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zelalemon
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Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:58 pm

With the discussions going on in the forums about which airports are most likely to become hubs, I thought I would reverse the question and ask which airports are most likely to be dehubbed, or at the very least a decrease in service?
 
kavok
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:06 pm

Probably one of the Alaska Airline pacific hubs. Having a hub at each of SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX all going up and down the coast seems redundant. Not sure which they’d drop though.
 
TerminalD
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:07 pm

zelalemon wrote:
With the discussions going on in the forums about which airports are most likely to become hubs, I thought I would reverse the question and ask which airports are most likely to be dehubbed, or at the very least a decrease in service?

IAD/PHX are easily the most at risk.
 
drdisque
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:13 pm

I'll preface this and say I don't think any will:

Any of these would require a significant downturn in the industry:

PDX is unessential for the merged AS (if you consider it a hub). It could be turned into a focus city or even a large line station.

SLC's flows can largely be duplicated elsewhere in the DL system. Although it is a high yield fortress hub as it is, it could potentially go the way of CVG which was also a high yield fortress hub that depended on domestic flying.
Likewise, in a massive downturn, DL could throw in the towel at SEA, especially, if the TPAC routes there start bleeding money - of course the AS hub would remain.

AA could de-hub JFK if TATL flying craters. That's the only reason they keep the operation at JFK. Of course they have the huge terminal there that they'd have to find tenants for.

B6 could de-hub LGB (if you consider it a hub for them). By all accounts the hub is only barely profitable and there's no avenues for growth. Many routes that have been tried have subsequently been cut. What remains at LGB is a ghost of B6's past.

AA could de-hub PHX - although I don't really see it happening. The fact that it is heavily domestic dependent again makes it vulnerable. The fact that all the key routes out of PHX are also flown by WN and many are also flown by a ULCC doesn't help.

B6 is currently holding their own in the battle with NK at FLL. However, if something were to happen with the economy, that could push things in NK's favor and B6 could choose to stop the bleeding by cutting back flying at FLL.
 
rwsea
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:14 pm

kavok wrote:
Probably one of the Alaska Airline pacific hubs. Having a hub at each of SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX all going up and down the coast seems redundant. Not sure which they’d drop though.


Maybe they're redundant if you believe in the old model where everyone connects through a hub to go everywhere. AS has strong positions in PDX, LAX, and now SFO because they fly where people want to go, and do so at reasonable enough frequency. These 'hubs' cater more to local O&D traffic with connections added on top, rather than being connection-centric.
 
eal
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 pm

Unlikely any given the capacity constraints at most desirable cities and the lack of desirable cities outside of already hubbed cities. Even Alaskan will most likely keep its extensive West Coast network given that's what they're marketing themselves as.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:38 pm

My guess: The next recession will decide which AS hubs are kept. I also think AS has a deeper problem with so many western hubs that will be exposed in a downturn: Despite the west's growth as a region more people in the US still live east of the Mississippi. Those long stage lengths are going to be killer especially if there's some supply issue with oil. At some point B6 and AS will need to balance their exposure but AS is more under the gun than B6, IMHO.
 
N292UX
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:53 pm

LAX for UA could happen sooner than expected. They've been downsizing there for a while.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:55 pm

rwsea wrote:
kavok wrote:
Probably one of the Alaska Airline pacific hubs. Having a hub at each of SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX all going up and down the coast seems redundant. Not sure which they’d drop though.


Maybe they're redundant if you believe in the old model where everyone connects through a hub to go everywhere. AS has strong positions in PDX, LAX, and now SFO because they fly where people want to go, and do so at reasonable enough frequency. These 'hubs' cater more to local O&D traffic with connections added on top, rather than being connection-centric.

The old model? You mean the one still used by nearly every major airline in the world?
 
744pnf
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:01 pm

KCVG...again
 
SgtBarone
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Probably CVG, especially when Delta's lease expires on Concourse B in 2020.
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:19 pm

I think UA's LAX hub is most likely. When the recession comes, and they are struggling to keep flights in SFO full, there's no way they will keep another hub just 337 miles away open, especially because (unlike IAD) they will never be #1, or even #2, at LAX.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:35 pm

SgtBarone wrote:
Probably CVG, especially when Delta's lease expires on Concourse B in 2020.

