JetBlueAUS
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Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:35 pm

Quote:
DENVER, April 16, 2012 - Frontier Airlines announced today that, based on strong customer feedback, it will shift its Houston operations from William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) back to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) effective July 11, 2012. Frontier will be the only domestic low-cost carrier at Bush Intercontinental, allowing it to bring low fares to Houston’s larger airport.

“We’re confident that Frontier customers will appreciate the convenience and increased flexibility when we move back to Houston’s primary airport,” said David Siegel, president and chief executive officer of Frontier. “In particular, the great connection opportunities that Bush Intercontinental offers will provide our passengers with additional travel choices.”

Located 23 miles north of downtown Houston, Bush Intercontinental offers the most flights of any Houston-area airport – including nonstop service to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America on Frontier’s interline partners. For more information, visit the airport’s website at fly2houston.com/iah.
http://media.frontierairlines.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5347

The move to HOU did not make much sense to begin with. Currently, Houston Bush has some of the highest airfares when compared to other airports. Looks like DEN-IAH will be operating twice daily with E190 aircraft except on Saturdays where the service has been reduced to only once daily.
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HPRamper
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:51 pm

This makes a heck of a lot more sense than continuing at HOU. In a number of ways.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:08 pm

Another year...another airport switch for F9 in Houston. But yes, this is a better move...their target market segment lives closer to IAH than HOU.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:25 pm

Dare I say it's the southwest effect?
 
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mariner
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 3):
Dare I say it's the southwest effect?

Could be. It could also be "a new CEO effect."

mariner
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yellowtail
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:07 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
Could be. It could also be "a new CEO effect."

Either that or they just prefer being out in the Woodlands (IAH)
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
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illinoisman
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting jetBlueAUS (Thread starter):
The move to HOU did not make much sense to begin with.

I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there right now, and I’m talking about the folks that are making the decisions. I'm baffled and it seems to me F9 is just trying to trying to grab headlines once again by making noise. The switch from TPA to PIE didn't work either and then at last check their BKG-PHX flights were recording a load factor of 33%.
 
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mariner
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting illinoisman (Reply 6):
I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there right now, and I’m talking about the folks that are making the decisions.

Any new CEO will always put his own stamp on the airline. I imagine there will be a few more changes.

Quoting illinoisman (Reply 6):
The switch from TPA to PIE didn't work either and then at last check their BKG-PHX flights were recording a load factor of 33%.

BKG-PHX was flown at the specific request of Branson airport, to test the water, with massive revenue guarantees. MKE-BKG did lousy, too, both for Airtran and Frontier, but Branson wanted it and paid for it - nearly $500,000 for the first season of MKE-BKG.

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LAXintl
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:00 pm

So what changed?

Back in 2010 when they moved to Hobby they certainly were upbeat...

"Hobby Airport offers a great number of benefits to Frontier's guests," vice president of strategy and planning Daniel Shurz said in Frontier's Aug. 9, 2010, announcement. "In addition to its newly refurbished terminal, Hobby offers Frontier's guests easy access to downtown Houston and many popular tourist attractions in the area."

Was the competitive heat too much at Hobby? F9 not surprisingly ranks at the bottom in per passenger revenue in the Denver-Houston market behind UA and WN. Maybe by going to IAH it can better differentiate itself from SWA with its LCC product. Though mere 2x E90 service is pretty meager to being with.
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mariner
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 8):
Was the competitive heat too much at Hobby?

I'm sure that's part of it. But again, the new CEO seems to have a different attitude to a number of things, and how to compete with Southwest may be one of them.

When Jeff Potter was CEO he said from the git-go there was no rule book for this.

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gustywinds
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:56 am

Is it possible F9 is preparing for some int'l flying from Houston on behalf of Apple?
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:14 am

Quoting gustywinds (Reply 10):
Is it possible F9 is preparing for some int'l flying from Houston on behalf of Apple?

     
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freakyrat
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:17 am

They used to fly A319's from IAH-DEN 3 time a day. The move to Hobby was a stupid move to begin with.
 
skycub
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:36 am

Quoting jetBlueAUS (Thread starter):
Dare I say it's the southwest effect?

Yet American Eagle continues to operate to Dallas/Fort Worth despite Southwests nearly-hourly service to Love Field and Delta Connection still operates to Atlanta despite AirTran service. I don't see this as a matter of the "Southwest Effect" at all.

