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KTPAFlyer
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How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:58 am

Hello A.net

I was wondering if anyone knows how MSP "fell behind" (for lack of a better term) DTW as a hub after the DL/NW merger. I find it odd considering that with the UA/CO merger, Chicago remained the main hub, followed by IAH as the second largest hub and former largest for CO. Same applies for AA: DFW remains the main hub, but CLT became the second largest and former largest for US. And more than likely, the same will happen for AS/VX. DTW is today one of only a handful of airports to have real Asia service, and one of only 3 to still have 744 service, as a testament to its surprising endurance as a hub. But what happened to MSP? It is still a huge DL hub, but doesn't have the network of DTW nor the operation it did as the main hub under NW. I find it odd considering that AA was able to retain CLT as the second largest hub over both ORD and MIA, but DL couldn't do the same with NW's HQ and main hub. The same could be said about UA's decision to hold IAH below ORD as the primary hub, and above a stronger second hub (like EWR) to retain the former largest CO hub. Was this some decision by DL management? Was MSP better suited as a third hub for DL than as the main hub and HQ for NW? All contributations appreciated, thank you.
 
steex
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:03 am

I don't have numbers off-hand, but keep in mind MSP and DTW were neck and neck in the NW days as well (which they more or less continue to be now). MSP was not a clearly larger hub than DTW despite being the NW HQ.
 
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OneSexyL1011
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:07 am

I do not specifically know the answer to your question, but at times IAH is/was bigger and busier than ORD as far as UA goes post CO/UA merger. Within the company we consider the two 1a and 1b depending on what time of year we are looking at. They bounce back and forth.
 
rta
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:32 am

I don't have any information about MSP and DTW before the merger, but was one significantly larger than the other? In either case, I don't think this is a fair assessment to make, not that it really matters anyway. With the new (combined) route network, perhaps it made sense to move planes from MSP to other places like SLC, giving the impression of a weaker MSP. But thats just what airlines do. UA is trying to grow SFO and DEN, while trimming back on IAH.

steex wrote:
MSP was not a clearly larger hub than DTW despite being the NW HQ.


Not unlike US's biggest hub being Charlotte despite being based in Phoenix, and Southwest's biggest airport being Chicago despite being based in Dallas.
 
FSDan
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:38 am

DLs MSP hub has only slightly fewer daily flights than the DTW hub, and larger aircraft gauge on average (including more mainline). In the end, I believe MSP actually is DL's 2nd largest hub behind ATL in terms of passengers flown. Regarding the network, DTW has a broader array of international destinations largely due to the auto industry, but also because it is geographically in a good location to connect major east coast cities to Asia. MSP suffers somewhat from being located in the dead center of the North American continent, which means it doesn't hold a geographical advantage against most other hubs when it comes to international service (the exception being service to Canada). DL has made targeted international additions to the MSP network (SXM, SJO, KEF, FCO, more CDG service) that are mostly leisure focused, so it's not like MSP has been static either.
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michman
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:41 am

While DTW has a few more daily departures, MSP leads in enplaned passengers. DTW is more international focused, while MSP is the larger domestic hub. DTW picked up a few of the "glam" Asia routes like PEK and PVG, but it also ended up losing service to HKG and HND (which MSP is picking up). DTW has probably lost service to about dozen smaller domestic markets since the merger and closed off the end of the C Concourse in the McNamara terminal. So it has hardly been all good news at DTW. Sorry, I just really don't see the bias that OP is talking about.
 
Flighty
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:46 am

FSDan wrote:
DL has made targeted international additions to the MSP network (SXM, SJO, KEF, FCO, more CDG service) that are mostly leisure focused, so it's not like MSP has been static either.


Just to add to your very astute comment, MSP used to be a "hub" to Alaska, with around 5 757s to Anchorage and 2 757s to Fairbanks on summer days.