They are already renegotiating the lease for B, another airline will move into the concourse starting July 2018. The airport is expecting ~1.4 million more passengers per year in B, and word on the street is AA is moving to B, so it seems AA is primed for quite the increase in flights. They are putting in at least 7-8 (could be as high as 15, but the distribution between A and B is not finalized) new concessions in Concourse B next year, which makes me think DL has no plans to go anywhere soon. All of these plans are ongoing and the airport is trying to keep a tight lid on all of this, but we should know the status of DL's future lease plans by early next year. In addition, DL's seat counts are actually up over 2015 levels currently. A few of the smaller routes might be cut as the CRJ-200's exit, but I think the bulk of the operation is safe.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:50 pm

cvgComair wrote:
SgtBarone wrote:
Probably CVG, especially when Delta's lease expires on Concourse B in 2020.

They are already renegotiating the lease for B, another airline (AA is the word on the street) will move into the concourse starting July 2018. I will be interested to see what they plan at CVG long-term, I am not sure DL has any immediate plans to reduce any further, their seat counts are actually up over 2015 levels currently. A few of the smaller routes might be cut as the CRJ-200's exit, but I think the bulk of the operation is safe.


If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

I still think it would be beneficial to CVG if DL formally dehubbed so other carriers can expand and new ones (like B6 and AS) can come in. DL can keep the CDG flight and a few non-hub flights (in addition to the flights to their other hubs), but cut out everything else.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:53 pm

I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:02 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI
Last edited by cvgComair on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:09 pm

Assuming bottom falls out at some point, here are some likely blows as airlines retreat.

AA: JFK, PHX
DL: CVG, BOS, MCO beyond hubs
UA: IAD
B6: LGB
NK: Anything beyond FLL.
F9: DEN
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:12 pm

TerminalD wrote:
IAD/PHX are easily the most at risk.

It's been more than seven years since the United/Continental merger, and a month shy of four years since the American/US Airways merger. There's no data to suggest that either of these cities will be dehubbing or even face further significant cuts. Both have had reductions in service for different reasons, but the general consensus combined with comments from airline management has suggested the cuts in both cities are due to right-sizing.

UA would not give up IAD, because it is a lucrative and strategically important international hub. They've done nothing but expand intl ops since the merger. The addition of the 752 from sCO even created some new markets in Europe. The domestic side has obviously struggled, but that's primarily due to political meddling with DCA over the years, along with MWAA mismanagement. DCA is once again nearing saturation, so as history has shown, DCA saturation typically leads to IAD growth.

AA would not give up PHX, as it's one of the cheapest and most efficient hub operations in the industry. LAX is capacity limited, so PHX can easily pick up the slack. It's also a city of five million, and the only other hub airline is a LCC, so their O&D is pretty strong even if the yields lag.

zelalemon wrote:
With the discussions going on in the forums about which airports are most likely to become hubs, I thought I would reverse the question and ask which airports are most likely to be dehubbed, or at the very least a decrease in service?

This topic seems to come up about every six minutes since merger mania took over the airline business in the US. Over the years, we've seen STL, PIT, CVG, CLE, MEM, CMH, LAS, and RDU (and I'm sure I'm missing a couple) dehubbed either through merger, inefficiency, or both. However, we're far enough removed from the spate of mergers that things are pretty well stabilized. Every remaining hub city is in a major metropolitan area, many are fortress hubs, many have strategic geographical significance, and most support healthy O&D numbers. Airlines are making a lot of money, which means they're expanding their fleets to keep pace with growing demand in a healthy economy. They're going to need somewhere to put those airplanes, so dehubbing isn't really on the table for any major US airlines right now.

Even a decrease in service at this point isn't terribly likely. Again, every airline is adding airplanes. Underperforming hubs have been fairly well right-sized by now, so I can't see significant cuts coming to any US3 hub. The next time we face an economic downturn, the situation could obviously change, but that isn't reflective of today's economic environment. Airlines have been padding their bottom lines for several years now as lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis, so it might take a fairly significant depression to lead to massive cuts.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:14 pm

TerminalD wrote:
zelalemon wrote:
With the discussions going on in the forums about which airports are most likely to become hubs, I thought I would reverse the question and ask which airports are most likely to be dehubbed, or at the very least a decrease in service?

