ILUV767
Topic Author
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Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 5:51 am

Hello,

I've looked at CO's route map, and they have a very weak operation in the west! Do you think that they need a west coast hub? They could fly Trans-Pacifics from it, as well as shorter hops. What do you think? Where would they put it?

Happy Flying
 
BA
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 5:52 am

They wouldn't dare compete with United. The West Coast is United.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 5:54 am

The west coast is only for United, and United wouldn't dare let any other airline pass. Look at what happened to Continental in Denver. They've learned there lesson and know to never get in Uniteds way.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Guest

Wrong!

Mon Nov 13, 2000 6:43 am

Very wrong... The west coast is NOT only for United.

Southwest, America West, Alaska, American, as well as other carriers, are competing just fine.
 
SR3496
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 6:47 am

I think LAX and SFO are United yes, but the rest of the Western part of the USA belongs to the airlines that AWA320 listed.
 
cba
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RE: Wrong!

Mon Nov 13, 2000 6:48 am

CO's main goal right now is to expand from their current hubs. They don't have enough aircraft to open up a new hub.
 
777gk
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 7:37 am

CO pulled out of Denver as a cost-cutting move, not because United was beating the pants off us! UA is much much bigger out of DEN now that we've left. When we were in there, UA didn't have such comprehensive operations. In fact, for a number of years, CO was bigger in terms of destinations, pax carried, and movements!
 
flashmeister
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 7:44 am

American? Competitive on the West Coast? Hardly... perhaps on select routes they are, but as a comprehensive solution? No way...

Continental could do well out west. People are sick of United and Alaska. The intra-California market, however, would be hard to enter considering United and Southwest.
 
modesto2
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 8:16 am

Yes, United is big in California. But you can't forget about Southwest. It would be interesting to see the statistics...United Shuttle vs. Southwest. And American has started LAX-OAK. United should be careful...Southwest definitely has a large share of the market!
 
cba
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 8:16 am

Delta isn't doing bad out west with SLC.

CO won't start a new hub out west. They're in a codeshare partnership with America West, so CO has connections in the west.
 
desertjets
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 8:27 am

This has been discussed many times before.

EVEN IF Continental had enough equipment to start a hub on the west coast, where would they do it??? With the exception of PDX, no major airport in the west really has room for an airline to establish a legitamate hub. For the time being PHX is full, so is LAS, LAX has room to grow but not on a large scale, the bay area airports lack space or have operational difficulties (read SFO), RNO could be but lacks a large enough population base, SMF is too small, SEA is short of terminal space.... only PDX has space, but then with DL pulling out one has to question the viability of a PDX hub.

The west and west coast is a very competitive market with UA,HP,AS,WN,DL and to a smaller level AA duking it out for their own piece of the pie.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
sn330
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 8:37 am

CO does need a west coast hub, that is for sure. There is just way too much distance between Guam and IAH. That gap does need to be filled in the future. But, AA is starting to build up at SJC, which is larger in population than San Francisco, and more business oriented, and there are rumors that they will buy out Alaska in order to gain even more of a foothold in that market. (They would either completely buy AS out, or purchase a percentage of their shares on the stock market.)
 
airNondo
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 9:33 am

PDX is absolutely viable as western hub for CO. All/most airlines currently operate very profitably out of PDX. Dl was even profitable for more than a decade with their int'l flights out of PDX, their recent failure is a result of their general lack of focus out west, lack of a western codeshare, and the INS fiasco. CO already has codeshares with two dominant airlines at PDX (AS and HP). Not to mention I'm sure they could work out some sort of guaranteed seat purchases from local biz for the first few years if they were to ad an asian flight to fill the void left by Dl.

~mtc
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 11:11 am

PDX a hub for CO??? Nonsense. This topic has come up so many times before. Continental is focused on its very
profitable hubs at the moment and does not have the
extra capacity to add a fourth hub. The Cleveland hub
is slated for further growth as runway improvements
are made and new aircraft are delivered.

Continental won't build a West Coast hub because
the market there is dominated by UA and WN and
America West and American Airlines and Alaska all
have a serious chunk of the market pie.

Continental does not need to be strong in the West
to be profitable and successful. It has a very strong
route network and powerful, unique, and profitable
hub operations at IAH and EWR with CLE also adding
to the bottom line nicely.

Continental also has interline arrangements with HP
so it is covered.

