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putthoff
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Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:09 am

Does the US have any global hubs that are used to connect as midpoints from one part of the world to another? I am specifically thinking of the ME3, Turkish, BA, etc. who use their own home countries as transit points between continents. Does anyone know if large US airlines do a lot of connecting between continents using the US as the connecting/transfer point and not as a destination? I would think AA would do this in MIA for South America and Europe? Would other hubs like DFW, ATL actually be transit points for Asia to Europe, etc?
 
alasizon
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:29 am

Due to the logistics of US Customs, none of the US hubs are very efficient at being middle point connectors. MIA may have some but it certainly isn't very many.
 
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stl07
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:37 am

Guam and Pago Pago do
 
flymia
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:15 am

Because all visitors need to clear immigration and have visa (if required) it's not so much of a money maker for U.S. airlines. MIA is likely the closet to this, along with LAX and JFK I'm sure have some too well. In MIA you'll have a some Europeans connecting to Latin America and the Caribbean. Overall it's a small percentage of connections.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:18 am

The US is good for connecting Latin America to Asia, and Mexico and Central America to Europe.
 
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N717TW
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:39 am

ANC actually is probably the only real example of a US airport that allows sterile or visa-free International transfers. As others have noted MIA did have some transit traffic into the 90s (PA, AA somewhat and IB all ran Europe-to-Latin America flows) but that really dried up post 9/11 and the new travel restrictions on US transits that make IB's little mini-hub with DC-9 service to Central America was particularly neat.

Back to ANC: no single airline actually uses the opportunity to connect traffic anymore. It really was a vestige of an earlier time when the 707/DC-8/747-100 couldn't make it all the way across the pacific or of European carriers trying to avoid SU airspace.

Given that many secondary cities in JP and the PRC can be reached by 757 and nearly all of East Asia by 767 from ANC I often wondered if ANC would have worked as a North America to Asia hub.
 
ORDJOE
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:43 am

N717TW wrote:

Given that many secondary cities in JP and the PRC can be reached by 757 and nearly all of East Asia by 767 from ANC I often wondered if ANC would have worked as a North America to Asia hub.

I think a mini hub in ANC might have worked for a bit the alliances would have likely still killed that. Yes JL and KE could have 757s in ANC but why keep them their when you can keep them on home base and let AA UA DL take you to NRT and the like.
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:45 am

LAX and to a lesser extent SFO to Asia/Australia from Mexico/Central America.
 
crownvic
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:12 am

ROC-PHL-MIA. Would that qualify? :)
 
USAirALB
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:42 am

One could argue that even in the absence of dedicated international terminals operating with enter and exit passport controls, US airports would probably never become major global connecting hubs, on account of geography.

North America is isolated as a whole. The US is only surrounded by Canada, Mexico, and countless Caribbean isles. Whereas a country (or city-state) like Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand is not only surrounded by many different Asian nations but also on the doorstep of Oceania. So you have many different international traffic flows; China-HKG-Taiwan, Europe-BKK-Australia/New Zealand, Europe-SIN-Southeast Asia (say MNL or DPS), West Coast USA-HKG-India, USA-HKG-Southeast Asia, South Africa-HKG-Japan, etc. The list goes on. Similar traffic flows are replicated across Europe.

A multitude of nonstop flights are available from Europe to Latin/South America, so connecting in the USA makes little sense, unless you are intending to connect to a destination without nonstop flights to Europe. British Airways basically has all of the English-speaking Caribbean islands covered, with AF covering the French speaking ones, and KLM covering the Dutch ones. There are also a potpourri of leisure carriers serving the Europe-Caribbean market.

I guess one could make a case for Northern Asia-US-Latin America connections, but Great Circle Maps show DXB as the quickest transfer point between the vast majority of routes between Southeastern Asia-Latin America connections.



Canadians do transit in the USA, but they have a far easier time dealing with US Customs/Immigration than any other nationality. Even then, ample nonstops exist between Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:48 am

I would think foreign countries especially in Europe and the Pacific handle customs much better only because just about every flight is international.
 