IAD/PHX are easily the most at risk.



UA's other east coast hubs cannot fully absorb the load from closing IAD

AA uses PHX as a second hub for the west coast. LAX does not have the space needed to replace PHX long term & DFW is already very loaded capacity wise without more terminals.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:18 pm

cvgComair wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI


Interesting, I thought CVG connections were rarer, but I guess I was wrong. However, I was looking at booking a flight from BNA-CDG via CVG and could not book it. I chatted with the online customer service people to inquire why and they told me CVG wasn't a hub. I'm like, really? You're website still lists it as one. Must be a newbie.
 
757SanCam
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:22 pm

Though I rarely use LAX as SAN is my base, I read somewhere that UA is thinking about a new Terminal 9 closer to Sepulveda Blvd with direct access bypassing the current traffic bottleneck getting in and out of the terminal area. If UA goes forward with this, they wouldn't abandon LAX as a hub.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:23 pm

N292UX wrote:
LAX for UA could happen sooner than expected. They've been downsizing there for a while.


They just announced redesigned maintenance facilities and an expansion to another terminal concourse & large RJ gate complex east of supolvida & connected to T7 & T8. So I doubt they are going to drop LA.
 
aaflyer222
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:51 pm

it is likely that UA might reduce regional flying from IAD as DCA is picking up more regional routes and is much easier for people in DC to get to.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:52 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
Interesting, I thought CVG connections were rarer, but I guess I was wrong. However, I was looking at booking a flight from BNA-CDG via CVG and could not book it. I chatted with the online customer service people to inquire why and they told me CVG wasn't a hub. I'm like, really? You're website still lists it as one. Must be a newbie.

BNA connections at CVG are all but impossible because there is only 1 flight a day, the same goes for BDL/XNA/MKE. Asking DL customer service about CVG is hit or miss, some will call it a hub, others will not.
 
jubguy3
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:31 am

drdisque wrote:
SLC's flows can largely be duplicated elsewhere in the DL system. Although it is a high yield fortress hub as it is, it could potentially go the way of CVG which was also a high yield fortress hub that depended on domestic flying.
Likewise, in a massive downturn, DL could throw in the towel at SEA, especially, if the TPAC routes there start bleeding money - of course the AS hub would remain.


I'm going to disagree with you on this one. SLC has been in the Delta system for 30 years. CVG was cut post-merger, like Memphis, because it doesn't make geographical sense within a redefined system. Delta added SEA because they wanted to get a TPAC hub... but only alaskan operations have moved to SEA. Even montana routes were added to SEA and then later cut back to SLC and MSP. MSP is an "alternative" to SLC, but for much of DL's ops it doesn't make sense to fly something like FAT-MSP-BZM (which I understand is probably like 5 pax/day). Delta funds their high risk, high reward competitive hubs like SEA, JFK, and LAX with their continental fortress hubs (MSP, SLC, ATL, DTW).

The only feasible acquisition that would modify Delta's western ops would be AS, and I would imagine that they would merge their LAX and SEA hubs, possibly adding PDX or SFO as a focus city, and then cutting back the relative level of service in SEA and LAX as they no longer have to compete with AS. SLC isn't threatened by that operation. SLC wasn't threatened by DFW either.


DL was also in a much worse place when they started making cuts at CVG and MEM.
Last edited by jubguy3 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:35 am

ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.


Because AA didnt have an underperforming hub like CLE and MEM.
 
Austin787
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:55 am

ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.

AA is starting to dehub JFK. I think the next recession or fuel price spike should finish the job.

Other hubs that could see cuts:
AA: ORD, LAX if TPAC traffic tanks
UA: DEN, IAD
DL: non-hub routes out of BOS/MCO/RDU, SEA especially if TPAC traffic tanks
AS: SJC, SFO
B6: LGB
Last edited by Austin787 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:59 am

cvgComair wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI


How many people are actually using those connections though...
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/DL_SelectFields.asp
Looking at this data for Q2 of 2017

DCA-CVG-DEN-5.11 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-XNA-0.55 connecting pax per day
LAS-CVG-PHL-1.33 connecting pax per day
STL-CVG-PHL-1.88 connecting pax per day
DCA-CVG-MCI-1.66 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-BWI-2.55 connecting pax per day

I don't know if that 15%-20%number is accurate, it looks as if CVG is mostly O&D
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:14 am

Bobloblaw wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.


