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Themotionman
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United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:18 am

I couldn't find any threads talking about United at Dulles. In particular what we should expect in the future. At the moment United operates just over 200 flights a day to 102 destinations. Could we see an increase in daily flights and/or destinations and what routes could we see open or close? Could we see a change in strategy from UA at Dulles?

It would be interesting to know everyone's thoughts on United's future at IAD...
 
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STT757
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:48 am

This has been discussed at great lengths, basically the State of Virginia is working to reduce the costs at IAD to try and make it more competitive with DCA which has a significantly lower cost per enplaned passenger. When you factor in DCA's more close in location, the growth of LCC's like WN, B6, NK who have been able to grab lucrative slots from divestitures , lower fares, and the relaxation of the perimeter rule, IAD has many obstacles.

The Metro will be a help, but it's a long trip on a system that doesn't operate with Express service and the Airport station is going to require a long walk to the terminal. It should been built adjacent to the terminal.

UA's hub has a nice assortment of international flights, it's domestically where they're challenged.
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ROCDLFAN
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:04 pm

This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.
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STT757
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:18 pm

ROCDLFAN wrote:
This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.


The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.
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atcsundevil
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:44 pm

STT757 wrote:
ROCDLFAN wrote:
This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.


The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.

I'll agree that the domestic operation needs a revamp, but a comparison to CLE is pretty far off the mark. IAD still has a pretty wide-reaching domestic network, which is something CLE never really had, certainly not in its final days. There are a number of factors keeping UA from having a successful domestic operation at IAD, and unfortunately few good solutions. However, I would expect to see an increase in service when more narrowbody aircraft enter the fleet. UA still has a hugely successful international operation at IAD, so bolstered domestic ops would help to support that. The challenge is doing it profitably, and finding a way to decrease passenger fees to make the airport more competitive domestically. There's been a notion among some people for quite a few years now that UA will drop IAD, but that simply won't happen.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:03 pm

I think this would be a great spot for B6s next hub.

Theyre done on the west coast. Might as well go full US Air and open yet another hub at this underused airport.

UA isnt commited to anything IAD. A LCC hub would shrink them further.

We have all hashed out the issues with IAD.

But the future in this rapidly growing suburban area is bright. Just need an airline with a long term view
 
Runway28L
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:04 pm

Are there any more international (mainly TATL) routes that UA or its Star partners could start from IAD that are currently unserved?
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:16 pm

STT757 wrote:
ROCDLFAN wrote:
This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.


The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.


PDX was also summer seasonal from CLE in the final years of their hub. I'm not quite sure if I would consider UA SAN-CLE as even seasonal service. It basically operated for a few weeks around the Christmas holiday.

IAD-PDX has been reduced to summer seasonal 1x, which is amazing in itself considering size of the DC area compared to CLE.

ROC is right on government contracts keeping the hub viable though. Don't think it will ever go away but as long UA has EWR there's no reason to make IAD a priority station for a large amount of increased service.

jfklganyc wrote:
I think this would be a great spot for B6s next hub.

Theyre done on the west coast. Might as well go full US Air and open yet another hub at this underused airport.

UA isnt commited to anything IAD. A LCC hub would shrink them further.

We have all hashed out the issues with IAD.

But the future in this rapidly growing suburban area is bright. Just need an airline with a long term view


B6 tried to increase it's service level at IAD after Independence Air went under in 2005. Pretty much a massive failure. Not quite sure what dynamics now make it a great spot for B6 or any other LCC or ULCC to create a hub there. There just never seems to be enough demand and BWI is much more accessible from DC proper.

Also, the growth in the suburban area around IAD is slowing down, increasing at roughly half the pace of last decade.

While I disagree with people that IAD will be closed, I also disagree with the idea of IAD becoming ATL or ORD in next couple of decades. It's definitely going to stay a medium UA size hub for the foreseeable future and not do much else.
Last edited by izbtmnhd on Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
tphuang
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
STT757 wrote:
ROCDLFAN wrote:
This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.


The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.


PDX was also summer seasonal from CLE in the final years of their hub. I'm not quite sure if I would consider UA SAN-CLE as even seasonal service. It basically operated for a few weeks around the Christmas holiday.

IAD-PDX has been reduced to summer seasonal 1x, which is amazing in itself considering size of the DC area compared to CLE.

ROC is right on government contracts keeping the hub viable though.

jfklganyc wrote:
I think this would be a great spot for B6s next hub.

Theyre done on the west coast. Might as well go full US Air and open yet another hub at this underused airport.

UA isnt commited to anything IAD. A LCC hub would shrink them further.

We have all hashed out the issues with IAD.

But the future in this rapidly growing suburban area is bright. Just need an airline with a long term view


B6 tried to increase it's service levels at IAD after Independence Air went under in 2005. Pretty much a massive failure. Not quite sure what dynamics now make it a great spot for B6 or any other LCC or ULCC to create a hub there. There just never seems to be enough demand.

Also, the growth in the suburban area around IAD is slowing down, increasing at roughly half the pace of last decade.

