Max Q
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What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:36 pm

Before DFW became their megahub (and when was that ?) what was AA's biggest base / hub ?
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:48 pm

From what I remember they opened DFW in 1979. Before that I think their largest hub was at JFK.
 
B757Forever
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:56 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 1):
From what I remember they opened DFW in 1979
DFW Airport opened in January 1974. The Headquarters was relocated to Fort Worth from New York City in July and August of 1979. Seems to me (IIRC) it was earlier than 1979 when AA really started a big buildup there. Agree it was JFK previously.

[Edited 2013-06-21 14:59:10]
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting B757forever (Reply 2):
DFW Airport opened in January 1974.

True.

Quoting B757forever (Reply 2):
Seems to me (IIRC) it was earlier than 1979 when AA really started a big buildup there.

On Wikipedia about DFW you can read this: Braniff was the largest airline to open DFW in 1974 with a full semicircular terminal designated 2W (now Terminal B) devoted to its operations. Other airlines, like American Airlines, only had half a terminal or less.

And in Silverbird: In January 1979, with employees easing into new homes in the Metroplex, American inaugurated serviceon 19 new routes out of DFW [...] route planners were beginning to build a hub that could ward off competitors.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:51 pm

Airlines really did not have hubs, they had gateways, or focus markets. A big reason for this was airlines were not free to start routes or set up shop where they desired, it was all based on route authority awards from the government.

Hubs were more part of the immediate lead up to and and post deregulation evolution.
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AeroWesty
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Before DFW became their megahub (and when was that ?) what was AA's biggest base / hub ?

I always thought it was Chicago-O'Hare, when you consider all of the DC-10 service it had to various points.

1979 AA route map:
http://www.departedflights.com/AA012079.html
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SLCUT2777
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:31 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
I always thought it was Chicago-O'Hare, when you consider all of the DC-10 service it had to various points.

ORD had always been a significant focus but AA felt they could actually post-deregulated hub there in 1982... which of course lead UA to build their new concourse there later in the decade. When DEN planned to replace the old Stapleton facility with DIA in the mid-1980s they thought they could also get AA to hub out of there as well as have Western move over from SLC. But it is interesting how market share, along with O&D dictate as well as geography where an airline hubs. Even Denver's best laid plans ultimately didn't pan out the way they thought.

NYC JFK probably had the greatest AA concentration, but prior to the end of regualtion they were still very big in the DFW predecessor DAL.
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commavia
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:38 am

There was no hub - in today sense - before DFW. AA traditionally had big stations in places like JFK, LGA, ORD, DAL, LAX, etc. (and even in DTW, STL, PHX, etc. before deregulation) but DFW was the first true hub, opened in June 1981.
 
jsnww81
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:14 am

In August 1973 (per the OAG), here are American's top 10 stations in terms of daily flights:

ORD: 137 daily flights
LGA: 107 daily flights
DAL: 102 daily flights
LAX: 64 daily flights
DTW: 60 daily flights
BOS: 46 daily flights
JFK: 46 daily flights
DCA: 40daily flights
PHX: 34 daily flights
STL: 33 daily flights

Of these, ORD and DAL were really the only ones really configured for "hub" operations. DAL had three main banks of flights from the east and west. This operation transferred to DFW in 1974 and was expanded after Deregulation to form the backbone of today's massive hub.
 
KarlB737
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:37 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
what was AA's biggest base / hub ?

I would have guessed it to be ORD.
 
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SANFan
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:06 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
Airlines really did not have hubs, they had gateways, or focus markets.
Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
There was no hub - in today sense - before DFW.

   I remember as the first AA hub was being designed and then built at DFW. I was a retail travel agent and our AA sales rep would come by the agency often and talk about how it was going to work, and how big the operation would be, etc. (Our agency was also becoming computerized about that time with, of course, SABRE, and that was pretty exciting as well.)

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e38
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:39 pm

With reference to the 102 flights at DAL (Reply 8), just prior to the opening of DFW in 1974, American operated out of the West Concourse (formerly the Green Concourse) at Dallas Love Field and used all fourteen gates on that concourse, Gates 1 - 15 (there was no gate 13). International flights from Mexico arrived at Gate 15.
Periodically, when they made their lease payments, Mexicana flights also arrived at Gate 15, although there were also times they shifted their operation and used Braniff's gate 58 or 59 on the East Concourse (formerly the Red Concourse).
Those were great days at Dallas Love Field. You couldn't beat the view from the observation deck.
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
Airlines really did not have hubs, they had gateways, or focus markets.