Because AA didnt have an underperforming hub like CLE and MEM.


Isn't PHX not doing great? I mean, they aren't bad at all, but they've starting trimming there a bit.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:17 am

Austin787 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.

AA is starting to dehub JFK. I think the next recession or fuel price spike should finish the job.

Other hubs that could see cuts:
AA: ORD, LAX if TPAC traffic tanks
UA: DEN, IAD
DL: non-hub routes out of BOS/MCO/RDU, SEA especially if TPAC traffic tanks
AS: SJC, SFO
B6: LGB


I don't think AA will fully dehub JFK, but they may cut most TATL routes except for the lucrative JFK-LHR, as well as keep the transcontinental routes that cannot be served out of LGA. Likewise, I don't see AA cutting at ORD, in fact, quite the opposite. I see expansion (anywhere from modest to ambitious) once they figure out a new lease and terminal rebuild/expansion plan.

Also, why would UA cut at DEN? Isn't that one of their strongest?
Last edited by ADrum23 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:26 am

Midwestindy wrote:
cvgComair wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI


How many people are actually using those connections though...
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/DL_SelectFields.asp
Looking at this data for Q2 of 2017

DCA-CVG-DEN-5.11 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-XNA-0.55 connecting pax per day
LAS-CVG-PHL-1.33 connecting pax per day
STL-CVG-PHL-1.88 connecting pax per day
DCA-CVG-MCI-1.66 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-BWI-2.55 connecting pax per day

I don't know if that 15%-20%number is accurate, it looks as if CVG is mostly O&D


That's what I was thinking. You have to go out of your way to find connections at CVG (at least from some of the dummy bookings I have done on DL's website). And given those low numbers, I do not understand why DL insists on keeping CVG as a hub at all, they could save money and help provide more certainty to CVG by cutting the remaining connections, formally closing the hub and keeping a small focus city operation (like RDU). CVG can then focus on recruiting new airlines (such as B6 and AS) and having WN expand and pick up the slack from DL.
 
us330
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:35 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Bobloblaw wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.


Because AA didnt have an underperforming hub like CLE and MEM.


Isn't PHX not doing great? I mean, they aren't bad at all, but they've starting trimming there a bit.


PHX may be right-sized and trimmed at times, but I doubt it will ever lose it's hub status given the gate restrictions at LAX. American can prioritize o&d traffic and trans-pac connections out of LAX while sending domestic connecting traffic to/from western cities through PHX.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:41 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
cvgComair wrote:
Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI


How many people are actually using those connections though...
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/DL_SelectFields.asp
Looking at this data for Q2 of 2017

DCA-CVG-DEN-5.11 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-XNA-0.55 connecting pax per day
LAS-CVG-PHL-1.33 connecting pax per day
STL-CVG-PHL-1.88 connecting pax per day
DCA-CVG-MCI-1.66 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-BWI-2.55 connecting pax per day

I don't know if that 15%-20%number is accurate, it looks as if CVG is mostly O&D


That's what I was thinking. You have to go out of your way to find connections at CVG (at least from some of the dummy bookings I have done on DL's website). And given those low numbers, I do not understand why DL insists on keeping CVG as a hub at all, they could save money and help provide more certainty to CVG by cutting the remaining connections, formally closing the hub and keeping a small focus city operation (like RDU). CVG can then focus on recruiting new airlines (such as B6 and AS) and having WN expand and pick up the slack from DL.