I think b6 should look to setup a focus city here. It moved to dca as soon as it got the slots there, but if Dulles could get it's cost down a little bit, I think b6 will be back. Not many places left to expand on east coast. Especially if JetBlue starts LGA dca shuttle flights down the road. It would need to move those dca flights to Dulles and also it can certainly add flights to the islands and transcon.

Also if as wants an east coast focus city, the only obvious one open is iad.

Would be interesting to see how ua reacts if any other carrier looks to expand here.
Last edited by tphuang on Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SFOtoORD
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:24 pm

STT757 wrote:
ROCDLFAN wrote:
This hub is a virtual smoke screen at this point, with a domestic operation beginning to resemble CLE in its final days. The only reason this hub is continuously viable, is because of the government traffic that comes through internationally, and through the massive Star Alliance operation at IAD. The domestic operation severely needs a re-vamp.


The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.


The perimeter rule at DCA (besides the myriad of exemptions) surely helps the long haul domestic network. Intl is strong too and I suspect that will keep UA going.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:29 pm

tphuang wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
STT757 wrote:

The comparison to CLE is really unfair, domestically just look at trans-Cons for comparison. CLE , outside of SFO and LAX, only flirted with SEA and SAN on seasonal basis, 1x daily with 735s, on a few occasions. UA today, off season, operates from IAD: SEA 3x, PDX 1x, SFO 11x, LAX 6x, SAN 3x.


PDX was also summer seasonal from CLE in the final years of their hub. I'm not quite sure if I would consider UA SAN-CLE as even seasonal service. It basically operated for a few weeks around the Christmas holiday.

IAD-PDX has been reduced to summer seasonal 1x, which is amazing in itself considering size of the DC area compared to CLE.

ROC is right on government contracts keeping the hub viable though.

jfklganyc wrote:
I think this would be a great spot for B6s next hub.

Theyre done on the west coast. Might as well go full US Air and open yet another hub at this underused airport.

UA isnt commited to anything IAD. A LCC hub would shrink them further.

We have all hashed out the issues with IAD.

But the future in this rapidly growing suburban area is bright. Just need an airline with a long term view


B6 tried to increase it's service levels at IAD after Independence Air went under in 2005. Pretty much a massive failure. Not quite sure what dynamics now make it a great spot for B6 or any other LCC or ULCC to create a hub there. There just never seems to be enough demand.

Also, the growth in the suburban area around IAD is slowing down, increasing at roughly half the pace of last decade.

I think b6 should look to setup a focus city here. It moved to dca as soon as it got the slots there, but if Dulles could get it's cost down a little bit, I think b6 will be back. Not many places left to expand on east coast. Especially if JetBlue starts LGA dca shuttle flights down the road. It would need to move those dca flights to Dulles and also it can certainly add flights to the islands and transcon.

Would be interesting to see how ua reacts if any other carrier looks to expand here.


Again, why? They've already failed there once. DC area people have voted time and time again they prefer domestic from DCA. It's weird people are doubling down on a proven bad idea on this forum. At least the folks at B6 know better now.

Better chance of the Browns winning Super Bowl before you'll see a B6 hub at IAD.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:32 pm

Even if IAD is able to bring costs down, the hub still competes with EWR. IAD will never win the O&D war with EWR but IAD is far less congested and could be a much better connecting reliever to EWR than it currently is. A little wind or rain and EWR delays jump to hours and cancellations become inevitable. IMO, UA could improve network reliability by doing more with IAD, but I think the economics the EWR operation keep UA from wanting to do much with IAD.
 
blockski
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:11 pm

United is growing again at IAD, increasing domestic traffic mostly. They're not quite back to pre-merger levels, but they're not shrinking at Dulles any longer.

Yes, IAD will never win an O&D war with EWR, but it doesn't have to. IAD has substantial long-haul, international O&D traffic. IAD gets 80% of the region's international flying (against DCA and BWI) with United and United's partners hauling the bulk of that traffic. That's a lucrative, strategic market to be in.

The opportunity for UA at IAD is to continue to grow domestic connecting traffic, feeding more of the long-haul flying and taking some pressure off of connecting at a constrained, delay-prone EWR. There's also a big opportunity for adding more long-haul flying, which would only get easier with additional domestic connecting traffic. And this mirror's UA's overall struggles; lacking the domestic fleet at the moment to pull off more domestic growth.

The catch is that doing so profitably means competing against other N/S hubs, as well as against BWI and DCA for local traffic - and dealing with IAD's higher costs. IAD is never going to be the preferred airport for locals, but it doesn't have to be for domestic growth to succeed - it just needs to be good enough. And Metro will help there on the margins.

For costs, UA and MWAA are working together to keep costs down. There was some reporting that they're discussing alternatives to the previous plan to build a new C/D all at once (and thus incurring a big bill to pay for it): https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ov-437593/
 
westgate
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:27 pm

Having a quick look at departures for IAD on FlightStats it would appear that UA has 4 relatively decent sized banks to domestic destinations, and although I only checked the equipment on a few of the flights, I'm sure they're almost entirely made up of RJ flying. However, as mentioned in another thread, where UA is looking to purchase a significant number of used A319/A320's (more A319) and close the gap they have with AA and DL in terms of narrow bodies (both have 200 more than UA), perhaps we could see a significant upgauge on some flights out of IAD from RJ's to A319's, and perhaps even a few new destinations especially out west where the range is needed ?