Overall, MSP is still a proven, sustainable performer for Delta. If it didn't make good money, they would ramp it down. It makes perfectly good money AFAIK.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:53 am

I'm curious to how things would have played out had NW not built the McNamera prior to the merger. It's interesting how DL flies to more cities and flies more passengers from MSP, but is less of an international hub than DTW.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
caflyboy
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:25 am

I think part of the answer is also the drawdown of CVG. After the merger, the split midwestern hubs of MSP and DTW all of a sudden had CVG in the mix as well. I know that CVG is technically still a hub, but arguably the capacity shifted elsewhere. As that capacity shifted it probably allowed DTW to take up some of the slack. Again, arguably MSP could pick up some slack as well, but a CLE-CVG-MCO would go to a CLE-DTW-MCO easier than CLE-MSP-MCO. And as most of the volume was more East coast focused, it probably helped fuel DTW. As others have said, MSP has not suffered, nearly not take up the slack. They have larger gauge and still are a large hub, I just believe, in addition to the markets, downsizing CVG has aided DTW more than MSP. Just a thought. That might mean why the hubs are the way they are in DL/NW. In the other cases. Such as CO/UA and AA/US you could argue those mergers allowed a combination of Major Hubs where the other was not stronger...UA had no presence in Texas/Southeast and CO's CLE was more an overflow for EWR and could not compete with UA's ORD. For AA/US The same for AA needing the SE (MIA is too far South) and US arguably needed middle of the country...Time remains on the DFW vs. PHX, but at least AA needed SE More.

Just my armchair 2 cents.
 
caflyboy
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:30 am

delete for duplication
 
MIflyer12
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:51 am

KTPAFlyer wrote:

I was wondering if anyone knows how MSP "fell behind" (for lack of a better term) DTW as a hub after the DL/NW merger.

It is still a huge DL hub, but doesn't have the network of DTW nor the operation it did as the main hub under NW.

Was MSP better suited as a third hub for DL than as the main hub and HQ for NW?


Those assertions are all incorrect. Check history of flight counts, destinations served, and seats per day (latest calc for 2Q16 done by another a.net poster). The relative parity between DTW and MSP that existed in 2008 (per-merger) exists today.
 
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klm617
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:40 pm

Actually MSP is the number 2 hub in the Delta system. It actually gets a little more attention than DTW as hubs go with flights being added. Not a 100% sure but after MEM and CVG Detroit has lost the most service system wide we have lost at least 2 dozen markets and maybe gained five in that department I think MSP has faired much better.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:27 pm

lavalampluva wrote:
I'm curious to how things would have played out had NW not built the McNamera prior to the merger. It's interesting how DL flies to more cities and flies more passengers from MSP, but is less of an international hub than DTW.


You have made an excellent point. More passengers, and I believe fewer RJs, for MSP. But internationally, DTW is bigger.

See page 4 of this report from MAC (Metropolitan Airports Commission) for MSP:
http://metroairports.granicus.com/MetaV ... a_id=13779

Note more seats for MSP than DTW in 2Q 2016.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:34 pm

caflyboy wrote:
I think part of the answer is also the drawdown of CVG. After the merger, the split midwestern hubs of MSP and DTW all of a sudden had CVG in the mix as well. I know that CVG is technically still a hub, but arguably the capacity shifted elsewhere. As that capacity shifted it probably allowed DTW to take up some of the slack. Again, arguably MSP could pick up some slack as well, but a CLE-CVG-MCO would go to a CLE-DTW-MCO easier than CLE-MSP-MCO. And as most of the volume was more East coast focused, it probably helped fuel DTW. As others have said, MSP has not suffered, nearly not take up the slack. They have larger gauge and still are a large hub, I just believe, in addition to the markets, downsizing CVG has aided DTW more than MSP. Just a thought. That might mean why the hubs are the way they are in DL/NW. In the other cases. Such as CO/UA and AA/US you could argue those mergers allowed a combination of Major Hubs where the other was not stronger...UA had no presence in Texas/Southeast and CO's CLE was more an overflow for EWR and could not compete with UA's ORD. For AA/US The same for AA needing the SE (MIA is too far South) and US arguably needed middle of the country...Time remains on the DFW vs. PHX, but at least AA needed SE More.