There are more connecting pax than you might think, but remember, 15% of DL's operation is not that many passengers per day, about 600 enplaned passengers a day. That is just an average of 7 passengers per flight. Just an example, here was the connection board in CVG after a flight from SFO (June 2017):
Image
I don't have a pic from the SEA flight that morning, but both columns of the board were filled with connections and most of the other flights arriving that morning had at least one side filled. It may not seem a lot, but that amount of connections on a majority of DL's flights would easily reach the 600 number.
Last edited by cvgComair on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:47 am

It's almost like some people on this site *want* to see air service slashed left and right!
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:49 am

Why do you keep implying that domestic traffic is so bad? All the carriers have said that their domestic traffic has been most profitable lately, and united has said that Denver, which is primarily domestic, is their most profitable hub. Not sure why you insidt that domestic usntblucrative

drdisque wrote:
I'll preface this and say I don't think any will:

Any of these would require a significant downturn in the industry:

PDX is unessential for the merged AS (if you consider it a hub). It could be turned into a focus city or even a large line station.

SLC's flows can largely be duplicated elsewhere in the DL system. Although it is a high yield fortress hub as it is, it could potentially go the way of CVG which was also a high yield fortress hub that depended on domestic flying.
Likewise, in a massive downturn, DL could throw in the towel at SEA, especially, if the TPAC routes there start bleeding money - of course the AS hub would remain.

AA could de-hub JFK if TATL flying craters. That's the only reason they keep the operation at JFK. Of course they have the huge terminal there that they'd have to find tenants for.

B6 could de-hub LGB (if you consider it a hub for them). By all accounts the hub is only barely profitable and there's no avenues for growth. Many routes that have been tried have subsequently been cut. What remains at LGB is a ghost of B6's past.

AA could de-hub PHX - although I don't really see it happening. The fact that it is heavily domestic dependent again makes it vulnerable. The fact that all the key routes out of PHX are also flown by WN and many are also flown by a ULCC doesn't help.

B6 is currently holding their own in the battle with NK at FLL. However, if something were to happen with the economy, that could push things in NK's favor and B6 could choose to stop the bleeding by cutting back flying at FLL.
 
drdisque
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:14 am

I don't think it's bad.

That's why I wrote at the beginning that I don't think ANY of those hubs will be closed and that in order for it to happen, something would have to FUNDAMENTALLY change in the airlines' economics.

I included 3 scenarios:
1. Domestic tanks (PHX and SLC are at risk)
2. TPAC tanks (DL-SEA is at risk)
3. TATL tanks (AA-JFK is at risk)

Those saying that AA would keep JFK-LHR - of all routes, why that one, when they have JV-immunized BA already offering over 1000 seats/day on it?
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:14 am

I personally don't understand why people keep thinking PHX will get cut. Unlike CVG (Okay, it's still a hub and would actually be my "next airport to be dehub" list) or MEM or even CLE, PHX is a fairly big metro area (~4.5M and increasing) where O&D alone is strong enough to keep a hub around. Tons of secondary West Coast destination that works better from PHX than, let say, LAX or even DFW also.

On the other hand, we all know DL is going to dehub ATL, let WN take over, and built a fortress at AUS. :stirthepot: :stirthepot:
 
727200
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:44 am

Lets see, MSP and DTW are what 500 miles apart? Why would you need 2 hubs so close to one another with the monster ORD hub 200 miles away. DL has a history of closing up shop and running at 1st resistance, look at how many city pairs they have abandoned. Not saying its for sure, but next big recession, and there will be another one, lets see who survives and who goes.
 
SESGDL
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:58 am

727200 wrote:
Lets see, MSP and DTW are what 500 miles apart? Why would you need 2 hubs so close to one another with the monster ORD hub 200 miles away. DL has a history of closing up shop and running at 1st resistance, look at how many city pairs they have abandoned. Not saying its for sure, but next big recession, and there will be another one, lets see who survives and who goes.


Not happening. DTW and MSP are both large hubs with healthy O&D and DL dominates these markets handily. SLC and SEA would go long before DL even considers closing DTW and MSP.

Jeremy
 
TW870
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:59 am

727200 wrote:
Lets see, MSP and DTW are what 500 miles apart? Why would you need 2 hubs so close to one another with the monster ORD hub 200 miles away. DL has a history of closing up shop and running at 1st resistance, look at how many city pairs they have abandoned. Not saying its for sure, but next big recession, and there will be another one, lets see who survives and who goes.


