I love following the evolution of airlines and airports over time. Since the DL/NW merger, two airports have given me a keen interest, MSP and DTW. DTW is generally regarded as the second largest DL hub after ATL and the most likely candidate for future expansion. MSP, on the other hand, is often regarded as perhaps stable, not necessarily likely to suffer the same fate as CVG and MEM, yet likely to be reduced over time in favor of building up other hubs such as DTW.
Recenly I was looking at some government statistics for airport activity for the twelve months ended October 2011 (latest data available), and I found some interesting facts on both MSP and DTW. I was not able to figure out how to make the respective airports stick in links, so after clicking on the link below, you must select MSP or DTW manually from the airport list near the top right.
Some key and somewhat surprising things I noted from these reports:
-MSP's total passenger numbers are slightly higher than DTW.
-In addition, MSP actually grew by nearly 3% during the twelve months ended October, 2011. If this trend continues through the end of the year, this would actually be the first annual growth in passenger numbers for MSP since 2005. DTW on the other hand, grew by less than 1%.
-MSP had nearly 2 million higher DL mainline passengers than DTW for the time period.
-MSP had total number of departures growth during the twelve month time period vs a decline at DTW. However, DTW had higher numbers of departures due to its higher regional traffic.
-It is difficult to tell total number of combined DL and DL Connection passengers since the report separately lists the regional carriers and only gives individual numbers for the largest ones, but it would appear they are just about neck and neck.
So, given those facts, what are your thoughts? Is the growth at MSP due to DL or is it other carriers? I do realize this data only goes through the end of October, however, it covers a twelve month span and compares it to the same twelve month span one year prior. Does anyone have any other data to add/compare to this?
[Edited 2012-02-13 10:13:32]
[Edited 2012-02-13 10:14:05]