UA's primary reason for lack of expnsion at IAD could indeed be due to their scarcity of narrowbody mainline jets that are more urgently needed at other larger hubs. If an influx of new narrow bodies does occur, I would expect IAD to grow at least a little bit, as perhaps there's only so much UA can currently do with it as a hub when they only have RJ's at their disposal for expansion.
 
Themotionman
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:48 pm

There is no chance of B6 ever opening an IAD focus city. One of the primary issues with IAD is its poor location compared to DCA. So B6 cant just go in and offer their standard plethora of Florida destinations as they are inside the perimeter restriction and American would absolutely slaughter them. They cant go transatlantic becuase they don't have the equipment. Their only hopes are connecting a few Caribbean islands that UA don't already fly to and the west coast where we all know B6 are very weak.
 
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:48 pm

I have always wondered if AA could make a DCA/IAD hub operation work similar to what Delta does at LGA/JFK but I digress, I don't think the UA hub at IAD is going anywhere.

I think a lot of the UA/IAD naysayers are largely unfamiliar with the pace of development in Northern Virginia and general traffic patterns in the area. I believe over the next 10-15 years Dulles will become a much more important airport for the DC area as development pushes towards the airport. There are 10s of millions of planned office space planned almost all of which is attached to transit-oriented, mixed-use retail/residential. IAD already has a direct toll-free, express lane from Tysons Corner; soon will have a Metro connection and is in the heart of the Route 28/Dulles Toll Road technology hub.
 
WWads
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:04 pm

As a DC resident, the Silver Line is an utter farce. The lack of an express option is crippling, as is the station not being physically attached to the terminal. No one in their right mind picks IAD over DCA if they can help it.
Last edited by WWads on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
toxtethogrady
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:07 pm

Themotionman wrote:
I couldn't find any threads talking about United at Dulles. In particular what we should expect in the future. At the moment United operates just over 200 flights a day to 102 destinations. Could we see an increase in daily flights and/or destinations and what routes could we see open or close? Could we see a change in strategy from UA at Dulles?

It would be interesting to know everyone's thoughts on United's future at IAD...


Haven't we been fretting about this for over a decade? UA needs another Transatlantic jumping-off point, and there is a lot of prestige in serving the Nation's Capital. In addition, there's a tech corridor developing along SH 28 along the Fairfax-Loudoun line. IF UA gave that up, someone would grab it.
 
Themotionman
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:08 pm

westgate wrote:
Having a quick look at departures for IAD on FlightStats it would appear that UA has 4 relatively decent sized banks to domestic destinations, and although I only checked the equipment on a few of the flights, I'm sure they're almost entirely made up of RJ flying. However, as mentioned in another thread, where UA is looking to purchase a significant number of used A319/A320's (more A319) and close the gap they have with AA and DL in terms of narrow bodies (both have 200 more than UA), perhaps we could see a significant upgauge on some flights out of IAD from RJ's to A319's, and perhaps even a few new destinations especially out west where the range is needed ?

UA's primary reason for lack of expnsion at IAD could indeed be due to their scarcity of narrowbody mainline jets that are more urgently needed at other larger hubs. If an influx of new narrow bodies does occur, I would expect IAD to grow at least a little bit, as perhaps there's only so much UA can currently do with it as a hub when they only have RJ's at their disposal for expansion.


Firstly UA need to get rid of the Q200s lurking in EWR and IAD. They will be replaced by C5 ERJ145s. Then the job is to replace 70 seaters with mainline aircraft and use those 70 seaters to replace and free up 50 seaters for expansion into local markets like the Virginias, New England and the Carolinas. They could do this to direct north-south east coast traffic through IAD instead of EWR. Reducing EWRs workload on that front and easing the strain at EWR.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:13 pm

toxtethogrady wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
I couldn't find any threads talking about United at Dulles. In particular what we should expect in the future. At the moment United operates just over 200 flights a day to 102 destinations. Could we see an increase in daily flights and/or destinations and what routes could we see open or close? Could we see a change in strategy from UA at Dulles?

It would be interesting to know everyone's thoughts on United's future at IAD...


Haven't we been fretting about this for over a decade? UA needs another Transatlantic jumping-off point, and there is a lot of prestige in serving the Nation's Capital. In addition, there's a tech corridor developing along SH 28 along the Fairfax-Loudoun line. IF UA gave that up, someone would grab it.


