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Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 9:32 am

What are Continental's long term plans for there hub at Cleveland Hopkins? Do you feel that after the future expansion, Cleveland will be a super hub and pass up Cincinnati as Ohio's busiet airport? Cleveland is "the best location in the nation". If Cleveland can not keep up with demand, will Continental look elsewhere (maybe Columbus) or will Cleveland Burke-Lakefront see commercial traffic growth again, mainly from Continental and Continental Express? Burke-Lakefront is closer to downtown and can handle large jets. I have seen 757's, 727's and A300's there.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 9:41 am

I think Continental plans on staying in Cleveland. They spent all the money to build the D concourse. Currently major plans for the airport include an extension to 5R-23L, I think out to 11,000'. Plus a new 5L-23R that would be further to the west for better arrival and departure horizontal seperation. Bear in mind these are planned, I don't know if they will happen. Currently CO has around 80 mainline jet depatures and over 200 express departures. I doubt it will ever get bigger than CVG, which is actually in Kentucky. There is simply not enough land for that. But as a personal preference I much rather change planes in Cleveland than in Houston. The C concourse is fairly compact and friendly. Whereas terminal C at IAH is quite big and lacks such features as moving walkways on the concourse. But CLE could take a lot more traffic. Though to be honest the C concourse is undersized... it is too narrow and a much better 30 gate facility could be a big plus for CO. I doubt Burke will see commercial service... I don't even know if it has FAR 135 approval either. And there might be issues with the locals over noise etc... plus it is alot smaller than CLE... the long runway is only 6000' or so.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:40 pm

How did Continental end up with a hub in Cleveland in the first place.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 7:14 pm

Seems to me, the Continental hub in Cleveland has limited growth potential. I don't think the hub is going anywhere-- there's too much O/D for that. But the airport is completely boxed in on all sides, with fierce opposition to expansion from the suburban neighbors. The new parallel runway will be so close to the existing runway that it can't be used in bad weather, which is MUCH of the time in CLE. Also, the airspace above CLE is some of the most congested in the country.

Only speculation on my part, but I think it will remain a regional hub only, with limited int'l service (maybe one more city), exclusively COEx and narrowbody jets, like it is today. This is a huge contrast to CVG, with ever expanding service, lots of wide-bodies, and much more int'l service-- and plenty of land to grow.

I think if CLE as a mini-hub-- for example, only 5 narrow body flights a day to BOS? 4 flights on 737 700 to LAX? 4 Regional jets/turbo/day props to my home market of RDU? Even MEM has more seats than that.

Tis a shame, cause in my opinion, CLE is by far the most underserved market in the USA, relative to its population.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 7:19 pm

CLE probably won't grow to match CVG's size or scope, but it is an important hub in the Continental system and not marginal at all. It is a major base of operations for Continental Express, is relatively less congested than other midwest airports, and the facilities, though dowdy, are being improved, with the presence of Concourse D.

The airport is hemmed in on all sides and the runways are too close together. I doubt additional long-haul service will be added, though Paris is a possibility. I bet CO will switch to a 767-200ER for the LGW route early next year.

Continental started building a CLE hub in the late 1980's after UA abandoned
Concourse C to focus on ORD and IAD. Concourse C was remodeled in 1990-91 and expanded, particularly at the point were it turns into a large circular area.

Burke Lakefront Airport probably won't see much in the way of commercial airlines.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Tue Sep 05, 2000 8:33 pm

Cleveland is a smart place for a domestic hub. But the key to CLE is the sheer volume of O&D traffic.

Remember, if you have O&D traffic, the airlines will come.
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Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:57 pm


Former UAL Hub
Could anyone provide us some information about the hub operations UAL used to have at CLE please?
Why did they pull out?

Continental Hub
Any plan to start services to CDG or FRA?

BTW, there are some downloadable route maps on Continental Airlines website

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Wed Sep 06, 2000 3:26 am

Some information straight from a Clevelander:

Part of the Concourse D construction deal was that in exchange for footing most of the bill, Continental Airlines now has exclusive rights to commercial passenger service in to and out of Burke Lakefront Airport.

Burke does have FAR recognition... Commercial passenger service ceased in 1991. It could start up again any time if Continental was interested.

Continental only has one scheduled International flight -- CLE-LGW, not counting CoEx flights to/from Canada -- Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec. The main reason for this service was to support BPAmerica's business in Cleveland. Unfortunately BPAmerica is now BPAmoco and is going to move to Chicago next year. Who knows if the CLE-LGW service will leave with it.