Just my armchair 2 cents.


The CLE example is weird to me. Beyond the fact that there is plenty of direct service from CLE and CAK to MCO, there are also plenty of DL flights to ATL to connect. I don't see any reason why someone from CLE would fly inconveniently to DTW or MSP unless it was because of a super cheap fare through Expedia which is not the type of passenger DL is chasing anyway.
 
jfk777
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:45 pm

MSP was the center of Northwest Orient for decades, Detroit on came into the NW fold with the republic merger. MSP being the HQ of NW could have had more flights then in needed to. DTW also came up in the world when NW expanded to Europe with the KLM alliance, NW needed a "Schipol" of its own in the USA and DTW was best for this role. NW and DL today still has 4 or 5 flight from DTW to AMS as well as many daily ATL to AMS so many people are double connecting over the two hubs to their final destinations. MSP is an important part of DL.
 
simairlinenet
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:07 pm

caflyboy wrote:
I think part of the answer is also the drawdown of CVG.
I concur with your theory, but would also theorize that SLC and SEA growth resulted in fewer opportunities for MSP going forward. More efficient to add BOI, SJC, etc. flying from SLC / more efficient to add GEG, PDX, etc. flying from SEA than from MSP.

MIflyer12 wrote:
Those assertions are all incorrect. Check history of flight counts, destinations served, and seats per day (latest calc for 2Q16 done by another a.net poster). The relative parity between DTW and MSP that existed in 2008 (per-merger) exists today.

Here are scheduled numbers for everyone from OAG. Figures include DL and NW flying. Sorry for formatting.

Summary:
-DTW historically has had more departures, which peaked post-merger (CVG transfer?) but has lessened
-Both hubs are down noticeably in size, with reductions occurring both during bankruptcy and post-merger
-In terms of seats, both hubs have traditionally been at parity
-DTW has usually had fewer ASMs due to shorter routes, but more lately due to international growth
-DTW has usually had fewer destinations

Flights/day
DTW MSP DTW H/(L)
1998 491 459 7%
1999 535 499 7%
2000 541 517 5%
2001 556 527 5%
2002 533 520 3%
2003 526 521 1%
2004 566 559 1%
2005 573 547 5%
2006 507 470 8%
2007 493 460 7%
2008 496 461 8%
2009 475 445 7%
2010 506 444 14%
2011 492 437 13%
2012 464 407 14%
2013 461 405 14%
2014 416 391 6%
2015 389 379 3%
2016 401 379 6%

Seats/day
DTW MSP DTW H/(L)
1998 55,674 52,127 7%
1999 60,427 57,650 5%
2000 61,132 59,841 2%
2001 61,949 61,868 0%
2002 57,085 58,544 (2%)
2003 55,863 58,055 (4%)
2004 59,098 60,273 (2%)
2005 57,961 58,095 (0%)
2006 52,242 51,219 2%
2007 50,902 50,327 1%
2008 48,436 48,009 1%
2009 43,288 44,562 (3%)
2010 44,655 43,496 3%
2011 43,590 42,395 3%
2012 41,860 40,627 3%
2013 42,900 41,336 4%
2014 40,928 41,399 (1%)
2015 40,682 41,759 (3%)
2016 41,732 42,511 (2%)

ASMs/day
DTW MSP DTW H/(L)
1998 49,425,358 47,126,422 5%
1999 53,509,017 51,818,952 3%
2000 55,472,929 54,864,157 1%
2001 56,283,394 57,700,388 (2%)
2002 50,810,337 54,285,347 (6%)
2003 48,858,795 52,816,904 (7%)
2004 51,816,873 55,177,503 (6%)
2005 51,787,790 54,319,717 (5%)
2006 47,569,047 48,170,653 (1%)
2007 48,136,284 48,403,464 (1%)
2008 46,542,592 47,215,952 (1%)
2009 40,094,335 43,882,192 (9%)
2010 43,200,383 43,910,675 (2%)
2011 45,801,039 42,519,828 8%
2012 46,075,646 40,601,970 13%
2013 46,756,158 41,319,436 13%
2014 45,974,405 41,849,289 10%
2015 45,144,476 42,404,833 6%
2016 45,392,107 43,743,964 4%