In the past, multiple airlines have thought Hobby was an asset to their operation despite the Southwest presence. TWA flew from Hobby for years despite Southwest having multiple flight to Saint Louis. Northwest was at Hobby for years well into the 80. AirTran has served Hobby since the ValuJet days. Delta and Delta Connection carriers have flown their for years. In fact, for the longest time, Delta flew mainline to Hobby while only flying Connection to Intercontinental.

Hobby is Houston's near-equiviant of Love Field in Dallas.... close to downtown but also not restricted in the ways Love Field is.

There has been for many years a desire for other carriers to serve Hobby as the "close-in" Houston Airport despite Southwest's presence.

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
Could be. It could also be "a new CEO effect."

I will admit, I have ready many of your posts and disagree with most of them. LOL. However, on this one, I have to agree.

Houston is a major market. What is it? The fourth largest city in the United States?

Hobby, as I said, is convenient to downtown but it also does not seem to be the airport that people from Houston prefer to travel out of (as is evident by the number of airlines at HOU compared to IAH.)

There is nothing wrong with Hobby. In fact, it is a very nice, recently renovated facility. However, it seems most airlines prefer to serve Intercontinental. Maybe it is because of name-value. Maybe it is because it is located in a higher-income area. I don't know.

I see Frontier's move back to IAH as nothing more than a desire to serve the airport which is more well known not just nationally, but also globally.

Hobby, in my opinion, is an airport that locals know well. Intercontinental, on the other hand, is an airport known around the world.

For once, and just the one time, I have to agree with Mariner (did I actually say that?). It may very well have nothing to do with the Southwest Effect everything to do with serving a more nationally and globally known airport.
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96texan
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:24 am

This is interesting because Delta moved their CVG and JFK routes to HOU last fall and they switched back to IAH just last week. It was silly of F9 to move to HOU in the first place and hopefully they can bring some competition back to IAH in the summer...  
 
usflyguy
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:33 am

HOU isn't newly refurbished, it's relatively newly built.
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Schweigend
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:17 am

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
They used to fly A319's from IAH-DEN 3 time a day. The move to Hobby was a stupid move to begin with.

I thought so, too, and I was sure that after a while F9 would return to IAH.

Frontier used to park at A-30, probably leased from AA, who have been using it since F9 left. Will that be their gate again? I loved seeing the animals there.

Quoting SkyCub (Reply 13):
There is nothing wrong with Hobby. In fact, it is a very nice, recently renovated facility. However, it seems most airlines prefer to serve Intercontinental. Maybe it is because of name-value. Maybe it is because it is located in a higher-income area. I don't know.

Hobby is a very nice airport, inside, but it is not located in a wealthy part of Houston, and road access is not pleasant. Plus, for Frontier, it was a destination airport, not one with possible interline conx, as the OP's quote mentioned.

To reach W.P. Hobby, one must deal with I-45S (the Gulf Freeway), plagued by daily traffic jams and accidents, and then drive many blocks on surface streets. Despite HOU being nearer to downtown than IAH, many people prefer the northern airport, since the drive to it takes only about 25 minutes. The Hardy Toll Road to IAH takes you right onto the airport grounds, merging into JFK Blvd. -- there are no stops on the drive at all, until you park your car! Well worth the $2.50 toll.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 15):
HOU isn't newly refurbished, it's relatively newly built.

The airport called William P. Hobby today opened in 1927, and was Houston's prime airport until IAH opened in 1969. HOU had international service to Latin America starting in the 1940s or so. Before being renamed Hobby, it was known as Howard Hughes Airport, IIRC. The most recent renovations and refurbishments have preserved the historic art-deco main check-in hall.

Unless, of course, by "newly built" you are referring only to HOU's concourses, which ARE practically new.

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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:40 am

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 5):
Either that or they just prefer being out in the Woodlands (IAH)

IAH is far,but not that far,lol

I'm in the middle-back of the woodlands and it's 27.8 miles from my door to the employee lot.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:03 am

I've always preferred the view of downtown Houston while driving north from Hobby. It was always more convenient and closer regardless since you never had to spend time getting out of the woods to get home. That said, I would have to admit the rental car facility at Intercontinental is much better and easier to use than the claptrap jobs over at Hobby. I think Hobby should get its own consolidated facility, especially now that it appears that it will be attracting international traffic.

