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LotsaRunway
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Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:48 pm

Noticing a slow erosion in the number of flights AA is sending to PHL. I'm not aware that they are offsetting frequency with larger aircraft and it appears the Ejets are slowly being moved elsewhere and being back-filled with ERJs. Several Northeastern cities are seeing their AA capacity being trimmed with fewer and smaller regional flights and no shift in capacity to CLT, ORD or DCA. There was talk during the merger that growing the hub at JFK would lead to downsizing PHL, but there really does't seem to be any type of regional hub developing at JFK.

Does anyone know what AA's plans are for PHL? Is the shift away from the Ejets at PHL a long-term thing? Are they shifting connecting capacity elsewhere or just cutting service to smaller communities with less O&D to PHL? Any thoughts on where AA is taking their PHL hub over the next year or two are welcome.
 
Flighty
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:05 pm

With fully integrated finances between AA and former US operations, we should see some adjustment.

But, for context, when DL took over NW, DTW and MSP continued pretty much as-is. Streamlined, but relatively fully intact.

I expect same for PHL and CLT.
 
usairways85
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:11 pm

No doubt the number of AA flights in PHL has dropped. I think they are down 40-50 flights in S16 compared to S15. Some of the bigger reductions are in the key Northeast markets that the frequency is no longer needed.
BOS ~18 > 12
LGA ~15 > ~3
DCA ~8 > 3

I can't speak for the loss of 170/175's but there has been an influx of Piedmont 145's in place of Dash-8's. Over the past 5-10 years PHL has become very RJ heavy. It has the highest percentage of regional flights compared to total flights out of all the AA hubs (65%, ORD 61%, CLT 56%). It will also be interesting once the 190's go since they are primarily based out of PHL. It would make sense if AA stabilized PHL at the current flight level or dropped it further but upgauged aircraft. The problem is that while DL and UA have invested in smaller mainline aircraft, AA has not.
 
usflyer123
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:16 pm

Flighty wrote:
With fully integrated finances between AA and former US operations, we should see some adjustment.

But, for context, when DL took over NW, DTW and MSP continued pretty much as-is. Streamlined, but relatively fully intact.

I expect same for PHL and CLT.


exactly, i dont see a major cut of flights in the near future. CLT is AA primary southeast hub.
plus both philadelphia and NYC have a large amount of O&D traffic.
does AA tries to shift international connecting pax to JFK and domestic connecting pax to PHL?
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D L X
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:38 pm

I'm sure this is partly the change from the summer schedule to the lighter fall/winter schedule.
 
OslPhlWasChi
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:58 pm

Its not exact data but per the question, a slight reduction of flights is being offset (at least partially) but upgauged aircrafts. Looking at activity reports by PHL, with relatively flat passenger numbers, the airport has continued to see shifts from "commuter" passengers to "scheduled" passengers (this is PHL's lingo) over the past few years and continuing through available data through June 2016. Of course, this is for the entire airport and not just AA but since AA is well over 50% of all traffic, it probably is a decent indicator.

Adjusting post-merger, absolutely. Intentionally downsizing, no.

http://www.phl.org/Pages/Business/Repor ... ports.aspx
 
Rdh3e
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:30 pm

Q3 2016 YOY Seats / Departures by Equipment Type and Total
Equipment...Seats Change....Departure Change
Narrowbody 0% / -2%
Widebody -13% / -12%
Prop -20% / -16%
50 Seater +5% / +5%
70+ Seater -25% / -27%

Total Hub -7% / -9%
 
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lesfalls
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:42 pm

Strange. When I flew AA in Feburary an FA (who has worked for them since the 70s) told me that they would expand out of PHL soon with new transatlantic flights because there was better feed and give over some of their routes at JFK to their partners. Since talking to her I haven't see any ajustments at JFK nor PHL.
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alasizon
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:49 pm

There were a lot of markets that via PHL on the LUS side were able to be filled with non-trash yields. Now with the combined network, a smaller percentage of the 291 seats on the A333s can be filled with the high yielding connecting pax (the yields are simply better over other hubs). PHL probably was due for a 10% downsize (and about 7.5% seat cut) to start. I think the PHL hub now fits better in the grand scheme of things as there is no need now to be running 15 flights a day to LGA.
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ams747757
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:47 pm

Maybe slightly off topic, but I don't recall ever seeing a "PHL Aviation" thread like there are for other areas. Might be kind of cool to be able to discuss all things PHL in an ongoing thread.