Destinations
DTW MSP DTW H/(L)
1998 122 137 (11%)
1999 125 140 (11%)
2000 135 144 (6%)
2001 132 141 (6%)
2002 136 146 (7%)
2003 142 154 (8%)
2004 150 167 (10%)
2005 159 170 (6%)
2006 154 165 (7%)
2007 156 162 (4%)
2008 159 167 (5%)
2009 162 166 (2%)
2010 159 158 1%
2011 154 152 1%
2012 148 149 (1%)
2013 144 145 (1%)
2014 144 148 (3%)
2015 135 149 (9%)
2016 134 150 (11%)
 
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klm617
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:32 pm

It is interesting to note that since the DTW peak of 573 flights per day it has lost 173 daily flights or almost 1/3 of it's departures. That really speaks volumes as far as what Delta has done in the Detroit market.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
portcolumbus
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:44 pm

klm617 wrote:
It is interesting to note that since the DTW peak of 573 flights per day it has lost 173 daily flights or almost 1/3 of it's departures. That really speaks volumes as far as what Delta has done in the Detroit market.



I think the posted numbers are off. I thought DTW was in the 530 range as recently as summer 2013 or 2014.
 
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Alsatian
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:15 pm

portcolumbus wrote:
I think the posted numbers are off. I thought DTW was in the 530 range as recently as summer 2013 or 2014.


I am indeed sceptical. According to these numbers the DL/NW MSP seats per day have fall from 57,961 in 2005 to 40,682 last year, no one could imagine that. The airport handled 37,663,600 pax in 2005 and 36,582,800 in 2015 so it does not match at all.
 
simairlinenet
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:53 pm

klm617 wrote:
It is interesting to note that since the DTW peak of 573 flights per day it has lost 173 daily flights or almost 1/3 of it's departures. That really speaks volumes as far as what Delta has done in the Detroit market.
DTW peaked at 573 in 2005. Northwest declared bankruptcy in 2005 and reduced flying to 496 in 2008, the year the merger was announced/closed. So 573-->496 is the bankruptcy impact, 496-->401 is Delta management.

portcolumbus wrote:
I think the posted numbers are off. I thought DTW was in the 530 range as recently as summer 2013 or 2014.
That may be the case in summer, when airlines fly more flights.

Alsatian wrote:
I am indeed sceptical. According to these numbers the DL/NW MSP seats per day have fall from 57,961 in 2005 to 40,682 last year, no one could imagine that. The airport handled 37,663,600 pax in 2005 and 36,582,800 in 2015 so it does not match at all.
1)These are departing seats, while airport counts are arriving + departing passengers.
2) Load factors went up over time.
3) DL/NW's market share likely went down over time as Sun Country Spirit, Frontier grew and Southwest entered the market.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:20 pm

Alsatian wrote:
portcolumbus wrote:
I think the posted numbers are off. I thought DTW was in the 530 range as recently as summer 2013 or 2014.


I am indeed sceptical. According to these numbers the DL/NW MSP seats per day have fall from 57,961 in 2005 to 40,682 last year, no one could imagine that. The airport handled 37,663,600 pax in 2005 and 36,582,800 in 2015 so it does not match at all.


MSP is expecting to give 2005 numbers a run this year.
 
StrandedAtMKG
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:20 am

I'm not going to get into the weeds of what route operates from where or what the business climates are like in the MSP area and Southeast Michigan, but I will point out one thing that I think has been understated here: the brand-new, world-class midfield terminal* at DTW opened in 2002 and was running full-bore by 2004. DL bought NW in 2008 (merger closed in 2010). These two things are not a coincidence when you're trying to explain why DTW has the status it does. Connecting at MSP is a Byzantine nightmare through the darkest pits of Hell**; connecting at DTW is a straight shot through a beautiful, brand-new terminal.