Continental maintains mostly 737 service out of Cleveland.

These are the few facts as I know it.

Up, up and away!
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Large Jets At Bkl?

Wed Sep 06, 2000 4:59 am

Are you nuts! Those are flown in empty for the air show! BKL's longest runway is 2000 feet shorter than CLE's shortest! And it has 6 gates! None of which have been used in years! Very few (and very little) airlines used BKL. No.... no BKL as an International... CLE is getting a 10000 foot runway this year and CO plans for 767 operations.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Thu Sep 07, 2000 2:49 am

A few corrections and statements.

Continental has reported that the CLE-LGW route has been much more successful than they thought it would be. Only 2 flights in 1 year were cancelled. They plan on upgrading to 767-200 (maybe 400) service on the route.

ACA has announced that the CLE-IAD route is running very well. As a result, they are upgrading 4 flights a day to CRJ's as opposed to J41's or 31's on Oct. 1.

Cleveland's new runway will start construction next month. It will be built to 7,000 feet then extended to 10,000 ft. in 2001. The current 5R/23L will be extended to 11,000 ft. next year. The new runway will allow for simaltanious approaches and CAT 3 landings.

United pulled out in the 80's because they couldn't fly non-stop to Europe with those old 747's and DC-10's on CLE's runways. Back then International flights were the big thing. Now it is domestic and commuter flights. And with new airplanes and new engines less runway is needed so they can fly CLE to Europe. This is something Continental is taking full advantage of and is getting good money for.

BKL could never be a commercial passenger airport again. To many things would interfere. Like the Ribfest, the Grand Prix of Cleveland, the Cleveland National Airshow, and other events. What would airlines do while these events take place? They couldn't fly! All last at least 3 days. Also, BKL no longer has the equipment for passengers. The only things left in the terminal are the old ticket counters. Those are just ghostly reminders of the past.

For those of you with a subscription to AIRLINERS magazine, look for my article on Cleveland Hopkins Airport in a 2001 edition of Airliners. I'm working very hard on it and it should be a very enjoyable article.

There... any questions?
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Thu Sep 07, 2000 3:11 am

NCflyer said: The new parallel runway will be so close to the existing runway that it can't be used in bad weather.

N766UA said: The new runway will allow for simultanious approaches and CAT 3 landings.

Umm, a little conflict here. Which is true? Is the new runway far enough away to allow enough seperation in bad weather or not? It just doesn't make any sense if it's not far enough away.

Just wondering...

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Thu Sep 07, 2000 3:37 am

I recieved my info directly from the city of Cleveland for my article. Where did NCflyewr get his info? I'd like to know.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Thu Sep 07, 2000 6:27 am

Akelly, I defer to your expertise.

Admittedly, my info was dated. Read an article in the Akron Beacon Journal Sunday Magazine a year or so ago on the problems of CLE growth compared to airports from much smaller O/D markets. I tried to search for article to post here, but couldn't find it. Basically, it said:

* Airport is landlocked
* Suburb of Brookpark, which borders much of CLE, refuses to allow tearing down of the IX Center, due to fierce opposition from local residents
* With the IX Center still there, the runways could not be built far enough apart to allow for separation in bad weather. Some airport experts felt at the time that CLE was flushing it's $$ down the toilet, as CLE's weather is not too terribly dependable. CO supported the runway addition none the same, and Mayor White was pushing it hard.
* Even though CLE is a CO hub, CLE is surrounded by other bigger airports, DET, PIT, CVG, ORD AA, ORD UA. The older hubs are more established and have taken a big lead over CLE, in int'l service especially.

Maybe you have resources at your disposal to search Beacon Journal-- it was an excellent article.

As for CLE-LGW, I too have heard the flight has been a big success, but can you really judge by how many times the flight's been cancelled?

And as for UA pulling out of CLE, I thought it was before the early 90s, and I thought it had more to do with UA preferring to redeploy its resources at ORD hub, a much better locale for a hub. USAirways strategy of dual PA hubs aside, aren't CLE and ORD too close for dual hubs? I seem to recall UA's CLE hub being a relic of the days of regulation, that was dismantled years afterwards.

This is fuzzy in my mind, so corrections are welcome.

Looking forward to your article.
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Thu Sep 07, 2000 6:44 am

Here is a copy of a CO press release, to demonstrate how successful the flight has been:

Continental Airlines Marks Successful First Year of Service Between Cleveland and London

CLEVELAND, June 29, 2000 -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) on Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Cleveland's first regular transatlantic flight. Approximately 80,000 passengers have traveled on the Cleveland-London route during its first year of operation (40,000 in each direction, average).