Oykie
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:04 am

Europe to New Zealand is comfortable through the US. Both SFO and LAX works in this regard and a lot of people actually connects in the us for reason. Air New Zealand has a connectionfrom London, but if they had offered more code share with United from Europe, the. UA could have fed more people this route.
 
Aither
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:17 am

Not a lot of connecting from different countries but a lot from different states...
I agree geography would anyway remain an issue. The traffic is split between east and west coast. The fact airlines cannot aggregate the traffic in one single point greatly limits the ability for US airlines to operate direct to secondary foreign cities, in particular on the transpacific. They have to rely on the hubs of external partners.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:45 am

Honolulu might be mentioned here as a hub between Asia/Australia and the USA. Hawaii is part of the USA, but it's so far apart it has a geographic location of it's own.

As for mainland USA, it isn't located in a geographical convenient location. It's not in the middle between two markets and as said before immigrations make it hard to use as a transfer base.
 
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c933103
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:01 am

MIA is a hub for people from around the world toward points in Latin America as well as Carribean, aren't they?
 
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c933103
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:03 am

stl07 wrote:
Guam and Pago Pago do

Is there any major connectinng traffic at Pago Pago?
 
The777Man
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:48 am

Most of the larger hubs have some connecting traffic from one continent to a third continent. JFK has some people connecting from Europe to South America vv, LAX people from Latin America to Asia and Australia, from Europe to Australia and New Zealand thru LAX as well. Due to customs and also due to yield management, not so many people connect thru US like mentioned above.

The777Man
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:35 am

USAirALB wrote:
One could argue that even in the absence of dedicated international terminals operating with enter and exit passport controls, US airports would probably never become major global connecting hubs, on account of geography.


The OP could look at major gateways into the U.S. (LHR, AMS, CDG, CUN, YYZ, FRA...)

(see Table 6 here: https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... rch-17.pdf )

and Great Circle Mapper and reason this out himself. Geography is the bigger problem than U.S. customs and immigration policy.
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:54 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Geography is the bigger problem than U.S. customs and immigration policy.


This. As others have said there are a few opportunities (Caribbean, Latin America) but not enough to warrant the investment in "transit" terminals. MIA would prob be best situated to have this type of operation, but I don't know that market well enough to know how much of their traffic is connecting Int'l-Int'l.
 
jetero
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:26 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Geography is the bigger problem than U.S. customs and immigration policy.


Tell that to Canada.
 
bmacleod
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:50 pm

jetero wrote:
Tell that to Canada.


Thanks for bring us Canadians into discussion.

YHZ has bigger population and already unofficially the eastern hub for AC but YYT is most eastern point in Canada. (AC keeps YUL in official spot as eastern hub.)

Due to it's rough terrain unlikely that YYT could be further developed into a hub for Iceland and Europe.

As far as global hubs FRA and LHR seem to be biggest hubs for AC at least - as AMS and NRT seem to be global hubs for DL.
 
bmacleod
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:32 pm

bmacleod wrote:
jetero wrote:
Tell that to Canada.


Thanks for bring us Canadians into discussion.

YHZ has bigger population and already unofficially the eastern hub for AC but YYT is most eastern point in Canada. (AC keeps YUL in official spot as eastern hub.)

Due to it's rough terrain unlikely that YYT could be further developed into a hub for Iceland and Europe.

As far as global hubs FRA and LHR seem to be biggest hubs for AC at least - as AMS and NRT seem to be global hubs for DL.


lavalampluva wrote:
I would think foreign countries especially in Europe and the Pacific handle customs much better only because just about every flight is international.


Singapore and UAE are perfect examples.
 
putthoff
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:15 pm

Thanks for all the great replies. It seems like the consensus is that US airlines are geographically limited to have global hubs. Does that mean that the ME3 and Turkish truly have a very different business model that the US3 cannot compete with, even with emerging ULH aircraft?
 