*then The Northwest Airlines Edward H. McNamara World Gateway at Detroit Metropolitan/Wayne County Airport, which still makes me giggle

**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.

edited for clarity
 
portcolumbus
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:37 am

simairlinenet wrote:
That may be the case in summer, when airlines fly more flights.


No kidding, genius. If DTW was at 530 during the summer, the yearly average (I'm guessing as to what the posted number actually represents) is going to be well above the 400 mark.
 
n7371f
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:18 am

For what it's worth, I passed through DTW yesterday for the first time this year (used to connect there 30x a year). The B/C complex maybe had 4-8 planes connected the entire 70 minutes I was there. Heck DL is now parking wide bodies on the north end - a 764 was undergoing a tire change. Is walling off ends of the B/C not too far off?
 
michman
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:29 am

n7371f wrote:
For what it's worth, I passed through DTW yesterday for the first time this year (used to connect there 30x a year). The B/C complex maybe had 4-8 planes connected the entire 70 minutes I was there. Heck DL is now parking wide bodies on the north end - a 764 was undergoing a tire change. Is walling off ends of the B/C not too far off?


The last two sections of concourse C were walled off last year. Although the current metroairport.com map shows the gates present again, so maybe they have the removed the wall for the summer? The delta.com map still shows the concourse ending at gate C27 which reflects the wall blocking off the last 15 gates --

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/ ... troit.html
 
rbavfan
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:53 am

More simple. Detroit had spent a lot of money building a new terminal & had legal agreements with NW (Delta) that could not be broke without a huge payout from Delta if they do not maintain a hub for a certain number of years. The result was concentration on DTW to make best use of it. They had originally planned on keeping Cincinnati & dropping Detroit as they were to close to each other. The long term agreement sealed DTW & CVG's fate & in turn left MSP as less important due to cost structures. There were lots of articles about it back then including Aviation Week & Flight International Magazines.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:03 pm

rbavfan wrote:
More simple. Detroit had spent a lot of money building a new terminal & had legal agreements with NW (Delta) that could not be broke without a huge payout from Delta if they do not maintain a hub for a certain number of years. The result was concentration on DTW to make best use of it. They had originally planned on keeping Cincinnati & dropping Detroit as they were to close to each other. The long term agreement sealed DTW & CVG's fate & in turn left MSP as less important due to cost structures. There were lots of articles about it back then including Aviation Week & Flight International Magazines.


Had DTW not built the new terminal, it's possible that CVG could have stayed and DTW could have been cut back.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
michman
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:33 pm

rbavfan wrote:
More simple. Detroit had spent a lot of money building a new terminal & had legal agreements with NW (Delta) that could not be broke without a huge payout from Delta if they do not maintain a hub for a certain number of years. The result was concentration on DTW to make best use of it. They had originally planned on keeping Cincinnati & dropping Detroit as they were to close to each other. The long term agreement sealed DTW & CVG's fate & in turn left MSP as less important due to cost structures. There were lots of articles about it back then including Aviation Week & Flight International Magazines.


There was no legal agreement to keep DTW as a hub. You are perhaps getting confused with NW's agreement with the MAC to keep MSP a hub for a number of years due to receiving funding from a special MAC bond.issue. NW did have a long term lease agreement for the McNamara terminal which would have been pricey to try to get out of.

lavalampluva wrote:
Had DTW not built the new terminal, it's possible that CVG could have stayed and DTW could have been cut back.


