city is ready to put up billions for a new airport, there won't be a hub in Central Texas.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
LambertMan
Posts: 1699
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:34 pm

Could is support it? Yes. Is it needed or will it happen soon? No. Positives are AUS is in the middle of the country, Bergstrom is a super airport, a large business sector, and the metro is growing at a quick clip that shows a lot of potential. You won't see B6 starting any hubs w/o their E190's(or with them as far as I'm concerned) and with Branson's new proposed start up the airline industry will be fairly saturated. AUS has a decent amount of service that in large part fills its o/d demands. Big thumbs up
 
william
Posts: 1662
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 1999 1:31 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:34 pm

Uh..........NO! SWA I believe has half of the traffic (a no starter in many airline eyes),and AA the last time I heard was #2. There is a major hub at DFW and IAH,both less than 200 miles away.

What AUS has nonstops to the Silicon Valley area via UA,and AA. Nonstops to LA,via SWA,and AA(?). Nonstop to the New York area via CO. And of course nonstops to all the major hubs that are located in business centers,and of SWA nonstops..............A hub at AUS would be redundant,the local traffic is well serviced.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:41 pm

Another issue that might be a factor is the expansion of the airport at ILE. For people who live in Williamson County (north of Austin), this airport is about as convenient as AUS. Furthermore, if the expansion project lures more carriers and destinations (DL Connection to ATL, NW Airlink to MEM, etc.), many people from the Killeen-Temple area (pop. 350,000) will stay there instead of driving to AUS.

AUS isn't like DFW or IAH in the sense that it will attract travelers from a 200-mile radius. Due to high fares, people from Abilene, Wichita Falls, Tyler, Longview, and Waco will often drive to DFW for originating flights (although this is changing as CO Connection has moved into these markets). Likewise, people from Nacogdoches-Lufkin, Bryan-College Station, Victoria, and Beaumont-Port Arthur will often drive to IAH. AUS has to compete with SAT, ILE, CLL, ACT, and even the Houston airports for these travelers. Given that, it will be hard for AUS to increase its numbers to achieve hub status.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
KAUSpilot
Posts: 1659
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:15 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:05 pm

I doubt it. Austin is the 17th largest city in the country but it's too close to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. I like our airport the size it is now. We only have two paralell runways, there's not much room for expansion in the terminal area, and things seem to run pretty smoothly at this size.

Plus, all general aviation traffic for the city of Austin is using Bergstrom at this time. The closest general aviation airports of significance, San Marcos, and Georgetown, are both over 20 NM away. Any airline trying to set up a hub there would need to get this GA traffic outta there.....737's don't like to follow Cessna 150's practicing ILS approaches.

Besides these reasons, Southwest has Austin fully assimilated. I believe WN has close to 60-70 daily departures out of AUS. AA is close behind with about half that many flights, followed by continental. The demand for air travel in Austin is being met pretty well at the current time. Cargo traffic still isn't quite at the levels it was during the tech boom.
 
bustraveler
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 12:15 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:08 pm

Growing up in Texas, I learned that DFW and IAH are far supreme to AUS. AUS is a MUCH nicer facility than DFW or IAH, but AUS simply does not have the population to support a major hub. SWA has a substantial number of flights as does AA. I do believe that SWA should up the number of intrastate Texas flights. I also think that SWA should consider service to Wichita Falls, Laredo, and Abilene. Just my opinion.
 
COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:36 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:15 pm

I also agree that SWA should add more intertexas flights. Texas has kinda become Luv's stepchild.

-COTXDFW777AA
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24724
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:20 pm

I doubt it. Austin is the 17th largest city in the country but it's too close to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.


City proper means nothing in terms of measuring a city's size. Austin is America's 39th largest city in terms of MSA population.
a.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:26 pm

CoTXDFW77AA --

I strongly disagree with your characterization of Texas as WN's "stepchild." You make it out to seem like WN is gouging Texas customers and dominating its markets. This is clearly not the case. I'd bet that 90% of Texans love WN and what its done for their cities. Without WN, places like MAF, LBB, AMA, CRP, and HRL would probably have no mainline air service. Likewise, fares between major Texas cities such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and El Paso would be much higher. Overall, WN has been great for Texas. In addition, air travel competition in Texas is better than most states. With three major airlines criscrossing the state, I'd say Texas has better intra-state service than just about any other state, except maybe California and Florida. The Texas state legislature has repeatedly commended WN for its efforts in Texas, and rightly so.