A tech corridor developing along VA 28? What year is this? 1999? 2002? Do you still use AOL? I still laugh when I see an occasional the Virginia Internet [email protected] plates around town. Very retro! I've lived in Northern Virginia for 25 years and who even thinks the region around Dulles is a 'tech corridor" since the Great Recession. Have you guys been to Silicon Valley? The local governments/Virginia submitted a bid for the Amazon HQ2 near Dulles because it's been such a failure in generating tech jobs and needs a boost.
Last edited by izbtmnhd on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
commavia
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:16 pm

As has been discussed at length multiple times in the past, United's IAD hub will start to benefit again once DCA reaches saturation. The WAS metro air travel market continues to digest the capacity growth that's happened at DCA with the AA/USAirways slot divestiture and new flights by Southwest and JetBlue, and AA's own capacity at DCA is inevitably going to continue to increase once all the new regional concourse opens and more flights can be reliably operated with 2-class RJs. But once the market laps all that growth, any net new capacity that arises from structural growth in WAS metro demand is going to disproportionately gravitate back to BWI and IAD. And that will obviously help United's IAD hub far more, relatively, than Southwest's BWI hub because United's hub is so much weaker domestically, despite being such a international juggernaut.

Themotionman wrote:
There is no chance of B6 ever opening an IAD focus city. One of the primary issues with IAD is its poor location compared to DCA. So B6 cant just go in and offer their standard plethora of Florida destinations as they are inside the perimeter restriction and American would absolutely slaughter them.


I'm not so sure. I'm not saying that JetBlue is going to build IAD into another BOS with 150-200 daily departures, but that said, I do somewhat subscribe to the view that if JetBlue isn't going to merge with another airline anytime soon, it's going to have to find some means of organic growth and a use for the dozens of new planes on order. And in the context of JetBlue's existing network and business model, it isn't hard to find at least some similarities with the market dynamics at IAD versus, say, what JetBlue faced (and faces) at JFK. Similar to JFK, IAD is arguably in a relatively less convenient location as compared to the region's "preferred" (close-in) airport for domestic premium/business O&D, but also similar to JFK, and related to the point above, the WAS metro area's "preferred" domestic premium/business O&D airport is approaching saturation, so any future domestic demand will have to go somewhere.

And given JetBlue's cost base and strong product offering, IAD could actually represent an opportunity to soak up some of that latent future demand and make a move into markets in Florida, transcons, and maybe even some domestic O&D markets with a relatively healthy mix of business and leisure demand. JetBlue will likely not be able to command the fare mix that United can because JetBlue won't be able to cross-subsidize between longhaul flights and domestic connections. But even to that end, there's certainly nothing to say that JetBlue couldn't become a huge interline/codeshare domestic feed provider at IAD just as it has become at JFK and BOS. And related to AA, I'm not sure how much "slaughtering" would really be possible given that AA, too, will face its own limits with slots at DCA and, frankly, may not even be interested in fighting for lower-yielding, "stimulative" demand in leisure markets.

Bottom line - I agree that JetBlue growing at IAD isn't inevitable, but I don't think it's unthinkable, either.
 
Ezra
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:06 pm

asuflyer05 wrote:
I have always wondered if AA could make a DCA/IAD hub operation work similar to what Delta does at LGA/JFK but I digress, I don't think the UA hub at IAD is going anywhere.


I've wondered this in a similar context -- namely, how vulnerable is UA at IAD if another airline wants to come in and set up shop? Could AA or DL (or maybe B6) pull a repeat of what Delta did in Seattle and build a new hub under the nose of the dominant carrier? I understand the business cases are different, but there are some similarities as well...
 
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Polot
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:28 pm

After BOS and FLL are maxed out B6 needs to focus on growing westward. They don't need another East Coast hub/focus city.
 
blockski
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:30 pm

Ezra wrote:
asuflyer05 wrote:
I have always wondered if AA could make a DCA/IAD hub operation work similar to what Delta does at LGA/JFK but I digress, I don't think the UA hub at IAD is going anywhere.


I've wondered this in a similar context -- namely, how vulnerable is UA at IAD if another airline wants to come in and set up shop? Could AA or DL (or maybe B6) pull a repeat of what Delta did in Seattle and build a new hub under the nose of the dominant carrier? I understand the business cases are different, but there are some similarities as well...


I think there's a strong case if UA were to abandon IAD. But so long as they are there, the chances are smaller. Unlike Seattle, United is entrenched both domestically and internationally at IAD; there's a lot of service from international carriers there, but much of it is Star Alliance affiliated.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more TATL additions from AA's JV partners, knowing that they have a strong FF base to tap into, even if they won't have much/any feed directly. IAD's natural demand should be enough.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:33 pm

westgate wrote:
UA's primary reason for lack of expnsion at IAD could indeed be due to their scarcity of narrowbody mainline jets that are more urgently needed at other larger hubs.


I don't follow the logic of UA having this multi-year scarcity of aircraft. Look at the rate of deliveries to AA and WN. If UA wanted mainline narrowbodies, it could have them. The absence of a number that some people think is right (let's say +200, a number that keeps coming up) suggests UA doesn't think it has enough profitable route opportunities to justify the investment, even in a time of low fuel prices and low interest rates.
 
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Polot
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:42 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
westgate wrote:
UA's primary reason for lack of expnsion at IAD could indeed be due to their scarcity of narrowbody mainline jets that are more urgently needed at other larger hubs.


I don't follow the logic of UA having this multi-year scarcity of aircraft. Look at the rate of deliveries to AA and WN. If UA wanted mainline narrowbodies, it could have them. The absence of a number that some people think is right (let's say +200, a number that keeps coming up) suggests UA doesn't think it has enough profitable route opportunities to justify the investment, even in a time of low fuel prices and low interest rates.