Take a look at the difference between O&D traffic at DTW vs. CVG and it will immediately become obvious why DTW remains a large hub while CVG is just a smallish O&D focused station. It's pretty clear you have very little knowledge of the DTW area and it's economy. Your bizarre fantasy that the McNamara was not built (sorry, it was) and equally bizarre theory that DTW would be nothing but smoking ruins if it was not, is getting rather stale.
 
thedetroitpole
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:41 pm

I flew into Minneapolis a few weeks ago in transit to Salt Lake City, it appears to me they have a wider selection of domestic service, while at Detroit, it appears that international flights go wing-tip to wing-tip for five or six gates. Minneapolis provides connectivity domestically in the Mid-west while Detroit captures East Coast domestic and international flying.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:44 pm

michman wrote:

Take a look at the difference between O&D traffic at DTW vs. CVG and it will immediately become obvious why DTW remains a large hub while CVG is just a smallish O&D focused station. It's pretty clear you have very little knowledge of the DTW area and it's economy. Your bizarre fantasy that the McNamara was not built (sorry, it was) and equally bizarre theory that DTW would be nothing but smoking ruins if it was not, is getting rather stale.



Wow. Ok. First of all what are you talking about, bizarre fantasy and bizarre theory? All I was putting forth was a hypothetical. I gather from your user name that you are from or at least a fan of Michigan. What I said that not meant to be considered any kind of insult. My point was only would things be any different had WCAA not built the McNamara Terminal and that's it.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
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Polot
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:00 pm

The McNamara terminal opened 6 years before the NW/DL merger, and first announced 12 years before the merger in 1996. Note that both dates are before DL even peaked at CVG, which was in 2005 (3 years before the merger...DL was not kind to CVG during their bankruptcy). I don't know why we are even bother discussing what CVG would have been like after the merger if DTW would not have built that terminal. At the point of the merger the DTW terminal was ancient history by aviation standards.

DTW didn't build it just because- they built it because NW needed it. The fact that CVG never even built the planned concourse D should tell you all you need to know about CVG's traffic levels and the trajectory of DL's hub there. Its laughable to think that CVG had any chance, in any scenario, over DTW.
 
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compensateme
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:51 pm

A silly thread with facts skewed to support opinions but...

lavalampluva wrote:
Wow. Ok. First of all what are you talking about, bizarre fantasy and bizarre theory? All I was putting forth was a hypothetical. I gather from your user name that you are from or at least a fan of Michigan. What I said that not meant to be considered any kind of insult. My point was only would things be any different had WCAA not built the McNamara Terminal and that's it.


And he responded with fact. DL began cutting CVG during its bankruptcy; summer 2008 - just a few months after the merger was announced and weeks before it was approved (and there was some doubt it wouldn't be) -- DL announced further cuts that would bring CVG down to 250 peak day departures. NW ran a larger operation from its now-demolished facilities which would've undoubtedly been upgraded had a new terminal not been constructed. US choose PHL's renovated, archaic terminals over PIT's beautiful, modern one because it all comes down to O/D. So yes, a hypothetical, but an unrealistic one at that.

rbavfan wrote:
More simple. Detroit had spent a lot of money building a new terminal & had legal agreements with NW (Delta) that could not be broke without a huge payout from Delta if they do not maintain a hub for a certain number of years. The result was concentration on DTW to make best use of it. They had originally planned on keeping Cincinnati & dropping Detroit as they were to close to each other. The long term agreement sealed DTW & CVG's fate & in turn left MSP as less important due to cost structures. There were lots of articles about it back then including Aviation Week & Flight International Magazines.


100% not factual. The rebuttal has been addressed but I'll point out that DL actually has stronger financial obligations to CVG than it does DTW, as it was unsuccessful in dumping them via bankruptcy.
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777PHX
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:01 pm

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
I'm not going to get into the weeds of what route operates from where or what the business climates are like in the MSP area and Southeast Michigan, but I will point out one thing that I think has been understated here: the brand-new, world-class midfield terminal* at DTW opened in 2002 and was running full-bore by 2004. DL bought NW in 2008 (merger closed in 2010). These two things are not a coincidence when you're trying to explain why DTW has the status it does. Connecting at MSP is a Byzantine nightmare through the darkest pits of Hell**; connecting at DTW is a straight shot through a beautiful, brand-new terminal.