Examples:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1336567
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=605739

Just a thought.

Back on topic, I was under the impression AA might slowly expand int'l out of PHL. Adding an Asia flight has been tossed around quite a bit over the years, and AA might find a 787 to be a decent fit. So far though there hasn't been a ton of cross-fleeting that I can tell, save for some 737s on domestic and a few 767s.
 
johnberg
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:10 pm

They are better able to use hubs throughout the network. Instead of routing everyone from the northeast and mid-Atlantic through PHL to go westward they can use ORD and DFW. That should cut down on flights to and from PHL. For example instead of PVD-PHL-SFO, Passengers can be routed PVD-ORD-SFO or PVD-DFW-SFO.
 
FWAERJ
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:54 pm

Some drops from PHL, like FWA, were entirely performance related.

On paper, with strong presences from Lincoln National, Wells Fargo, and Comcast on both ends of the route, FWA-PHL looked good. But for the two years that AA flew FWA-PHL, LFs were on average below 55%. The fact that UA announced FWA-EWR (where bookings have done much better, and the service doesn't start for another week) was the final nAAil in the coffin for FWA-PHL.
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phluser
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:00 pm

johnberg wrote:
For example instead of PVD-PHL-SFO, Passengers can be routed PVD-ORD-SFO or PVD-DFW-SFO.


If they only flew PVD-DFW.
 
phluser
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:02 pm

johnberg wrote:
They are better able to use hubs throughout the network.


AA is also encouraging connecting service through focus cities and through BA for TATL. For example, I do a search of DCA to LHR, and DCA-JFK, DCA-BOS, DCA-ORD, DCA-RDU are better promoted than connection through PHL out of DCA, with some connections through BA metal (e.g. DCA-BOS on AA and BOS-LHR on BA). I always thought LGA, DCA and BOS were the necessary feeders for PHL TATL, but AA is routing pax through other means now. AA has seasonal flights like BOS-CDG that could be made year-round quite possibly at PHL's expense.

While there are the Ohio cities, upstate NY/BUF and PIT and the North Carolina cities where connections through PHL are close, I don't think it can sustain the PHL TATL, especially to the secondary European cities. AA might be able to continue charging monopoly fares on routes like PHL-PIT for the O&D , but over time, Philly becomes a city not to do business in. Consulting companies then choose markets like Chicago and Atlanta to be bases, as those cities have more flights for consulting employees. Try going to AUS or SAT ex PHL and it's not possible nonstop year-round. The PHL area is also taking a blow with companies like Merck shifting jobs to Massachusetts. I think AA will keep PHL but trim the hub further.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:27 am

lesfalls wrote:
Strange. When I flew AA in Feburary an FA (who has worked for them since the 70s) told me that they would expand out of PHL soon with new transatlantic flights because there was better feed and give over some of their routes at JFK to their partners. Since talking to her I haven't see any ajustments at JFK nor PHL.


AA has shifted some PHL TATL flying to JFK (EDI for instance). They also upped capacity (seasonally at least) in some TATL markets from JFK this year (FCO, BCN getting the 777-200ER in reconfigured 2-class cabins). With the A330-300 fleet being retired, I think you'll see some 787's deployed to PHL for some routes that won't be getting the A330-200 and perhaps some additional routes moved to JFK (AMS maybe, ATH seasonally to capture the large FF base in the NYC area that AA has), and perhaps LIS going there as well. Will be interesting to see what they do with BHX and MAN given Brexit and whether they will continue to fly MAN from ORD, PHL, and JFK or cut one of the routes but my sense is PHL here to stay though perhaps slightly smaller. It does fill a need in the AA network on the East Coast that JFK never will be able to.
 
acentauri
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:10 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
lesfalls wrote:
Strange. When I flew AA in Feburary an FA (who has worked for them since the 70s) told me that they would expand out of PHL soon with new transatlantic flights because there was better feed and give over some of their routes at JFK to their partners. Since talking to her I haven't see any ajustments at JFK nor PHL.