AA, US, WN had significant narrowbody orders, which is why they have have had so many planes coming in. The last mainline narrowbody order UA placed before their merger was in 2001, and the last mainline narrowbody delivery pre-merger was in 2002. They were starved for more aircraft, even more so when the 733 fleet was dumped with 0 mainline replacement. CO did not bring enough orders to cover the combined carriers needs + expansion, especially as the PMUA 757s were being retired too, and the new UA never ordered enough 737NGs or A320ceos to rectify that situation (because I don't think Smisek saw it as a problem).
 
blockski
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:48 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
westgate wrote:
UA's primary reason for lack of expnsion at IAD could indeed be due to their scarcity of narrowbody mainline jets that are more urgently needed at other larger hubs.


I don't follow the logic of UA having this multi-year scarcity of aircraft. Look at the rate of deliveries to AA and WN. If UA wanted mainline narrowbodies, it could have them. The absence of a number that some people think is right (let's say +200, a number that keeps coming up) suggests UA doesn't think it has enough profitable route opportunities to justify the investment, even in a time of low fuel prices and low interest rates.


You don't have to follow the logic, just look at what UA says and what they're doing. They're actively looking to increase their narrowbody fleet both right now (shopping around for used narrowbodies) and in the future (with lots of 737 MAX orders). Even before Kirby came on board, they had that 737-700 order. So there are lots of signs that they want more mainline narrowbodies.
 
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United787
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:44 pm

My biggest gripe with the IAD hub is that there aren't enough flights between ORD and IAD. They should make IAD into more of a UA gateway to Europe. When flying to Europe from ORD, if a non-stop from ORD isn't available, UA will most often route me through FRA rather than EWR or IAD which I always find surprising. I would never choose EWR because of the potential to be delayed and miss connections. But, I would choose IAD if I had the option. The problem most often seems to be that the ORD-IAD leg is always full or poorly timed. It seems that UA doesn't want it's huge loyal customer base to connect at IAD... I don't get it.
 
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STT757
Posts: 14146
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:15 pm

Quoted from another thread:

Cost Per Enplaned Passenger (CPE)

CLT 1.35
ATL 2.38
SLC 3.69
FLL 3.94
MCO 4.66
TPA 5.02
PHX 5.79
MSP 6.32
MDW 7.61
DFW 9.50
BWI 9.51
DTW 10.01
SEA 10.10
IAH 10.62
PDX 10.68
SAN 10.71
DEN 10.80
LAS 11.05
HNL 11.36
DCA 13.44
BOS 13.45
PHL 14.58
LAX 14.83
ORD 15.16
SFO 16.67
LGA 18.68
MIA 19.87
IAD 21.00
JFK 25.45
EWR 28.05

IAD is up there with EWR, JFK, LGA, MIA and SFO without being able to garner the high fares those airports demand. High costs, low fares is not a successful recipe. And that has nothing to do with UA, that's how MWAA have built their capital plan over the past 20 years.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
jasoncrh
Posts: 780
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:29 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:43 pm

Timing is not an issue. United's two big European banks at Dulles leave at 5Pm and 10PM (or so). United has feeder flights from ORD that arrive in / are timed specifically to connect at IAD to those banks. I cant tell you the number of times over the years I've gone ORD-IAD-XXX in Europe. Most recently it was ORD-IAD-LIS, but have done ORD-IAD-FCO (before there was ORD-FCO nonstop), ORD-IAD-BCN, etc etc etc. Not sure why. I will say they use to have larger planes - the 1PM ORD - IAD, which is still there and connects to the 5PM bank of European flights, use to be operated by a 777. Now it's maybe a narrow body. Either way, those connections do exist - it might just be a function of it being a narrow body - that may explain why those options are not as available to you.

United787 wrote:
My biggest gripe with the IAD hub is that there aren't enough flights between ORD and IAD. They should make IAD into more of a UA gateway to Europe. When flying to Europe from ORD, if a non-stop from ORD isn't available, UA will most often route me through FRA rather than EWR or IAD which I always find surprising. I would never choose EWR because of the potential to be delayed and miss connections. But, I would choose IAD if I had the option. The problem most often seems to be that the ORD-IAD leg is always full or poorly timed. It seems that UA doesn't want it's huge loyal customer base to connect at IAD... I don't get it.
 
lat41
Posts: 643
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:17 pm

I do not know what the situation is at other Northeast UA cities primarily served by RJs but in Southern New England, UA's connecting service at PVD via both IAD and EWR have reliability issues that help relegate United to an afterthought despite the vast array of destinations that can be reached via both hubs. A couple claps of thunder or the first few flakes of snow seem to be enough to cancel flights or at least cause substantial delays. After that happens a couple of times particularly to the business traveler, no matter how good the connecting flight palette is, passengers look elsewhere.
 