*then The Northwest Airlines Edward H. McNamara World Gateway at Detroit Metropolitan/Wayne County Airport, which still makes me giggle

**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.

edited for clarity


Agreed.

DL's terminals at DTW are beautiful. MSP is just a dark, nightmarish labyrinth.
 
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:06 pm

compensateme wrote:
A silly thread with facts skewed to support opinions but...

Agree, I was going to stay out it, because this now seems to be a recent trend on a.net instead of who is merging with who, its what fanboys in a given airline hub market are butthurt over perceived slight or comparison to other airline hub markets. DL hub @#[email protected]# measuring is the new fad. MSP people butthurt at DTW. DTW butthurt at ATL....

There is no true "lack of attention" taking a "backseat" or whatever you want to call it. Part of the fallout of every merger has been network adjustments. The reality is that airlines are for-profit businesses not charities, and also need to react to economic and external factors.

- Depending on the metric and timeframe used, DTW and MSP are very close to each other in size. However, ATL is better on almost every metric than DTW+MSP combined.
- DTW peaked at a little more than 500 flights/day post-merger but is since down by a significant number of departures due to the upgauging from 50 seaters to 2-class RJs, and 717 flying, plus the removal of SF3 flying. This was done almost on a capacity-neutral basis. Immediately post-merger, DL poached a number of NW's 2-class RJs out of DTW to fund other hubs and put in a large number of 50 seaters, since DTW has a disproporate number of sub-500 mile flights (and sub-300 mile flights) into mid-sized markets compared to other hubs. DL put in F8 ERJ's pretty quickly, and also S5's ERJs into the DTW market, and pulled out a significant number of E75 and CR9s immediately post merger, but also artificially inflated the departure count in the short term.
- B/C may be quiet at certain periods of the day, but its almost completely full around the 8pm departure bank in the evening. Middle of the day and and weekends it can be quiet. The walled-off north end of C is being used for hardstands of RJs in the closed gates, and they've created a hardstand pad for wide bodies by filling in the grass off the north end of C. Part of the issue was that DL had been using the 4R deicing pad for hardstand and aircraft parking which was fine in the warmer months, but not feasible in the winter time.
 
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:15 pm

DL also flows more East-West capacity over MSP than DTW. The West Coast markets LAX, SAN, PHX, DEN, SFO, SJC, PDX, SEA, GEG, ANC, SLC, etc. all see more flights/capacity into MSP versus DTW; so each hub has different roles in the network.
 
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:02 pm

Both hubs have taken a backseat to ATL, SEA, LAX, and NYC. Shrinking capacity is a luxury you can afford when you have market power. Thankfully other airlines have stepped in to pick up some of the domestic slack. Both are severely lacking in international competition however.

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.


They only seem long. ATL has longer unassisted walks. DTW had nearly identical potentially long connections when C was fully used. MSP isn't perfect, but the long walk length is mostly a myth. The different layout is because it's decades old and could only be expanded where possible. And dark? Really? It's not the absolute brightest terminal, but it's bright in most areas, especially for an older one. I can think of many darker terminals.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:19 pm

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.


[/quote]They only seem long. ATL has longer unassisted walks. DTW had nearly identical potentially long connections when C was fully used. MSP isn't perfect, but the long walk length is mostly a myth. The different layout is because it's decades old and could only be expanded where possible. And dark? Really? It's not the absolute brightest terminal, but it's bright in most areas, especially for an older one. I can think of many darker terminals.[/quote]

MSP also wins awards for its airport features. Take, for example, the art area they have added recently. Upgrades are taking place as we speak (not the ones that reduced staff/checkpoints).
Visit https://reimaginemsp.com/
 
alfa164
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:31 pm

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
Connecting at MSP is a Byzantine nightmare through the darkest pits of Hell**; connecting at DTW is a straight shot through a beautiful, brand-new terminal.
**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.