They "need" them because they both print money due to strong local economies and less pricing pressure that more saturated coastal markets. I am flying MSP-DSM next week for a meeting an am paying more for my ticket than a colleague who is flying ORD-NRT to a different meeting. Business travel is very expensive in the midwest, and that is why DL's margins look the way they do compared to their competitors.
 
ADM94
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:03 am

Geography has to be factored in, as well. I have a hard time seeing SLC or PHX being dehubbed, even in a downturn, because they're the only hubs in the region for their respective airlines. In the case of CVG and MEM, they were in fairly close proximity to MSP, DTW, and ATL, and it wouldn't have been efficient for the combined DL/NW to maintain five large hubs between the Mississippi (or on it, in the case of MSP) and the East Coast.

I'm not sure about PHX, but FWIW DL seems pretty happy with SLC lately. It's well-positioned to make connections in multiple directions, which they take advantage of, and on-time performance is usually pretty strong. It seems like a majority of their growth there has been in connecting traffic vs. O&D, so even in a downturn it would still be useful as a hub.
 
wn676
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:29 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Bobloblaw wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
I am surprised AA has not dehubbed one of their post-merger hubs, like DL did with MEM and UA did with CLE.


Because AA didnt have an underperforming hub like CLE and MEM.


Isn't PHX not doing great? I mean, they aren't bad at all, but they've starting trimming there a bit.


PHX’s performance has actually improved in many ways since the merger. Among other things, they now have a stronger O&D component there and they’ve strengthened and diversified their connecting feed; PHX has actually seen more route additions than any other AA hub post-merger. I’d even go as far as to say it is in a much better position now than it ever was with US or even HP.
 
wn676
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:42 am

WA707atMSP wrote:
I think UA's LAX hub is most likely. When the recession comes, and they are struggling to keep flights in SFO full, there's no way they will keep another hub just 337 miles away open, especially because (unlike IAD) they will never be #1, or even #2, at LAX.


Will have to disagree here. UA will continue to maintain its current operations and market share there and will grow where it makes sense. They've invested quite a lot in their facilities there and will utilize them to the maximum practical extent. While they do have the SFO fortress just up the road, it has little bearing on what they’re trying to accomplish at LAX.
 
flyguy89
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:46 am

ADrum23 wrote:
I do not understand why DL insists on keeping CVG as a hub at all, they could save money and help provide more certainty to CVG by cutting the remaining connections, formally closing the hub and keeping a small focus city operation (like RDU). CVG can then focus on recruiting new airlines (such as B6 and AS) and having WN expand and pick up the slack from DL.

That's basically what they've already done though. RDU sits at around 70 daily flights on peak days while CVG hits up to between 80-90 daily flights, there's really not much else to cut when they've essentially already paired everything back to core O&D-supported markets.
 
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enilria
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:51 am

drdisque wrote:
PDX is unessential for the merged AS (if you consider it a hub). It could be turned into a focus city or even a large line station.

I think I disagree. PDX has always been the connecting hub and SEA more of an O&D. SEA's geography is a lot like B6 at BOS. It isn't on the way to anywhere. Sure there's the cab ride to YVR and the relatively small markets in Alaska (and except for ANC totally dry up in Winter) and some Hawaii, but that's it. Everything else is geographically poor to connect. PDX is a decent N-S hub because now OR and WA support cities are not backhaul connects. If they give up PDX somebody else will take it.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:08 am

ADrum23 wrote:
I do not understand why DL insists on keeping CVG as a hub at all, they could save money and help provide more certainty to CVG by cutting the remaining connections, formally closing the hub and keeping a small focus city operation (like RDU). CVG can then focus on recruiting new airlines (such as B6 and AS) and having WN expand and pick up the slack from DL.

I would argue that is not what the market wants, if fliers in Cincinnati wanted to fly on WN, they would have gone to them and filled their flights. However, DL is up almost 7% for 2017 alone while WN had some pretty bad loads (and is not expanding anytime soon). It is not DL insisting on keeping CVG open, the fliers (myself included) in the city keep it open by choosing DL. RDU and CVG are very similar operations, DL seems to like having these mini-hubs/glorified focus cities or whatever you want to call them (BOS and MCO function the same way). Most of the connections currently are more of a case "why not", just like you can make connections in non hubs with a lot of flights, you are bound to have an array of connections even if they are not specifically planning all of them. BTW, CVG has the 14th largest O&D revenue in DL's whole network and has the highest fared yield of any of DL's hubs, I don't think they are loosing money at the moment.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:31 am

drdisque wrote:
Those saying that AA would keep JFK-LHR - of all routes, why that one, when they have JV-immunized BA already offering over 1000 seats/day on it?