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Polot
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:21 pm

putthoff wrote:
Thanks for all the great replies. It seems like the consensus is that US airlines are geographically limited to have global hubs. Does that mean that the ME3 and Turkish truly have a very different business model that the US3 cannot compete with, even with emerging ULH aircraft?

They have very different business models, but that doesn't mean the US3 can't compete/survive against them (even if they complain). Remember most of the US3's traffic never steps foot on one of their international aircraft. International routes are sexy and eye catching but at the end of the day the US3 are targeting and building their networks around domestic passengers first that the likes of ME3 or TK can't touch.
 
dmstorm22
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:27 pm

putthoff wrote:
Thanks for all the great replies. It seems like the consensus is that US airlines are geographically limited to have global hubs. Does that mean that the ME3 and Turkish truly have a very different business model that the US3 cannot compete with, even with emerging ULH aircraft?


Don't want to open up a whole can of worms, but the same reasons that make the US ineffective for being a global transport hub makes it also, in my mind, quite effective at holding off the ME3.

Obviously US3 have their domestic and NORAM network that ME3 can't really touch. Same with US-EU, US-E. Asia (Japan, Korea, China, etc.). The only place where competition truly exists (currently) is US-India(Pakistan/S. Asia) and US-SE Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, etc.). This is where ULH can actually help. Both UA and AI have started overflying ME3 hubs more and doing non-stop US-India flights. UA has opened up multiple flights to SIN directly. WIth JVs with Asian airlines there are convenient options to go around the ME3 to SE Asia.

Of course, they're drumming up fear that ME3 will start dumping capacity on US-EU and the like, but as of now, the reason US3 can't have their business model is largely the same reason why they're most insulated from the impact.

Again, just my $0.02.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:19 pm

While not in the scope of the USA, MEX is functioning like that, with flights to China, South Korea, and Japan. Aeromexico sells itself as such in Asia for those not wanting to transit through the USA or Canada and not take a European detour.
 
putthoff
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Re: Global US hubs?

Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:06 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
While not in the scope of the USA, MEX is functioning like that, with flights to China, South Korea, and Japan. Aeromexico sells itself as such in Asia for those not wanting to transit through the USA or Canada and not take a European detour.


This would suggest that geography is not necessarily an inhibition in North America?
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Global US hubs?

Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:09 am

putthoff wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
While not in the scope of the USA, MEX is functioning like that, with flights to China, South Korea, and Japan. Aeromexico sells itself as such in Asia for those not wanting to transit through the USA or Canada and not take a European detour.


This would suggest that geography is not necessarily an inhibition in North America?


More like immigration and customs. One needs to be from a visa waiver country ($15 extra) or have a visitor's visa just to transit the airport to be able to make a transfer. If one requires a visa just to enter the USA, it is better for one to consider an itinerary via Mexico City. Otherwise, an airport like JFK or LAX would be great for transit. However, many sites advise travelers to avoid transiting the USA or Canada (if the USA or Canada is not your final destination).
 
OB1504
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Re: Global US hubs?

Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:05 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Geography is the bigger problem than U.S. customs and immigration policy.


This. As others have said there are a few opportunities (Caribbean, Latin America) but not enough to warrant the investment in "transit" terminals. MIA would prob be best situated to have this type of operation, but I don't know that market well enough to know how much of their traffic is connecting Int'l-Int'l.


MIA already has the infrastructure in place: there are unused international-to-international transit lounges sitting dormant above the low D gates, below the E satellite, and above the high F gates. It would just be a matter of allowing transit without visa again.
 
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AASAP777
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Re: Global US hubs?

Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:45 pm

If we mean global by intercontinental connectivity, we'd say JFK., with ATL, SFO, LAX, DFW, MIA and ORD trailing However, and as explained above, due to the visa restrictions for many countries for transiting the US, we could say they can be ruled out as global hubs. Should TWOV be reinstated and international-to-international connections eased, then, we could see US global hubs.
 
george77300
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Re: Global US hubs?

Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:54 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
The US is good for connecting Latin America to Asia, and Mexico and Central America to Europe.