Of course, but you know what he meant.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
Hubs were more part of the immediate lead up to and and post deregulation evolution.

Exactly what AA did at DFW in what I quoted earlier.
 
jsnww81
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:39 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 11):
Those were great days at Dallas Love Field. You couldn't beat the view from the observation deck.

I grew up in Dallas in the 1980s and would give just about anything to see those days. As a kid I used to wander the then-abandoned (and now-demolished) sections of the North and East Concourses and try to imagine what things were like before 1974. I never got past Gate 43 on the East Concourse though - I was too afraid to sneak past the "no trespassing" sign at the escalator leading up to the former Texas International gates, so I never got to peek into the old Braniff terminal.

In those days the West Concourse was more or less still in its original state. By the late 1990s most of the gate areas had been heavily renovated and weren't really recognizable as former AA gates. AA had a pretty impressive throughput on those 14 gates - during their afternoon bank there were 707s and 727s (and a healthy number of DC10s after 1972) coming and going pretty much continuously for two hours.
 
bobnwa
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 9):
I would have guessed it to be ORD.

In the case of connectings banks of flights which a lot of people(ncluding me) use a a definition of a hub, ORD was rhe largest befor DFW. This goes against the grain for a lot of A-netters who consider any place with a lot of flights as a hub
 
PRAirbus
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:21 pm

No flights to Miami, not even to Florida at all. Clearly EAL was dominant, when did AA start Miami?
 
bohica
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:39 pm

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 15):
No flights to Miami, not even to Florida at all.

Looking at this...

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
1979 AA route map:
http://www.departedflights.com/AA012....html

You can draw an imaginary line between HOU and WAS and AA did not serve any domestic city south or east of that line. It's amazing to see their route development post deregulation.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:09 pm

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 15):
Clearly EAL was dominant, when did AA start Miami?

Their hub at MIA was built from 1990 when they took over EA Central and South American network. For that reason, they ceased to serve several long-haul routes in Europe.
 
Viscount724
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:04 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 17):
Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 15):
Clearly EAL was dominant, when did AA start Miami?

Their hub at MIA was built from 1990 when they took over EA Central and South American network. For that reason, they ceased to serve several long-haul routes in Europe.

AA started service to MIA sometime in 1979. In their January 1979 timetable they had no service to Florida (or anywhere else in the southeastern US). In the November 15, 1979 OAG they had 2 daily DFW-MIA (one 707 and one 727). The 707 continued to SJU. They also had one daily 727 DFW-TPA. That was all their Florida service then.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:52 pm

Quoting e38 (Reply 11):
Those were great days at Dallas Love Field. You couldn't beat the view from the observation deck.
e38

I can *ONLY* imagine! Seeing 747s, DC10s, L1011s, DC8s, etc gliding in over downtown and Oaklawn... Would have been absolute HEAVEN for someone like me!
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TrijetsRMissed
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:58 am

The majority of the domestic operation was out of ORD. Thus ORD was the largest hub prior to DFW, and into the mid '80s. Later, ORD would serve as the primary TATL gateway, before market share was gained out of the NYC region.
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commavia
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:59 am

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 20):
The majority of the domestic operation was out of ORD. Thus ORD was the largest hub prior to DFW, and into the mid '80s. Later, ORD would serve as the primary TATL gateway, before market share was gained out of the NYC region.

Once DFW opened, and AA's until-then separate DAL/FTW operations were combined, DFW and ORD were roughly the same size. For example, per the December 1974 timetable DFW and ORD both had right around 130 daily departures. However, the two being close did not persist into the mid 1980s. By the March 1984 timetable, ORD was up to around 160 daily departures, but DFW was by that point already at over 210 daily departures. Since the day the DFW hub opened on June 11, 1981, DFW has been AA's largest single station (and "hub").
 
DFWEagle
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RE: What Was AA's Biggest Hub Before DFW?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:53 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
AA started service to MIA sometime in 1979.

   I believe it was on 20th January, 1979 that AA first started MIA. They had three flights on the opening day, one each on DFW-MIA (727), SJU-MIA (707) and SFO-MIA (707).
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