O&D runs about 43,000 per year. Compare that to the current FAT
O&D which is only about 30,000."
However, those figures are so comperable as to be largely irrelevant. Most of the fliers on those flights are NOT going to be O&D traffic for either DEN
but rather connecting passengers. If you connect in Denver, you still make it reasonable to be travelling to areas between Denver and Chicago and beyond. If you connect in Chicago, it makes progressively less sense to backtrack to the rest of the plains, especially the southern plains and Texas.
Of course, the possibility exists to simple ADD flights to/from ORD
in addition to the ones that would use SFO
. However, at that point, you are stealing loads from those flights, thereby forcing you to use smaller, less efficient aircraft to serve the same number of people.
On a multi-hub network such as UA
, the proper balance of a mid-sized city is to only connect to 2 (possibly 3) hubs. In the case of Omaha, we are dead center between ORD
. It is obvious for us to connect to both so the passenger can select the connecting city based on ultimate direction of travel. On a city on the periphery such as FAT
, however, it makes sense to connect to the one or two that lead in the direction of
the rest of destinations but without stepping over too many of them.
It is for this reason that UA
's hub network is the most efficiently laid out one in the States. Using IAD
, they have perfectly overlapping areas of control so that it is likely possible to travel any mid-sized or lower O&D pair with no more than 2 connections (Feeder-Hub-Hub-Feeder) - and likely only one connection in many cases (Feeder-Hub-Feeder).