Much of MSP is built in a "U" shape, with the terminals enveloping a central parking and check-in area. This means gates can only be located along one side of the l-o-n-g concourses that surround that servicing core.

At DTW - and most other modern airports - gates are located on both sides of the concourse. Simple math means those MSP concourses must be twice as long as those of other airports to accommodate the same number of gates . That can't explain, however, why MSP chose such dark (and somewhat depressing) colors for its public areas; just comparing DTW or DEN to MSP shows what a little brightness can add. Hopefully, some improvements will come along...someday...
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SteveXC500
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:11 pm

There is also a skyway connector between C and G at MSP, so if you arrive on a CR9, for example on Concourse C, you can drastically shorten the walk to connect over to International or other Domestic service on G.

It's really not that bad.
 
klakzky123
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:13 pm

I feel like every post about a Delta hub or hubs that isn't Atlanta de-evolves into a thread where people decide to dump on each others preferred hub.

Anyway to the original point, MSP is just fine. Yes it doesn't have the plethora of international destinations that Detroit has but MSP also doesn't have a uniquely global industry like the auto industry. There's no reason to have those flights in MSP. And for those who live in the MSP area, you shouldn't really complain. Yes Detroit has a newer terminal and many more international flights but if you want to fly to a leisure destination in North America, MSP has a far better selection of options and as a result a much better array of prices.

Lastly, while MSP's layout isn't ideal, some people are making it sound like its a disaster like the Miami airport. MSP generally rates pretty highly in comparison to most airports in the US and it has all of the amenities that one would expect in a modern airport. Also I don't get the reference to dark colors. If anything the mall area is nothing but white at the moment. I guess there's a lot of gray in the concourses which is different from the usual white tones that you see in a lot of airports but I guess I never really noticed.
 
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:29 pm

MSPNWA wrote:
Both hubs have taken a backseat to ATL, SEA, LAX, and NYC. Shrinking capacity is a luxury you can afford when you have market power. Thankfully other airlines have stepped in to pick up some of the domestic slack. Both are severely lacking in international competition however.

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
**Seriously, why is it so DARK inside MSP? And why are the halls so long and winding? Ugh. MSP is a mess. I will pay extra or fly (a little) outside my preferred schedule to connect @ DTW and not MSP.


They only seem long. ATL has longer unassisted walks. DTW had nearly identical potentially long connections when C was fully used. MSP isn't perfect, but the long walk length is mostly a myth. The different layout is because it's decades old and could only be expanded where possible. And dark? Really? It's not the absolute brightest terminal, but it's bright in most areas, especially for an older one. I can think of many darker terminals.


Atlanta is the most horrific hub I have had to change at MIA was even better when I flew AA. The sheer mass of people that transfer at ATL make it difficult to navigate the terminal in a hurry when you are trying to make a connection in a hurry not to mention the train you have to deal with and nasty CSA agents that are at best most times unhelpful. Never transferred at MSP but I'm sure the experience would be better than the nightmare called ATL.
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:38 pm

MSP generally is a great connection experience unless you have to go from the far end of the A Concourse to the far end of the F Concourse. There is no easy way to make that connection.

DTW is the only place I've ever successfully pulled off a sub 40 minute connection. Even then though it was close.

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piedmont762
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Re: How did MSP take a backseat to DTW after the NW merger?

Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:53 pm

klm617 wrote:
It is interesting to note that since the DTW peak of 573 flights per day it has lost 173 daily flights or almost 1/3 of it's departures. That really speaks volumes as far as what Delta has done in the Detroit market.


Has to do with a lot of CR2 retirements and less frequency because of equipment upgrades to mainline aircraft and large RJs.

"DL's terminals at DTW are beautiful. MSP is just a dark, nightmarish labyrinth."

I wouldn't go that far. DTW is probably my favorite terminal in the US but MSP is better than say ORD. It's clean, the Sky Clubs are new, and the gates are modern. Only problem is having to run across the airport to make tight connections and security gets backed up easily.

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