Meanwhile, it's interesting to see F9 back at IAH. My gut feeling is that a number of those that fly to Denver from Houston may have ties to the Woodlands, Conroe and other areas north of town and that flying to Hobby misses those folks. I know that other airlines besides UA generally do better from IAH which, I believe, is more due to its proximity to the northern 'burbs where the corporate types live than to its facilities. Otherwise, we would see more mainline service from DL and AA at Hobby that rivaled that at Intercontinental.
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:46 am

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 16):
The airport called William P. Hobby today opened in 1927, and was Houston's prime airport until IAH opened in 1969.



You do know what IAH actually stands for don't you? It Ain't Hobby!!!!   

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 16):
To reach W.P. Hobby, one must deal with I-45S (the Gulf Freeway), plagued by daily traffic jams and accidents, and then drive many blocks on surface streets. Despite HOU being nearer to downtown than IAH, many people prefer the northern airport, since the drive to it takes only about 25 minutes. The Hardy Toll Road to IAH takes you right onto the airport grounds, merging into JFK Blvd. -- there are no stops on the drive at all, until you park your car! Well worth the $2.50 toll.



Very easy in/out either to the Hardy or HWY 59 on the east end of IAH.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
They used to fly A319's from IAH-DEN 3 time a day



I only remember 2 flights a day from IAH, the morning and a mid afternoon.
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GentFromAlaska
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:22 pm

Quoting illinoisman (Reply 6):
I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there right now, and I’m talking about the folks that are making the decisions
Quoting mariner (Reply 7):
Any new CEO will always put his own stamp on the airline. I imagine there will be a few more changes.

I think they call it righting some wrongs.

I wonder if the price of fuel has anything to do with the decision. Years ago It was brought to my attention there can be significant fuel spikes between two or more airports in the same city. I was shown fuel cost significantly more at MDW than it did at ORD. If might be the international moniker or mere volume of gallons/pounds sold. Add to that the greater Houston-Galveston area is widely understood as oil city USA.
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:09 pm

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 16):
Frontier used to park at A-30, probably leased from AA, who have been using it since F9 left. Will that be their gate again? I loved seeing the animals there.

At IAH F9 used gate A-24, amongst the Delta gates. And check in was at the Delta ticket counter.

As stated earlier, F9 used A319's two or three times a day to DEN from IAH. And those flights were usually very full. I've taken it enough to know. I would expect them to see the same amount of passengers after relocating back to IAH. Plus I think that the typical passenger that would take Frontier lives on the north side of Houston anyway.
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JetBlueAUS
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 21):
At IAH F9 used gate A-24, amongst the Delta gates. And check in was at the Delta ticket counter.

Frontier's check-in was next to American and they did operate from A-30.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 21):
As stated earlier, F9 used A319's two or three times a day to DEN from IAH. And those flights were usually very full. I've taken it enough to know. I would expect them to see the same amount of passengers after relocating back to IAH. Plus I think that the typical passenger that would take Frontier lives on the north side of Houston anyway.

I think occasionally they brought in an A318 too. I'm sure once F9 moves back over to IAH, they will be able to restore old service levels back to the Airbus service.
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drerx7
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 22):
Frontier's check-in was next to American and they did operate from A-30.

IIRC when they first began they did use A24...but mostly and how it ended they operated from A30 - at the end of A-South.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 3):
Dare I say it's the southwest effect?

I don't think it is....

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
It could also be "a new CEO effect."

   This must be it. Moving to Hobby was stupid to begin with, should have never happened. The one big reason why F9 moved to HOU was because it was too crowded and the endless airport construction.
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mariner
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 8):
So what changed?

The move to HOU was partly a cost move - as in the Cranky Flier article, HOU is nearly $2 cheaper than IAH per passenger emplanement. The downside is that at HOU, Southwest will match any and every Frontier fare.

At IAH, as at DEN, United didn't always match fares which gave Frontier some pricing leeway.

Curiously, there is also the minor matter of the United/Frontier interline, which is used more than we might supposed and which has some - not a lot but some - value to both airlines. It can't happen if they aren't at the same airport.

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yellowtail
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 19):
You do know what IAH actually stands for don't you? It Ain't Hobby!!!!