AA has shifted some PHL TATL flying to JFK (EDI for instance). They also upped capacity (seasonally at least) in some TATL markets from JFK this year (FCO, BCN getting the 777-200ER in reconfigured 2-class cabins). With the A330-300 fleet being retired, I think you'll see some 787's deployed to PHL for some routes that won't be getting the A330-200 and perhaps some additional routes moved to JFK (AMS maybe, ATH seasonally to capture the large FF base in the NYC area that AA has), and perhaps LIS going there as well. Will be interesting to see what they do with BHX and MAN given Brexit and whether they will continue to fly MAN from ORD, PHL, and JFK or cut one of the routes but my sense is PHL here to stay though perhaps slightly smaller. It does fill a need in the AA network on the East Coast that JFK never will be able to.


The 330-300 is NOT being retired. If AA has plans to downsize PHL internationally, why are they investing in a new Flagship Lounge in A-West (just 1 of several data points)? PHL will evolve into the primary Trans-Atlantic hub for AA (except for LHR), at the expense of CLT and... This has been the plan since the merger was announced. The airline cannot make any major shifts in/out of hubs until early next year (2017) due to the DOJ merger agreement. This thread is a bit silly to say the least - a fodder for hidden agendas.
Last edited by acentauri on Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:10 am

I am quite surprised that post merger, JFK has held its own at the expense of PHL.

I was initially worried.

That said, that seems to be the trend
 
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:49 am

AA has only dabbled in fleet rationalization so far, with the upcoming FOS integration and pilot seniority list the mainline hub changes will begin in earnest next year probably. Additionally with Eagle, the Republic bankruptcy and grounding of the E170 fleet (my understanding is its returning) and Piedmont accelerating the switch from Dash-8 to ERJ-145, all the hub's, but especially the LUS hubs will see changes. I think PHL more or less stays as it is, though I am interested in what the 321neo and possible 321neoLR would do to AA TATL fleet to secondary and non-Oneworld destinations from both JFK & PHL. AA at JFK isn't built to feed connections so PHL will remain an important TATL hub and the retirement of the A333's won't be a big deal as it's only 9 frames and with crew and fleet swapping those trips can easily get right sized to other A/C in fleet.
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Cointrin330
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:15 am

acentauri wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
lesfalls wrote:
Strange. When I flew AA in Feburary an FA (who has worked for them since the 70s) told me that they would expand out of PHL soon with new transatlantic flights because there was better feed and give over some of their routes at JFK to their partners. Since talking to her I haven't see any ajustments at JFK nor PHL.


AA has shifted some PHL TATL flying to JFK (EDI for instance). They also upped capacity (seasonally at least) in some TATL markets from JFK this year (FCO, BCN getting the 777-200ER in reconfigured 2-class cabins). With the A330-300 fleet being retired, I think you'll see some 787's deployed to PHL for some routes that won't be getting the A330-200 and perhaps some additional routes moved to JFK (AMS maybe, ATH seasonally to capture the large FF base in the NYC area that AA has), and perhaps LIS going there as well. Will be interesting to see what they do with BHX and MAN given Brexit and whether they will continue to fly MAN from ORD, PHL, and JFK or cut one of the routes but my sense is PHL here to stay though perhaps slightly smaller. It does fill a need in the AA network on the East Coast that JFK never will be able to.