"The flight between Cleveland and London is even more successful than we expected," said Continental’s Cleveland Hub Senior Director Dante Marzetta. "Our customers on both sides of the Atlantic have welcomed the service with open arms, whether they are traveling on business or pleasure."

In addition to Cleveland travelers, the flight carries customers who originate in other U.S. cities and connect at the Hopkins International Airport hub.

Supporting the route's strong performance has been Continental's above-average reliability. The flight to London was cancelled only twice in its first year for a 99.5% dispatch reliability rate.

Continental flight 66 departs Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at 5:20 p.m. and arrives at London’s Gatwick Airport at 5:55 a.m. the next day. Continental flight 67 departs London at 10:55 a.m. and arrives at Hopkins Airport at 2:45 p.m. the same day. Continental operates the service with a specially equipped Boeing 757 aircraft which seats 16 passengers in BusinessFirst and 156 passengers in coach.

BusinessFirst seats are outfitted with electronic comfort controls, multi-channel personal video systems and far more space and seat-recline than typical business class cabins. Attentive cabin service includes a choice of freshly prepared multi-course meals and quality wines.

"Our corporate customers deserve a big thanks for doing such a good job of stepping up and supporting flight," said John Slater, Continental’s senior director of Sales. "Without their commitment, and the great working relationship we have with the Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau, the flight would not have been so successful."

Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering more than 2,200 departures daily to 136 domestic and 87 international destinations. Operating major hubs in Newark, Houston and Cleveland, Continental ( serves more international cities than any other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Continental is in the top quarter of FORTUNE magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work for in America," and is ranked the nation’s No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-haul flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates. Continental has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin (Condé Nast Traveler, OAG, Entrepreneur and SmartMoney magazines), OnePass frequent flyer program (InsideFlyer’s Freddie Awards) and overall operations and management (Air Transport World’s 1996 Airline of the Year).
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RE: Cleveland/Continental Hub

Thu Sep 07, 2000 6:57 am

N766UA: Who says the Air Show and the Grand Prix won't be evicted from BKL if an airline comes in with a lucrative offer for commuter service? Anyway, while Mike White is mayor, any kind of sleazy deal could happen.

777gk: That press release is laughable because although it mentions the low cancellation rate, it says nothing about on-time departures! I spent most of the summer spotting at Hopkins starting at about 7:30 local time, and about 1/4 the time CO66 was just departing! That's 2 hours late! And yes, I know it was CO66 and not another CO 757 flight because I use a scanner.

The IX Center is not a factor in extending the existing runways. It is not in the runway path. The IX Center only factored into the plans to build a Rwy 6/24 which was planned to go right through the IX Center's location.

Furthermore, only one runway (23L/5R) is going to be extended. The existing parallel runway (23R/5L) will either be torn up or used as a taxiway. The planned longer parallel runway will be built west of the existing 23R/5L and therefore will have the necessary separation for simultaneous takeoff/landing.

Actually, Brookpark Road and our beloved 100th Bomb Group Restaurant are the only two things left in the way of the runway expansion. 100th Bomb will be razed soon and rebuilt west of Grayton Road Parking (which is in turn west of Grayton Road). Brookpark Road will be realigned. Since it is OH 17, I think it may be merged with Interstate 480... I don't know.

I just hope that either the City of Cleveland or the 100th Bomb has a spotting facility in mind... I'm going to miss the mound at the existing 100th Bomb!


P.S. Right now Mike White and his cronies at the City can't even find the deeds to the land on which Hopkins sits! Isn't that a scream, when he's trying to force Brook Park to give him "more" land!  
Up, up and away!
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Fri Sep 08, 2000 4:04 am

Where else would they hold the race? It has always been there!

Also, the current 23R will be closed and used as a taxiway when the new runway is in. As for that only one runway is being extended bit, that is untrue. The new runway will be built to 7000 feet. Set for a year or so, then extended to 10,000 feet.

You are mostly correct about the IX and the obstructions and yes, sadly, the bomb group gets torn down next year. After the runway expansion. It will be moved to the end of 5 or somewhere in there. All the information I have added is true, so don't go yelling at me. If you oppose it, go yell at Continental Airlines and the City of Cleveland. They provided the information. Yes, for my article. Also... NASA is being moved back to clear for the new 23R/5L. That will occour later this year according to construction schedules.


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