This made my day. YOu sure you don't work for WN?
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gustywinds
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:03 pm

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 22):
I think occasionally they brought in an A318 too.

I believe F9 would fly the Airbus to HOU now if they had the aircraft. I see an A319 on DEN - IAH on Saturday and Sundays starting in September and then Sundays only in October.
 
brilondon
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:12 pm

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 2):

Another year...another airport switch for F9 in Houston. But yes, this is a better move...their target market segment lives closer to IAH than HOU.

I don't think that they target a neighbourhood for its major market.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 3):
Dare I say it's the southwest effect?

Dare I say a business decision.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 8):
Though mere 2x E90 service is pretty meager to being with.

I like the E190. At least when AC flew them out of YXU.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 18):
I've always preferred the view of downtown Houston while driving north from Hobby.

I am not sure but I can be pretty certain that your view of the downtown was not a major factor in their decision making.
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yellowtail
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think that they target a neighbourhood for its major market.

Well if certain airlines can choose certain airport because of their access to certain target ethnic markets or demographic regions (FLL vs MIA and LGA vs EWR vs JFK) are good examples of this.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
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drerx7
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:54 pm

Quoting gustywinds (Reply 27):
I believe F9 would fly the Airbus to HOU now if they had the aircraft. I see an A319 on DEN - IAH on Saturday and Sundays starting in September and then Sundays only in October.

HOU did support 319s when it first started.
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gustywinds
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:10 pm

Quoting drerx7 (Reply 30):
HOU did support 319s when it first started.

That's true and I think HOU could support 319s today, but the Airbus fleet is tight as a drum. I do see where F9 is currently operating a 319 on Saturdays.
 
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:27 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think that they target a neighbourhood for its major market.

No they don't target a neighborhood, but they do look at the cachement area and what convenience it provides to potential customers. The north side near IAH is much more affluent than the area around HOU, plus it can be an hour drive from the north side of Houston to HOU in traffic vs 20-30 minutes to IAH. When people fly they want to fly, not be stuck in traffic getting to the airport.
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usdcaguy
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:45 am

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):

Ha! I don't think so either, unless they really, really want me as a passenger.  
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:09 am

Exxon-Mobil is moving all their Houston area employees to one new campus they are building off I-45 a little north of IAH. Maybe F9 thinks they will be able to serve more of Exxon's employees and customers in the DEN area.
Does anyone think F9 would ever expand Houston operations to another city, say MKE or MCI?
 
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drerx7
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:15 am

Quoting IAHWorldFlyer (Reply 34):
Does anyone think F9 would ever expand Houston operations to another city, say MKE or MCI?

Both have been tried...so to speak. The MCI flights were tried with the E190s and they are due to end very soon if not already - meanwhile WN will be starting HOU-MCI nonstop. Midwest started 717 runs to MKE back in 2004 - they didn't last long and blamed it on Hurricane Katrina    I did not see the rationale in that one as Houston's travel and industry was not adversely affected in that way. They did lack marketing behind the route and I am not terribly convinced of the O&D between Houston and MKE. If anything it would be WN to start HOU-MKE.
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RE: Frontier Moves Ops From HOU To IAH

Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:24 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 33):
Exxon-Mobil is moving all their Houston area employees to one new campus they are building off I-45 a little north of IAH. Maybe F9 thinks they will be able to serve more of Exxon's employees and customers in the DEN area.

Customers, maybe. But Exxon shut down it's Denver office around 1986 or so and gave the employees a choice of either moving to Houston or quitting. Most quit. It was also one of the first times that Exxon had layoffs.

Quoting IAHWorldFlyer (Reply 34):
Exxon-Mobil is moving all their Houston area employees to one new campus they are building off I-45 a little north of IAH.

That's going to be one huge campus. It's just south of The Woodlands right where the Hardy Tollroad and I-45 meet. There is only a small two lane feeder road in that area right now and I don't see how it can be widened to accomodate the EM traffic without tearing some current buildings on the feeder. They estimate 25,000 employees will use that location. The traffic jams will be horrendous. All of the Greenspoint offices are moving there. The site is actually about 10 miles NW of IAH.
EM has always been a good customer of Continental now United. But like I said earlier when F9 was at IAH before they had pretty full A319's.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!

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