The 330-300 is NOT being retired. If AA has plans to downsize PHL internationally, why are they investing in a new Flagship Lounge in A-West (just 1 of several data points)? PHL will evolve into the primary Trans-Atlantic hub for AA (except for LHR), at the expense of CLT and... This has been the plan since the merger was announced. The airline cannot make any major shifts in/out of hubs until early next year (2017) due to the DOJ merger agreement. This thread is a bit silly to say the least - a fodder for hidden agendas.


All 9 A330-300's will be exited from the fleet by 2018 along with the E-190's and speed up some additional (but not all) 767-300ER's. American announced this earlier this summer. They are keeping the A330-200's. I would imagine PHL has to remain a significant hub for AA for a number of reasons. It has a huge catchment area, a strong business community, and is in the top 5 or 6 cities in the nation size wise. The JFK hub serves an entirely different purpose. AA has always had a large FF base in NYC and strong ties to the corporate community going back decades. JFK serves more as a point to point O&D hub for AA than a true connecting hub and that's not likely to change. I think you'll see some TATL flying shift around between PHL and JFK further to optimize the network, but that's pretty much it.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:34 pm

I have little doubt that PHL will remain a major hub, but it does appear that they are making adjustments to how large it is. Some hub banks have been trimmed (first and last of the day) some downsizing especially in the regional ranks. I didn't notice many changes in widebodies, but I guess they are down a bit too. I would certainly think they would maintain European flights to most of the current destinations, but would want to adjust aircraft type in some cases.

So if Republic is dealing with reorganization, is Piedmont back-filling with ERJs until Republic can get back to full strength? I thought Piedmont was picking up the ERJs to replace Dash-8 flying, but I'm seeing a bunch of swaps for E175s in the fall schedules.

Rdh3e wrote:
Q3 2016 YOY Seats / Departures by Equipment Type and Total
Equipment...Seats Change....Departure Change
Narrowbody 0% / -2%
Widebody -13% / -12%
Prop -20% / -16%
50 Seater +5% / +5%
70+ Seater -25% / -27%

Total Hub -7% / -9%
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:54 pm

PHL has been reduced somewhat the last few years but I have found that as a result it is MUCH more reliable that it used to be. Back in the late 00's, PHL used to look like a disaster relief area almost every night because of all the stranded passengers but I have not seen anything like that since around 2012. It still has the same rude and unhelpful staff but you don't really have to deal with them since everything is running smoothly...
 
spartanmjf
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:17 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
It still has the same rude and unhelpful staff but you don't really have to deal with them since everything is running smoothly...


Ahh Philadelphia, the city that loves (mugs) you back.

Living approximately midway between PHL and BWI off of 95 (actually closer to PHL) I will choose BWI 99.99% of the time because of flexibility, fares, and reliability.
"Nuts to the man in 21D!"
 
usairways85
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:15 pm

spartanmjf wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
It still has the same rude and unhelpful staff but you don't really have to deal with them since everything is running smoothly...


Ahh Philadelphia, the city that loves (mugs) you back.

Living approximately midway between PHL and BWI off of 95 (actually closer to PHL) I will choose BWI 99.99% of the time because of flexibility, fares, and reliability.

FWIW, I've experienced the same "rough" attitude at EWR, IAD, ORD, pretty much every where.

But similarly, as a South Jersey/close PHL suburbs resident, I choose EWR a decent amount. In fact, I haven't flown AA/US since the US/UA code share ended.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:46 pm

LotsaRunway wrote:
I didn't notice many changes in widebodies, but I guess they are down a bit too

PHL-TLV and PHL-CLT both lost a daily widebody. TLV cancelled, and the CLT flight was probably to position the aircraft and was no longer necessary.
 
usairways85
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:08 pm

Rdh3e wrote:
LotsaRunway wrote:
I didn't notice many changes in widebodies, but I guess they are down a bit too

PHL-TLV and PHL-CLT both lost a daily widebody. TLV cancelled, and the CLT flight was probably to position the aircraft and was no longer necessary.