ContinentalEWR
 
Republic
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 12:02 pm

It is just a matter of time before CO adds their fifth hub, one on the West coast. Let's take a look. Hubs in Guam, Houston, Cleveland, and Newark. Where is CO lacking. The West coast! Yes, the other CO hubs can and will certainly accomodate much future, profitable growth. We have heard all the reasons against: not enough aircraft, runway additions which will accomodate more flights, too much competition, no suitable hub sites, code share arrangements. Let me ask this question: As time goes by, do you think there will be more or less competition on the West coast? The answer is fairly obvious. This is precisely the reason CO needs to act sooner than later. In business, you are either growing, or you are in death throes. (If you don't believe me, look at TWA, unfortunately). And if they don't add a West coast hub sooner, then they never will. This will eventually cause the doom of CO, as another carrier will inevitably swallow up CO. If you don't believe me, refresh your memory with Delta and its interest in CO recently. Why was Delta interested in CO and not AA? The weaker are prey to the stronger, the smaller to the larger. CO has expressed its intention of "going it alone" without merging with another carrier. To insure this from happening, CO must grow. The West coast offers tremendous opportunities both domestically and internationally. Asia offers more long term possibilities than Europe for growth in the 21st century. A West coast hub will offer synergies with Guam and Houston. The need for a West coast hub for CO is fairly obvious, whether or not it fits within the dogma recited by some posters.

Joe
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 12:27 pm

SMF too small?! What are you smokin'?!

The Sacramento area currently has a population of nearly two million, and projections show that the Sacramento area should break the two million-mark within the next year. Many, many companies, such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard are moving quite a lot of their operations from the Silicon Valley to El Dorado Hills (30 minutes from the airport), and are bringing thousands of employees with them. The attraction of the area is also draining a significant portion of Bay Area residents each year. Airport traffic is nearing eight million yearly, which is quite a lot, considering that no carrier uses SMF as a hub. Compare that to PDX, which has 10 million passengers annually, but also has three carriers (Alaska, Horizon, and Southwest) which pull in well over a million passengers each per year, and SMF is booming.

SMF is currently equipped with 24 passenger gates, split between two terminals, Terminal A (brand new), and Terminal B (60's-era), and two 8600' (2621m) long runways are in operation 'round-the-clock.




Don't discount SMF...

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
desertjets
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 12:32 pm

I really should be smoking something. Currently there would not be enough terminal room at the places I listed for a serious hub to be built. I can think of a few possibilities at PHX where room could be made if they built the final two concourses on terminal 4. But most other west coast airports do not have the space to support a new serious hub. Granted SMF is one of the more likely sites though. But what airport is ready within the next 24-36 months to have an airline dump 100 daily jet departures into it???
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 12:47 pm

A: SMF.

Terminal A was built for quick and easy expansion (at least eight gates on the east wing could be constructed within the next 12 months), and I'd say that over half of the gates in Terminal B are ready to go as we speak (eight gates).

With the weather such as it is, year-round, non-stop building could take place for a new terminal to be built with at least 20 gates within 24 mos. The new terminal area would be connected onto both Terminal A and B, which would only require the demolition of the Sacramento County Airport Authority offices, which sit between the two terminals. These offices could be moved to the third story level of the new terminal.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
Guest

RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 2:15 pm

What about SAN as a hub?
 
Trvlr
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 2:47 pm

SAN is too far down south for a hub, and the airport is too small . Perhaps as a point where aircraft can be based when a new one is built here though.

Right now if an airline wants to have a chance in the West, it would have to cater to high-fare business travelers, as there is too much capacity in the economy sector of the marketplace. If you look at schedules that include flight availability statistics, you will find that often the first sections of flights are always full within CA and up to SEA and PDX while the coach sections usually have tons of seats left. So that means if CO would want to have a chance to succeed greatly out here, it would have to do an overhaul of its cabin and other passenger services. I would think that if it had the aircraft, TWA could do well on the West Coast b/c of the amount of first-class seats in its planes.

Airports, as already mentioned, are a huge problem. SAN is too small and too far down unless you wanted to include Baja and N. Mexico in your scheme, LAX too crowded, SNA to restricted, ONT to far out in the boondocks, and SFO, SEA, PHX dominated by UA, AS and AW, respectively. So that leaves pretty much SMF and PDX. I think that a problem with DL at PDX was that they didn't expand it enough domestically, with a viable shuttle system up and down the West Coast. This may have been because it was too close to SLC. I bet that if CO had the aircraft, it could create a good operation out of PDX, but as has already been said, Continental is concentrating on IAH, Europe, and COExpress now.
SMF is an interesting choice, with a very good location, but I think that if a hub was built there it would only be for the purpose of filling planes with connecting passengers, rather than a stable combination of connecting and O&D pax.

Aaron G.
 