I disagree. The US is truely dreadful for any international connections.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Global US hubs?

Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:35 pm

george77300 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
The US is good for connecting Latin America to Asia, and Mexico and Central America to Europe.


I disagree. The US is truely dreadful for any international connections.

Process wise yes, but I was speaking in terms of geography.
 
george77300
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:03 am

TWA772LR wrote:
george77300 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
The US is good for connecting Latin America to Asia, and Mexico and Central America to Europe.


I disagree. The US is truely dreadful for any international connections.

Process wise yes, but I was speaking in terms of geography.


Absolutely I agree.
 
putthoff
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:35 pm

AASAP777 wrote:
If we mean global by intercontinental connectivity, we'd say JFK., with ATL, SFO, LAX, DFW, MIA and ORD trailing However, and as explained above, due to the visa restrictions for many countries for transiting the US, we could say they can be ruled out as global hubs. Should TWOV be reinstated and international-to-international connections eased, then, we could see US global hubs.


So there seems to be agreement that immigration restrictions/visa requirements are impeding the possibility of a global hub. Does this mean that other countries don't have the same restrictions? If so, this seems to put the US airlines at a disadvantage.

Geography: folks seem split around this---suggesting that MEX can be a global hub and intercontinental connectivity could be achieved through JFK, ATL, SFO, LAX, DFW, MIA and ORD.
 
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VCEflyboy
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:58 pm

Geography is not the issue. YVR and YYZ are major international hubs at a spitting distance from SEA and DTW which are not so international hubs. The new MEX airport will be a state of the art global hub. They obviously see the value in it.

Of course geography is relevant. No one in the right mind will fly London to Rome via New York. But the USA can be a great transfer point from South America to Europe and Asia and vice versa. These are huge markets.
 
blink182
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:45 pm

VCEflyboy wrote:
Geography is not the issue. YVR and YYZ are major international hubs at a spitting distance from SEA and DTW which are not so international hubs. The new MEX airport will be a state of the art global hub. They obviously see the value in it.

Of course geography is relevant. No one in the right mind will fly London to Rome via New York. But the USA can be a great transfer point from South America to Europe and Asia and vice versa. These are huge markets.


Mexico requires all international transit passengers to clear customs and immigration in a process identical to what happens in the US.

Canada is a different story, hence YYZ and YVR's successes with int'l-int'l transit.
 
2travel2know2
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:36 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Honolulu might be mentioned here as a hub between Asia/Australia and the USA. Hawaii is part of the USA, but it's so far apart it has a geographic location of it's own..

Don't be fooled by those world maps.
HNL may works only between North America and Oceania.
ANC is the airport which could work as hub between North America and Asia.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Global US hubs?

Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:49 am

I think if US airlines really cared enough about intl to intl connections they would lobby like hell to get a better visa system in place, but I can't think of a time where it was an issue.
 
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AASAP777
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Re: Global US hubs?

Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:44 pm

putthoff wrote:
AASAP777 wrote:
If we mean global by intercontinental connectivity, we'd say JFK., with ATL, SFO, LAX, DFW, MIA and ORD trailing However, and as explained above, due to the visa restrictions for many countries for transiting the US, we could say they can be ruled out as global hubs. Should TWOV be reinstated and international-to-international connections eased, then, we could see US global hubs.


So there seems to be agreement that immigration restrictions/visa requirements are impeding the possibility of a global hub. Does this mean that other countries don't have the same restrictions? If so, this seems to put the US airlines at a disadvantage.

Geography: folks seem split around this---suggesting that MEX can be a global hub and intercontinental connectivity could be achieved through JFK, ATL, SFO, LAX, DFW, MIA and ORD.


While MX does have visa restrictions for many countries (including my home country, Honduras), TWOV is still allowed, however, MEX doesn't yet have a couple of routes that might enable to compete as a global hub. For us in the Central American region, a true example is PTY, but it is only a hub for the Americas with some routes to Europe, still lacking the array of options to all continents as in the US.

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