The 330 on PHL-CLT was replaced with an additional widebody on PHL-MIA. PHL-MIA operates with a 1x 763 and 1x 332 fairly regularly.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:56 pm

usairways85 wrote:
The 330 on PHL-CLT was replaced with an additional widebody on PHL-MIA. PHL-MIA operates with a 1x 763 and 1x 332 fairly regularly.


There is a period in which both flights have been removed. Below is the PHL to MIA scheduled widebody departures by month:

Jan-16 65
Feb-16 51
Mar-16 63
Apr-16 61
May-16 65
Jun-16 60
Jul-16 62
Aug-16 44
Sep-16 1
Oct-16 6
Nov-16 54
Dec-16 31
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:28 pm

Rdh3e wrote:

There is a period in which both flights have been removed. Below is the PHL to MIA scheduled widebody departures by month:

Jan-16 65
Feb-16 51
Mar-16 63
Apr-16 61
May-16 65
Jun-16 60
Jul-16 62
Aug-16 44
Sep-16 1
Oct-16 6
Nov-16 54
Dec-16 31


PHL to MCO might also be interesting. I know they put a bunch of A332s on the route last January and February. I flew the route during the middle of last January expecting the big bird to be pretty empty, but it was fully booked. I would think with the AA network they would find higher revenue ways to use those spare birds during the European off-season.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:44 pm

acentauri wrote:
The 330-300 is NOT being retired. If AA has plans to downsize PHL internationally, why are they investing in a new Flagship Lounge in A-West (just 1 of several data points)? PHL will evolve into the primary Trans-Atlantic hub for AA (except for LHR), at the expense of CLT and... This has been the plan since the merger was announced. The airline cannot make any major shifts in/out of hubs until early next year (2017) due to the DOJ merger agreement. This thread is a bit silly to say the least - a fodder for hidden agendas.


I am lost. For US, PHL was already the primary TATL hub at the expense of CLT. What am I missing? It's not like CLT-LHR/CDG/FRA are in danger.

LotsaRunway wrote:
PHL to MCO might also be interesting. I know they put a bunch of A332s on the route last January and February. I flew the route during the middle of last January expecting the big bird to be pretty empty, but it was fully booked. I would think with the AA network they would find higher revenue ways to use those spare birds during the European off-season.


Due to its Euro-centric longhaul network, US historically had a lot of domestic and Caribbean widebody flying in the winter. It will be interesting to see if that changes as widebody crossfleeting continues.
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Beatyair
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:03 am

As part of the merger they had to keep some hubs for a period of time. Time is up, PHL is just too close to JFK. Like Memphis to Atlanta. You will still have lots of flight, just not a Hub amount.
I feel for the airports that built up just to start demolishing and rebranding - Memphis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and etc.
 
crownvic
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:13 am

Beatyair wrote:
As part of the merger they had to keep some hubs for a period of time. Time is up, PHL is just too close to JFK. Like Memphis to Atlanta. You will still have lots of flight, just not a Hub amount.
I feel for the airports that built up just to start demolishing and rebranding - Memphis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and etc.


Really? Come on now. Yes, PHL and JFK are close (in air miles), but not so close by car. Also, comparing PHL to the cities mentioned, is like comparing apples to oranges. None of those cities ever had the international presents or size, the PHL market has and AA (thanks to US), dominates at PHL with a healthy profit center. At JFK, AA has heavy competition with both JB and DL. I think both can survive side by side. These are two big markets where "poaching" is not necessary.
 
crownvic
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:20 am

LotsaRunway wrote:
Noticing a slow erosion in the number of flights AA is sending to PHL. I'm not aware that they are offsetting frequency with larger aircraft and it appears the Ejets are slowly being moved elsewhere and being back-filled with ERJs. Several Northeastern cities are seeing their AA capacity being trimmed with fewer and smaller regional flights and no shift in capacity to CLT, ORD or DCA. There was talk during the merger that growing the hub at JFK would lead to downsizing PHL, but there really does't seem to be any type of regional hub developing at JFK.