CHI2DFW
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 1:44 am

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:52 am

jasoncrh wrote:
Timing is not an issue. United's two big European banks at Dulles leave at 5Pm and 10PM (or so). United has feeder flights from ORD that arrive in / are timed specifically to connect at IAD to those banks. I cant tell you the number of times over the years I've gone ORD-IAD-XXX in Europe. Most recently it was ORD-IAD-LIS, but have done ORD-IAD-FCO (before there was ORD-FCO nonstop), ORD-IAD-BCN, etc etc etc. Not sure why. I will say they use to have larger planes - the 1PM ORD - IAD, which is still there and connects to the 5PM bank of European flights, use to be operated by a 777. Now it's maybe a narrow body. Either way, those connections do exist - it might just be a function of it being a narrow body - that may explain why those options are not as available to you.

United787 wrote:
My biggest gripe with the IAD hub is that there aren't enough flights between ORD and IAD. They should make IAD into more of a UA gateway to Europe. When flying to Europe from ORD, if a non-stop from ORD isn't available, UA will most often route me through FRA rather than EWR or IAD which I always find surprising. I would never choose EWR because of the potential to be delayed and miss connections. But, I would choose IAD if I had the option. The problem most often seems to be that the ORD-IAD leg is always full or poorly timed. It seems that UA doesn't want it's huge loyal customer base to connect at IAD... I don't get it.


ORD-IAD O&D traffic is minimal and adequately served (Telecom / Tech traffic and some int’l connections).

ORD-DCA is where the $ is at and why you see near shuttle service.

Similar to CHI-NYC, with 75% plus going ORD-LGA, it’s where the $ is.
 
Themotionman
Topic Author
Posts: 210
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Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:59 am

What are the plans for the redevelopment of United concourse?
 
DaufuskieGuy
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:06 pm

I think in the near term they stick with the status quo, it would be insane for example if they gave up the international network. As the area around it grows, their domestic network is poised to capitalize as traffic to DCA is terrible. Also a boost could come if Amazon chooses No VA for its East Coast HQ, for a number of reasons I think they have a chance of getting it.
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:21 pm

Since the B6 posts were deleted let me reiterate something in general:

There's really no hint from any of the airlines serving the DC/Balt metros that DCA is "maxed out". So the idea floating on these forums (which has been for decades) IAD is on the verge of a massive domestic explosion just isn't real. UA continues to struggle to make the domestic operation work and DCA and BWI continue to capture most of the growing domestic passenger feed.
 
blockski
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:36 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
Since the B6 posts were deleted let me reiterate something in general:

There's really no hint from any of the airlines serving the DC/Balt metros that DCA is "maxed out". So the idea floating on these forums (which has been for decades) IAD is on the verge of a massive domestic explosion just isn't real. UA continues to struggle to make the domestic operation work and DCA and BWI continue to capture most of the growing domestic passenger feed.


Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined. Look at MWAA's most recent stats: http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... pdf#page=8

DCA's traffic shot up dramatically after 2014, following the US/AA merger and the accompanying slot divestitures - the big increase came from WN getting more slots. Now that they've reached an equilibrium again, it's not clear where else the growth would come from barring another big outside policy change. The airport is still slotted and always will be. The physical limitations of the airfield and airport limit the size of the aircraft that can serve it - you could in theory up-gauge more flights, but some of the slots are limited to RJs and the facilities to accommodate more mainline aircraft aren't there.
 
masseybrown
Posts: 5546
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:05 pm

blockski wrote:
Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined.


There will be another increment of growth when AA's new gates are completed. All those 50-seaters parked outside Gate 35X will be up-gauged.
 
blockski
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:10 pm

masseybrown wrote:
blockski wrote:
Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined.


There will be another increment of growth when AA's new gates are completed. All those 50-seaters parked outside Gate 35X will be up-gauged.


They might be (and could be), but a) I wouldn't assume that will happen immediately, and b) wouldn't assume that it will happen all at once, or at anything near the scale of what happened with the slot divestitures. Since these are all gates under AA's control, you also won't have a situation where a competitor is the one driving the capacity increases.

Point being, the growth going forward will be incremental. DCA won't be growing by leaps and bounds.
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:39 pm

blockski wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
Since the B6 posts were deleted let me reiterate something in general:

There's really no hint from any of the airlines serving the DC/Balt metros that DCA is "maxed out". So the idea floating on these forums (which has been for decades) IAD is on the verge of a massive domestic explosion just isn't real. UA continues to struggle to make the domestic operation work and DCA and BWI continue to capture most of the growing domestic passenger feed.


Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined. Look at MWAA's most recent stats: http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... pdf#page=8

DCA's traffic shot up dramatically after 2014, following the US/AA merger and the accompanying slot divestitures - the big increase came from WN getting more slots. Now that they've reached an equilibrium again, it's not clear where else the growth would come from barring another big outside policy change. The airport is still slotted and always will be. The physical limitations of the airfield and airport limit the size of the aircraft that can serve it - you could in theory up-gauge more flights, but some of the slots are limited to RJs and the facilities to accommodate more mainline aircraft aren't there.


If DCA has been "maxed out" since 2014 where is the IAD domestic explosion that supposedly will happen as argued by several a.net posters? Stats don't show it.

http://www.mwaa.com/about/dulles-air-traffic-statistics

http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... report.pdf
 
USAirALB
Posts: 2329
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:51 pm

The best thing that IAD has going for it IMHO is the very nice Concourse A/B area. The TK lounge is quite possibly one of the nicest domestic lounges in the USA.