ILUV767
Topic Author
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:04 pm

I wonder...if SMF was used as a hub would CO have flights to and from SFO and LAX, other than RJ's? Just a thought.
 
johnboy
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 5:32 pm

Please don't suggest SMF as a hub. Long-term parking there feels like I've died and gone to heaven, as compared with any Bay Area airport.

Although I must admit, after driving back from Reno this evening I'm shocked at how much Sacratomato has grown. And that airport is way, way out there in the cornfields and almond groves with no homes intruding......(nice pic, BTW)
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Mon Nov 13, 2000 11:47 pm

An airline hub usually needs at least one-third O & D pax to be viable. SMF would have a hard time supporting a big enough O & D base to make a hub for CO, or anyone else, profitable. And as others have noted, the West Coast's major airports all would have a tough time digesting 100 additional departures per day. CO is smart to focus on its existing hubs and stick with codeshare in the West.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
airNondo
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:41 am

While I think PDX would be a successful CO hub, I do agree with ContinentalEWR that for the short term CO is focusing on building up current hubs. It is true that while they are not directly heavy in the west, they code share with an airline serving just about every single airport out here in the west (through AS (read Horizon) and HP (read express)).

Even if a western CO hub is out of the question, it is interesting to consider the possiblity that CO would add an asian flight out of PDX or LAX, using solely codeshares and other hub traffic to fill the flights. A possibility...
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:54 am

Johnboy-
Just wait until the new parking garage goes up... [tear]

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
Matt D
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Lost Wages

Tue Nov 14, 2000 8:04 am

Someone stated above that LAS cannot support another hub. I would have to disgree with that. LAS is already underserved. One of the terminals (the A gates) is all but vacant except for a few USAirways, Frontier, and Alaska flights. One airline could come in and snap up those gates. Plus, it's not like there's a shortage of gate space at LAS. True, CO would not be a likely candidate due to the marketing agreement with America West. But an existing airline (such as AirTran) could set up shop. Or perhaps a new airline could be set up. But does LAS need a second hometown airline? maybe. maybe not. Let's look at the three hubs already in place there:

Southwest: Definitely rules LAS. Lots and lots of flights. all of Terminal C to itself. But a little competition wouldn't hurt.

America West: Number 2 player at LAS, but about 75% of the traffic is between the hours of 2000 and 0200. The B gates, used by HP are largely empty during the day except for flights mainly to LAX, PHX, and SNA. Perhaps room enough for another daytime hub to compete with WN.

National: A distant third at LAS, but catching up. Mostly transcon flights. Still too small to be considered a 'major' player.

 
travelin man
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RE: LAX

Tue Nov 14, 2000 8:37 am

What is the gate arrangement at LAX with United? UA and CO "share" Terminal 6, but it seems like CO is either retreating or getting pushed out of Terminal 6. United is growing more and more at LAX. If UA is leasing the gates from CO, it seems like CO could ramp up a hub operation pretty quickly using the Terminal 6 gates. As of now, I believe CO only has flights to EWR, IAH, CLE, and HNL from LAX.

No, United does not own the West OR LAX. But if CO wanted to succeed out here, they'd have to be VERY competitive, as prices are low and the competition is lean.
 
ILUV767
Topic Author
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 10:07 am

I wonder... if CO was to use SMF as a hub, would they have trans-pacific flights? Can SMF even support a 777? Wouldn't that be a sight, a 777 in SMF!
 
Trvlr
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 10:47 am

I think that if an airline set up SMF as a West Coast hub, it would only have a regional operation based there; international flights probably wouldn't work because of the aforementioned shortage of O&D pax. Portland would be a much better place for a regional and international hub.

Aaron G.
 
desertjets
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RE: Does CO Need A West Coast Hub?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 10:56 am

SMF would not be bad as a regional hub. It is ideally situated for N/S traffic on the west coast, but could only support LIMITED transcon traffic and no trans-pacific traffic.

I just have my doubts, and I am sure the airlines do too, about placing a hub at a secondary regional airport (SMF and ONT for example). Too close to the big airports where all the action is and not enough O&D. PDX is really the only airport, once DL moves out, that could really support a real hub. And Portland as a hub city is questionable in my mind.

Matt, you bring up a good point about Vegas. Even though most of HPs flights are in the middle of the night, they wouldn't give up those 40 gates they have there without a fight. You gotta be wondering what they are thinking, with National growing faster and faster. You gotta wonder when the hell they are going to start flying in the daytime out of LAS. Also Vegas is well suited for N/s coastal traffic (not as well as SMF), but again the O&D problem is still there, still mostly leisure traffic, though National seems to be doing well despite that, and a smaller regional population base than other cities in the region (Phoenix, Sacramento, Portland).

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia