"I agree with the statement that UAL is starting to become a secondary carrier. TW
and Pan Am went through this before they went under...
Most of their flights now begin and end at a hub. There is very little point to point flying. Europe and S. America also have much weaker and thinner networks. 9/11 has taken its toll on everyone, but UA
took it real hard."
I completely disagree with this statement. Here's why:
First, how is United a secondary carrier? They are the 2nd largest airline in the world! And they would still be the largest if not for AA
's purchase of TWA. Further, they have maintained all their hubs, and are still the only airline out of UA
/AA/DL that is the #1 airline in all its hubs.
Second, United is not doing anything that TWA and Pan Am did. Those two airlines sold off crucial routes to stay alive (TWA all of LHR
, Pan Am all of the Pacific and later LHR
and the Atlantic). United has yet to do any of that.
Third, they have always had the majority of their flights go through their hubs. They gave up point to point in the early 1980s.
Europe is no weaker than beofre 9/11. All the major routes are still in place. South America has fewer cities but is stronger because the flights are routed through ORD
instead of MIA
Compare United to, say, Delta. Delta has withered away nearly all its Pacific routes, DFW
hub and MCO
mini-hub. I'd say they've been hurt even more.