One of things that has long interested me is that the IAD hub (domestically speaking) has long been a low-frequency, regional operation. For example, when US was flying PHL-ALB/BUF/BDL/PVD multiple times a day with E-jets and mainline aircraft, all but one (BDL) saw mainline aircraft from IAD. All the others were flown on CRJs, Q200s, or ERJs.

My one dream (that will never happen) is for AA to develop a minor O&D hublet at IAD-maybe operating IAD-SEA/LHR/MAD/NRT/DUB/CDG.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
tphuang
Posts: 5329
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:55 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
blockski wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
Since the B6 posts were deleted let me reiterate something in general:

There's really no hint from any of the airlines serving the DC/Balt metros that DCA is "maxed out". So the idea floating on these forums (which has been for decades) IAD is on the verge of a massive domestic explosion just isn't real. UA continues to struggle to make the domestic operation work and DCA and BWI continue to capture most of the growing domestic passenger feed.


Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined. Look at MWAA's most recent stats: http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... pdf#page=8

DCA's traffic shot up dramatically after 2014, following the US/AA merger and the accompanying slot divestitures - the big increase came from WN getting more slots. Now that they've reached an equilibrium again, it's not clear where else the growth would come from barring another big outside policy change. The airport is still slotted and always will be. The physical limitations of the airfield and airport limit the size of the aircraft that can serve it - you could in theory up-gauge more flights, but some of the slots are limited to RJs and the facilities to accommodate more mainline aircraft aren't there.


If DCA has been "maxed out" since 2014 where is the IAD domestic explosion that supposedly will happen as argued by several a.net posters? Stats don't show it.

http://www.mwaa.com/about/dulles-air-traffic-statistics

http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... report.pdf

Again just because it hasn't grown in the last 2 years, doesn't mean that won't happen. Jfk was left languishing domestically for years and then it happened. Iad has certain conditions which make it unfavourable for expansion currently, but it is also one of the few expansion options left out there.
 
blockski
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:59 pm

USAirALB wrote:
My one dream (that will never happen) is for AA to develop a minor O&D hublet at IAD-maybe operating IAD-SEA/LHR/MAD/NRT/DUB/CDG.


I mean, with their JV partners, some of these already exist. BA flies IAD-LHR; Aer Lingus already flies DUB-IAD; they could be part of the JV soon. IB would be a strong candidate to add service to IAD from MAD; I suppose JL could also do so from NRT.
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:04 pm

tphuang wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
blockski wrote:

Sure there is. DCA's growth has flatlined. Look at MWAA's most recent stats: http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... pdf#page=8

DCA's traffic shot up dramatically after 2014, following the US/AA merger and the accompanying slot divestitures - the big increase came from WN getting more slots. Now that they've reached an equilibrium again, it's not clear where else the growth would come from barring another big outside policy change. The airport is still slotted and always will be. The physical limitations of the airfield and airport limit the size of the aircraft that can serve it - you could in theory up-gauge more flights, but some of the slots are limited to RJs and the facilities to accommodate more mainline aircraft aren't there.


If DCA has been "maxed out" since 2014 where is the IAD domestic explosion that supposedly will happen as argued by several a.net posters? Stats don't show it.

http://www.mwaa.com/about/dulles-air-traffic-statistics

http://www.mwaa.com/sites/default/files ... report.pdf

Again just because it hasn't grown in the last 2 years, doesn't mean that won't happen. Jfk was left languishing domestically for years and then it happened. Iad has certain conditions which make it unfavourable for expansion currently, but it is also one of the few expansion options left out there.


Again, I'll take data over theories. Years of data show this is a failed theory. Not that this theory will go away as it has been kicking around for 20 years on here without any evidence to back it up. It exposes itself even more when it's teamed with the VA-28 "tech corridor" which died back in 2008.

B6, F9, VX, Indy Air and even United itself hasn't gotten domestic kickstarted since 9/11.

Also, I don't like to compare DC to NYC. I know they each have three airports but NYC is three times as large than DC/Baltimore combined so the pool of available passengers is quite different.
 
donindc
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:40 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
tphuang wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:


Also, I don't like to compare DC to NYC. I know they each have three airports but NYC is three times as large than DC/Baltimore combined so the pool of available passengers is quite different.


While your point is taken, it's a little exaggerated. NYC/NJ combined MSA = 20,153,634. Balt/Wash combined MSA - 9,930,883. JFK/LGA/EWR combined enplanements for 2016 = 63,924,753. DCA/BWI/IAD combined enplanements for 2016 = 34,408,768. So, more like twice as large.
 
DCAfan
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:22 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:14 pm

The major structural problem at IAD was the choice of the loop design for Aerotrain. United wanted a 4 car spine down the centerline like they have at DEN. But MWAA thought that wasn't good enough for Dulles. The loop design they adopted is essentially two spines joined together by a loop at each end which, if ever competed, results in twice the track mileage and rail stations than Uniited's preferred option. IMO the domestic industry cannot afford this highly expensive piece of airport infrastructure, so I am not terribly sanguine about Dulles' future as a domestic airport.
 
