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Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:49 am

Perhaps this has been answered in many forums already but why, beyond a financial spat w/ Allegheny County did Usairways decide to focus, years ago, on PHL instead of PIT? PIT Isn't prone to nearly as many delays as PHL, has ample space and plenty of runway capacity vs. PHL. Since the 1990's, they've been expanding PHL with the new F concourse and international terminal. Is that 30min flight time worth it for international pax? They're may not be that much O&D traffic from PIT compared to PHL but DL did well with ATL as a super hub. Any answers?-Matt in KITH
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:51 am

Two reasons I know for sure (surely not the only ones):

-Higher O&D @ PHL
-Lower cost per passenger in departure fees (I think PIT is the highest in the USA??)

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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:51 am

PHL has actual great O&D numbers....
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:37 am

PHL is the #5 Population MSA in the country (5.9 million)
PIT is #18 (2.4 million)
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:42 am

KITH-You mentioned ATL not being such a big city...ATL is the fourth-largest O&D Airport in the United States, whereas PHL is somewhere around 15, and PIT is somewhere in the 50's...
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:43 am

The first rule of building an airline hub: Choose a city with a large O&D base population.

And yet this conflicts with...

The first rule of operating an airline: Don't compete against WN.
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:22 pm

All of these answeres are indeed correct.

Another facet to the poppulation pool that draws directly from, is the population that candrive to the airport. I beleive that 3 hours is the bench mark, and I read somewhere that PHL is with in a three hour drive of 25% of the population of the United States. PIT is not.

So you add up the plusses and minuses and PHL comes out on top.
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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:34 pm

I think PIT is the highest in the USA??)

DEN's are higher actually, and local leaders are taking measures to lower PIT's lease fees.

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RE: Why Cut PIT Not PHL?

Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:53 pm

There are a couple of reasons:

1) PHL is a much larger city than PIT. Even with WN moving in, there is plenty of room for both airlines.

2) PIT's GMSA is one of the few in the US that is shrinking. Part of the reason for this is the industrial base of the city is shriveling up. Steel and other manufacturing industries are dying out in this country, and they refuse to innovate. So they dry up and PIT sufferes for it.

3) Consolidation of resources. By scheduling more flights out of PHL and fewer flights out of PIT, they can use the resources already available at PHL and reduce the number of resources required at PIT. They save money in terms of carrying costs, maintenance, and leases.

4) PIT and PHL are very close together. Having two hubs so close (less than 300 miles) for a traditional hub/network carrier is absurd, a waste. I wouldn't be surprised, if US manages to recover, if they put a new hub somewhere further west in a growing metro, like IND or STL.

5) International traffic out of PHL, due to the city being the #5 GMSA in the country and having a massive financial and commercial base (though not quite as big as NYC's), is much greater than the traffic out of PIT.

But this all comes down to one major idea: Consolidation of resources. US can't afford to keep all it has. It has to make cuts somewhere, and PIT makes the most sense.
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