Does anyone know what AA's plans are for PHL? Is the shift away from the Ejets at PHL a long-term thing? Are they shifting connecting capacity elsewhere or just cutting service to smaller communities with less O&D to PHL? Any thoughts on where AA is taking their PHL hub over the next year or two are welcome.


I think one also has to look at the overall situation at the other AA hubs. While I cannot speak from facts, I do notice that as flights have been cut at PHL by AA, I see many cuts too, at the other AA hubs. AA has been cutting flights all over their system, and filling up the planes. Other airlines have done the same, after mergers. It's what bean counters have been doing at the US majors for the past few years, optimizing load factors. The days of flights going empty one after another, are done, so "casualties" are just part of AA's strategy.
 
usairways85
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:47 pm

FWIW, AA massively cut PHL's schedule this weekend during the presumably slow travel period. There were no eastbound redeyes Sat. night and currently on Sunday morning there are only something like ~10 domestic flights enroute to PHL. But yet they maintained a full TA schedule. No entirely surprising and I'm sure there were cuts all around.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:32 pm

usairways85 wrote:
FWIW, AA massively cut PHL's schedule this weekend during the presumably slow travel period. There were no eastbound redeyes Sat. night and currently on Sunday morning there are only something like ~10 domestic flights enroute to PHL. But yet they maintained a full TA schedule. No entirely surprising and I'm sure there were cuts all around.


Link? And one holiday weekend's travel equals an airline's longterm commitment to a city they have served for nearly 35 years as their international gateway?
 
jlbmedia
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:58 pm

usairways85 wrote:
FWIW, AA massively cut PHL's schedule this weekend during the presumably slow travel period. There were no eastbound redeyes Sat. night and currently on Sunday morning there are only something like ~10 domestic flights enroute to PHL. But yet they maintained a full TA schedule. No entirely surprising and I'm sure there were cuts all around.



There was also a tropical storm warning with high winds and rain predicted to hit the area (So far the predictions have been wrong) This may also have contributed to any weekend cancellations.
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lavalampluva
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:03 pm

Isn't it normal for there to be some route restructuring after a merger? I'm sure what's happening in PHL is just part of that. But PHL has a close proximity to JFK. That being said I'm sure many travelers to Europe would like an alternative to having to connect in JFK.
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HPRamper
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:36 am

lavalampluva wrote:
Isn't it normal for there to be some route restructuring after a merger? I'm sure what's happening in PHL is just part of that. But PHL has a close proximity to JFK. That being said I'm sure many travelers to Europe would like an alternative to having to connect in JFK.

Most AA travelers to Europe aren't connecting at JFK though. AA has JFK optimized for O&D, preferring the connections to be routed through PHL. That's the efficiency of the whole situation.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:58 pm

Beatyair wrote:
As part of the merger they had to keep some hubs for a period of time. Time is up, PHL is just too close to JFK. Like Memphis to Atlanta. You will still have lots of flight, just not a Hub amount.
I feel for the airports that built up just to start demolishing and rebranding - Memphis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and etc.


I appreciate your opinion, but I don't think I could disagree more. Philly is just too large a market to just dehub. If they did, there would be some competition for grabbing it. WN wanted it years ago and would jump if given the chance. DL has a pseudo-hub at LGA, but the opportunity to grab control of a huge market and have a true Northeast hub might be very enticing.

crownvic wrote:
I think one also has to look at the overall situation at the other AA hubs. While I cannot speak from facts, I do notice that as flights have been cut at PHL by AA, I see many cuts too, at the other AA hubs. AA has been cutting flights all over their system, and filling up the planes. Other airlines have done the same, after mergers. It's what bean counters have been doing at the US majors for the past few years, optimizing load factors. The days of flights going empty one after another, are done, so "casualties" are just part of AA's strategy.