Themotionman
Topic Author
Posts: 210
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:02 am

If all goes well with EWR-EZE could we expect IAD-EZE?
 
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STT757
Posts: 14146
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: United's future at Dulles

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:17 am

USAirALB wrote:
The best thing that IAD has going for it IMHO is the very nice Concourse A/B area. The TK lounge is quite possibly one of the nicest domestic lounges in the USA.

One of things that has long interested me is that the IAD hub (domestically speaking) has long been a low-frequency, regional operation. For example, when US was flying PHL-ALB/BUF/BDL/PVD multiple times a day with E-jets and mainline aircraft, all but one (BDL) saw mainline aircraft from IAD. All the others were flown on CRJs, Q200s, or ERJs.

My one dream (that will never happen) is for AA to develop a minor O&D hublet at IAD-maybe operating IAD-SEA/LHR/MAD/NRT/DUB/CDG.


IAD makes sense for AA as the International would compliment their domestic operations at DCA. Similar to how LGA and JFK work for AA and DL.

Themotionman wrote:
If all goes well with EWR-EZE could we expect IAD-EZE?


Something like Lima Peru would probably be a better bet, much larger VFR market. Even Bolivia has a much larger VFR market, something like 38% of the Bolivian Americans in the US live in Virginia. Although I don't see how a nonstop would be feasible considering distance and performance
limiting terrain.

USAirALB wrote:
The best thing that IAD has going for it IMHO is the very nice Concourse A/B area.


I keep arguing that UA and MWAA should expand A/B and move some of UA's operations to that concourse. If you build an extension of the A express gates area and combine that with some shuffling elsewhere on the concourse they might be able to come up with 15-20 narrowbody gates. Move UA's domestic mainline, and ERJ-175s, to the expanded A concourse and keep the International and express flights in C/D.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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jfklganyc
Posts: 6001
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:21 pm

asuflyer05 wrote:
I have always wondered if AA could make a DCA/IAD hub operation work similar to what Delta does at LGA/JFK but I digress, I don't think the UA hub at IAD is going anywhere.

I think a lot of the UA/IAD naysayers are largely unfamiliar with the pace of development in Northern Virginia and general traffic patterns in the area. I believe over the next 10-15 years Dulles will become a much more important airport for the DC area as development pushes towards the airport. There are 10s of millions of planned office space planned almost all of which is attached to transit-oriented, mixed-use retail/residential. IAD already has a direct toll-free, express lane from Tysons Corner; soon will have a Metro connection and is in the heart of the Route 28/Dulles Toll Road technology hub.



I to argue that the American Airlines JFK LaGuardia hub is failing By recent cuts
 
staralliance85
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:29 am

Re: United's future at Dulles

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:27 pm

UA President Scott Kirby was traveling through IAD this summer. He said IAD does great outside The Perimeter Rule at DCA (flight within 1200 miles) and IAD is not closing anytime soon. As long as Congress does not pursue scrapping The Perimeter Rule at DCA, UA at IAD will be at least status quo for many years.
brad Fitzpatrick
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: United's future at Dulles

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:57 pm

donindc wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
tphuang wrote:


NYC/NJ combined MSA = 20,153,634. Balt/Wash combined MSA - 9,930,883. JFK/LGA/EWR combined enplanements for 2016 = 63,924,753. DCA/BWI/IAD combined enplanements for 2016 = 34,408,768. So, more like twice as large.


That's a good point although when I looked up CSA size the gap was more along the lines of 2.5 times larger:

NYC area -- 23.6 mil
DC/Balt area -- 9.6 mil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_statistical_area

Also the DC area is a little different that the NY area because NYC is the sole primary city in the CSA whereas the DC/Balt region are two areas that merged together. The situation makes the IAD domestic catchment area a bit smaller than the actual CSA numbers.

staralliance85 wrote:
UA President Scott Kirby was traveling through IAD this summer. He said IAD does great outside The Perimeter Rule at DCA (flight within 1200 miles) and IAD is not closing anytime soon. As long as Congress does not pursue scrapping The Perimeter Rule at DCA, UA at IAD will be at least status quo for many years.


Not that I think UA is closing the hub but actions speak louder than words: the Dulles hub can't even hold a single PDX flight year-round with no competition.

DCAfan wrote:
The major structural problem at IAD was the choice of the loop design for Aerotrain. United wanted a 4 car spine down the centerline like they have at DEN. But MWAA thought that wasn't good enough for Dulles. The loop design they adopted is essentially two spines joined together by a loop at each end which, if ever competed, results in twice the track mileage and rail stations than Uniited's preferred option. IMO the domestic industry cannot afford this highly expensive piece of airport infrastructure, so I am not terribly sanguine about Dulles' future as a domestic airport.


I agree. Also, the IAD C concourse Aerotrain station doesn't connect to C properly and to D at all. They built a billion dollar train system that still requires Mobile Lounges for access to certain gates. Just idiotic without an agreement with UA to build the Tier 2 concourse. Dumb, dumb. I get MWAA has a Master Plan but common sense should have prevailed.

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