As far as adding service in Texas, I think it's doubtful. Of the three cities you mentioned, Laredo is probably the most likely to get service. Given its distance from major Texas cities, it's probably the most underserved with respect to air service (with only AAEagle and COEx). However, Abilene and Wichita Falls are pipe dreams when it comes to WN service. I'm originally from Abilene, and officials there attempted to lure WN for a long time. However, even they realize that WN isn't going to serve such a small market. Lubbock, Amarillo, and Midland-Odessa are all twice the size of Abilene, and for people in those three markets, driving to DFW is not an option. People in these places will often fly just to get to Dallas for business meetings, etc. People in Abilene, who can be in Ft. Worth in just over two hours, won't do this, given the hassle and cost of flying. People in Wichita Falls are even closer, and less likely to do so.

That being said, ABI is doing well as an airport. It's just completed a renovation, and COEx has upgraded one of its daily IAH flights to an ERJ. I expect AAEagle to bring in more RJs, and if things go well, maybe even a third carrier could start ABI service within a year or two.

As for SPS, things don't look good. It's just too small and too close to DFW. A few months ago, when CO re-started service to several Texas cities (ABI, SJT, TYR, ACT, TXK, ILE, VCT), it did not start service to SPS. People in this market simply don't mind driving to Dallas for their air service.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
KAUSpilot
Posts: 1659
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:15 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:38 pm

City proper means nothing in terms of measuring a city's size

I beg to differ. It tells you the population of the city. That's definitely something. Airports like DFW and IAH were designed to serve a whole region, not just a single city. Bergstrom is designed to serve the city of Austin. People within 2 hours of driving distance of Houston or Dallas are better off driving there, even if they are closer to AUS. Odds are they'll have to connect at one of those places anyway if they leave from Austin. I'm sure the airport planners knew this when they were designing AUS in the late 90's.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24724
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:02 pm

I beg to differ. It tells you the population of the city. That's definitely something. Airports like DFW and IAH were designed to serve a whole region, not just a single city. Bergstrom is designed to serve the city of Austin.

No it's not. Bergstrom is designed to serve the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area. Every airport serves a metropolitan area, not just a city. Are you telling me that people living in the suburbs of Austin do not fly into and out of Bergstrom? And using the measurement of city proper over CMA, than Jacksonville is a market more than double the size of Miami and El Paso is a larger market than Boston.
a.
 
KAUSpilot
Posts: 1659
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:15 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:19 pm

MAH4546:

Sure, metro population is important but the population of the city itself is not meaningless. The fact stands that Austin is the 17th largest city in the nation. More than half the people in the Austin metro area live in Austin itself (650k/1.2 mil). This is not the case for places like Dallas (1mil/5 mil) and Boston (500k/1.5 mil).
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:21 pm

The university won't bring a hub. Just look at College Station.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
william
Posts: 1662
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 1999 1:31 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:32 pm

As someone who lives in the Centroplex area,I agree with Ssides,that the new ILE airport will syphon some of the fast growing northen areas of Austin. If you live in Georgetown(where there is a wealthy retirement community called Sun City) it will take you 45 minutes to reach ABIA WITHOUT TRAFFIC! Only 30 minutes to reach the soon to open airport at Killeen.

There was a poll taken some years ago,and it stated airline tickets out of the Killeen,Ft.Hood,and Temple....about 75% of the tickets sold were for flights out of Austin.......with the opening of the new airport those numbers will surely change,and ABIA will feel the effects of it.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:39 pm

William --

Good point ... but will the new ILE airport be that close to Georgetown? I'd put it at about 45 minutes as well ... but we're probably splitting hairs on that issue.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24724
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:44 pm

Sure, metro population is important but the population of the city itself is not meaningless. The fact stands that Austin is the 17th largest city in the nation. More than half the people in the Austin metro area live in Austin itself (650k/1.2 mil). This is not the case for places like Dallas (1mil/5 mil) and Boston (500k/1.5 mil).

It still does not change the fact that Boston, despite having only 500k in the city, is a larger market than Austin. So is Miami, where only 368k of the 5M residents live in city proper. Also, the fact that half of metro Austin lives within the city of Austin itself does nothing more than show how Austin occupies a large area. The City of Miami occupies only 35 square miles, less than Walt Disney World. Boston occupies only 53 square miles.
a.
 
geg2rap
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:02 am

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:58 pm

Yes AUS does have a direct from LAX on the Super 80, was just on it and the nerd bird, which is full cash....every flight
Remember too midwest pulled out of aus recently and UA has added some more hubs to aus
WN has a killer presense and so does AA and CO tons of hubs times to connect with
AUS wont change I lived the BOI possibility better  Smile
 
KAUSpilot
Posts: 1659
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:15 pm

RE: AUS... A Hub?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:11 pm

I agree, boston and miami are larger markets. Like I said, I don't think Austin could support a hub even though it is the 17th largest city in the USA. As you pointed out, it does not have a large metro area, and it already has two major hub airports within 165 NM.

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