Yes, optimization is underway and it makes a lot of sense to do so. Still I find it puzzling that while other hubs are building E175, CR9, and CR7 services to replace 50 seat flying, PHL is headed in the opposite direction, seeing a growth in ERJ flying at the expense of E175s. Maybe it's temporary or maybe the airline prefers to prioritize customer experience elsewhere,

I noticed in the OAG thread that cuts were being made in several small (Dash-8/CRJ/ERJ) markets from PHL. No real surprise since AA is phasing out Dash-8 flying to 50-seaters. But service to places like Erie PA, Elmira NY and Binghamton NY are down to nearly a single AA flight per day, and that is on a small regional jet. I'm surprised they don't close the markets.
 
777PHX
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:00 pm

PHL isn't going anywhere, it's just undergoing a seasonal reduction for the fall/winter.
 
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11725Flyer
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:23 pm

777PHX wrote:
PHL isn't going anywhere, it's just undergoing a seasonal reduction for the fall/winter.


Exactly.
 
HPAEAA
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Re: Is AA Downsizing PHL?

Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:55 am

LotsaRunway wrote:
Beatyair wrote:
As part of the merger they had to keep some hubs for a period of time. Time is up, PHL is just too close to JFK. Like Memphis to Atlanta. You will still have lots of flight, just not a Hub amount.
I feel for the airports that built up just to start demolishing and rebranding - Memphis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and etc.


I appreciate your opinion, but I don't think I could disagree more. Philly is just too large a market to just dehub. If they did, there would be some competition for grabbing it. WN wanted it years ago and would jump if given the chance. DL has a pseudo-hub at LGA, but the opportunity to grab control of a huge market and have a true Northeast hub might be very enticing.

crownvic wrote:
I think one also has to look at the overall situation at the other AA hubs. While I cannot speak from facts, I do notice that as flights have been cut at PHL by AA, I see many cuts too, at the other AA hubs. AA has been cutting flights all over their system, and filling up the planes. Other airlines have done the same, after mergers. It's what bean counters have been doing at the US majors for the past few years, optimizing load factors. The days of flights going empty one after another, are done, so "casualties" are just part of AA's strategy.


Yes, optimization is underway and it makes a lot of sense to do so. Still I find it puzzling that while other hubs are building E175, CR9, and CR7 services to replace 50 seat flying, PHL is headed in the opposite direction, seeing a growth in ERJ flying at the expense of E175s. Maybe it's temporary or maybe the airline prefers to prioritize customer experience elsewhere,

I noticed in the OAG thread that cuts were being made in several small (Dash-8/CRJ/ERJ) markets from PHL. No real surprise since AA is phasing out Dash-8 flying to 50-seaters. But service to places like Erie PA, Elmira NY and Binghamton NY are down to nearly a single AA flight per day, and that is on a small regional jet. I'm surprised they don't close the markets.

@BeatyAir - yep - if you notice the days of wild fare differences are slowly disappearing, no longer are you seeing 99- 1000 dollar spreads on a lot of routes being driven by the time the you book but ticket prices have been narrowed (similar to the WN model) where there is a narrower band of prices charged.

IMHO I think AA is still figuring out how to optimize their system, they have major assets in a lot of large markets from the AA side and a lot of large assets on the US side, AA's not going to give up on NYC and move it all to PHL or vice versa (the NYC/PHL/WAS situation is unlike other overlap that they have or like previous mergers), but there could be a balance of service between moving high yield traffic for international through NYC and routing domestic connecting traffic through PHL but to enable that there will need to be changes on both sides in order to achieve that... I think we've seen the early experiments on how to work this with some of the additions at LGA/JFK, Movement of PHL flights to JFK & reduction in Hub to hub flying - my bet would be the analysts are still trying to figure this out...

Additionally, there has been a major shift in the aircraft type regionals are flying - long gone are the days of the 50 & below aircraft which AA & US had large numbers of and the 70+ seat category is quickly switching (arguably AA is playing catch up here), PHL is a big market however is it big enough to support the same frequency on the 70 seat category? I suspect we'll see frequency drops as the fleet is rebalanced however until they can analyze the problem completely they're simply moving the 50 seat category to PHL until they can find an answer to the overlap/balance between NYC/PHL/WAS.
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