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A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:19 am
by redzeppelin
The recent thread about the longevity of the SLC hub prompted me to finally do something that I have been thinking about for a while. I sat down and charted DL's movements at the hub over the course of one day. The figure below shows all of the DL arrivals and departures for Monday, August 15. Each row captures the movements from a 30-minute period (6:00 = 6:00 to 6:29, etc.) Mainline DL flights are in red, regional flights are in light blue, and I included the KLM JV flight to AMS in darker blue. International flights are in bold.

The flight times are NOT from the schedule -- they are the actual arrival and departure times taken from FlightAware. As such, you can see some of irregular operations that can happen on a given day. For example, there were two arrivals from CUN after the previous day's flight was apparently cancelled/delayed overnight. You can also see that the evening arrival from DCA was delayed by about 3 hours, and anybody not going to BZN probably missed their connections. You might find more fun stuff.

For me, it was informative to see the bank structure at the hub and learn a bit more about the aircraft that are flying over my head every day. There were also a few surprises. For example, I had no idea that DL was running a red-eye flight to BWI. When did that start?

The biggest challenge with this was sorting out the regional flights to make sure that I was getting the DL-branded flights. There are lots of RJs operating from SLC to DEN, LAX, IAH, SFO, PHX, etc, under the banners of UA and AA. I hope I got it all correct.

I'm curious to hear what the forum thinks. Any surprises? Is it about what you thought it was?

Image

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:44 am
by PDX757
Ah the "Delta rush". When I was working on my flight training out of SLC there were more than a few days when I would have to hold at rwy 35 for a good chunk of time for the onslaught of arriving Delta traffic.
Good visual!
I'd be interested to know how many of the 22mil passengers through SLC last year were O&D...

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:46 am
by klkla
Looking at it this way gives you a much clearer idea of how their banks are timed.

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:18 am
by Legend757
redzeppelin wrote:
[url=https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1340461]

For me, it was informative to see the bank structure at the hub and learn a bit more about the aircraft that are flying over my head every day. There were also a few surprises. For example, I had no idea that DL was running a red-eye flight to BWI. When did that start?

I'm curious to hear what the forum thinks. Any surprises? Is it about what you thought it was?

Image


This is a fascinating way to present hub bank time data. Interesting to see the mirror from arrival to departures. I would imagine that UA probably has a similar timed schedule from DEN. Thank you for the visual.

The red-eye BWI began on March 2nd. It replaced the regular 17:00 departure. I have wondered what drove DL to make the change. Perhaps the lack of gate space at SLC during the 17:00 bank?

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:42 am
by redzeppelin
PDX757 wrote:
Good visual!

Legend757 wrote:
This is a fascinating way to present hub bank time data.

Thanks! I have seen similar figures presented on A.net in the past. I particularly remember somebody charting EK's movements at DXB in a similar manner.

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:17 am
by SurfandSnow
I'm surprised at the lack of departures before 8 AM! Apparently even markets like JFK, PDX and SAN can't be served until those connecting pax from ABQ/ANC/BIL/BOI/BZN/DEN/HNL/OKC/OMA have arrived to help fill the flights?

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:53 pm
by redzeppelin
SurfandSnow wrote:
I'm surprised at the lack of departures before 8 AM! Apparently even markets like JFK, PDX and SAN can't be served until those connecting pax from ABQ/ANC/BIL/BOI/BZN/DEN/HNL/OKC/OMA have arrived to help fill the flights?

JFK gets a red-eye, but the lack of early-morning flights to regional business destinations is very conspicuous. I think it must be frustrating for SLC-based business travelers trying to arrange day-trips. But other airlines--particularly AS--are filling that niche. Alaska's entrance to SLC very much targeted the holes in DL's schedule to the west coast. A.net labeled it as utilization flying, but the late-evening arrivals to SLC and early-morning departures had a definite market to serve. Example: I have a trip next month to SFO that I just booked on AS for that very reason. I'm attending a 2-day conference that would require a 3-night trip on DL, but is just a 1-night trip on AS. AS has a 6:30 departure to SFO (two hours before the first flights from either DL or UA) and a return that leaves SFO at 20:40 (more than 2.5 hours after the last DL flight). AS also fills a similar niche for the examples you mentioned in PDX and SAN.

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:59 pm
by klm617
I am surprised about the relatively low amount of traffic that flows through SLC I would of thought there we more flights flowing through this hub.

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:56 pm
by simairlinenet
Nice work. Two suggestions for future work:
1) Do use the schedule, since that will tighten the times and make banks easier to spot.
2) Hubs tend to have directional flows, so you could visually represent eastbound vs. westbound flows with color coding. For example, 1100 departures are heavily eastbound, while the last big bank is primarily westbound.

Re: A Snapshot of the SLC DL Hub: 15 August 2016

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:24 pm
by Legend757
klm617 wrote:
I am surprised about the relatively low amount of traffic that flows through SLC I would of thought there we more flights flowing through this hub.


I find it impressive actually. Delta has over 250 flights a day from SLC, half of those on mainline aircraft. That's no Atlanta, but a notable amount of traffic for this mountain hub nonetheless.