Easy: because most of the J/Vs require parity/equity (or close to it) in seats and segments, between the carriers.

So unless BA wants to give up frequencies into the likes of BOS, LAX, ORD, etc and have AA fly it for them (which would of course, never happen)... then there's no mathematical way AA can justify ceding all JFKs to BA.

Only other way would be for AA to launch a bunch of all-new routes.... but then again, if there's that much of a bonanza for TATL capacity, then why would they give up JFK?



zakuivcustom wrote:
I personally don't understand why people keep thinking PHX will get cut. Unlike CVG (Okay, it's still a hub and would actually be my "next airport to be dehub" list) or MEM or even CLE, PHX is a fairly big metro area (~4.5M and increasing) where O&D alone is strong enough to keep a hub around.

But also unlike them, PHX is infested with WN on essentially every significant route, which is always a force to be reckoned with.



ADM94 wrote:
Geography has to be factored in, as well. I have a hard time seeing SLC or PHX being dehubbed, even in a downturn, because they're the only hubs in the region for their respective airlines.

What flows (of any significance) does PHX grant AA, that the combo of DFW+LAX does not?
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:27 am

wn676 wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
I think UA's LAX hub is most likely. When the recession comes, and they are struggling to keep flights in SFO full, there's no way they will keep another hub just 337 miles away open, especially because (unlike IAD) they will never be #1, or even #2, at LAX.


Will have to disagree here. UA will continue to maintain its current operations and market share there and will grow where it makes sense. They've invested quite a lot in their facilities there and will utilize them to the maximum practical extent. While they do have the SFO fortress just up the road, it has little bearing on what they’re trying to accomplish at LAX.


The United States is littered with under utilized terminals that were built by airlines that "invested a lot in their facilities there" when the economy is strong, but walked away from them when the economy deteriorated. AA at RDU, BNA, STL, and SJU come to mind immediately, as do UA at CLE, and DL at MEM and CVG. People on this web site said "UA will never cut CLE" and "DL will never cut MEM and CVG" because the airlines had invested so much money in their terminals.

One thing every MBA learns in their entry level college classes is the concept of "sunk costs". Once money has been spent on a project, that money is gone forever, and it should not be considered in whether or not to continue to fund the project.

Regardless of how much money UA has spent at LAX, they will never overtake AA or DL there, and unlike AA and DL, UA has a mega hub 337 miles away. In the next recession, UA could be in a position where traffic has dropped so much that they don't have enough passengers to profitably support two hubs in California. If UA is in serious financial trouble (as every airline is during a bad recession), they will walk away from their investment at LAX and downsize the hub, just as UA walked away from their investment at CLE, DL walked away from their investment at MEM and CVG, and AA walked away from their investment at STL, in the previous recession.
 
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klm617
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:27 am

Midwestindy wrote:
cvgComair wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
If they are going to give up gate space in Concourse B, would that mean they further cuts may be imminent? How much connection traffic still goes through CVG, and what specific routes connect through?

Since DL spread out the banks for more O&D traffic a few years ago, they tried to get rid of 6 gates, but the airport would not let them. Now that A is out of gates and DL is still using a peak of 22 gates, the airport is now trying to renegotiate, most likely on DL's terms. It is probably advantageous, because it reduces DL's lease payments at the airport, and like when they gave up A, DL is going to get revenue from utility usage from other airlines (in both A and B) and concession leases from B.

I don't think a DL cut is imminent, because the are expecting 4.4 million pax to be going through B with the addition of one airline. It is highly unlikely any airline at CVG would expand enough to raise passenger counts enough to reach that number. Plus, if DL was going to start dehubbing, the amount of concessions in B would already be adequate and they would not need the large overhaul currently being planned.

Connections are about 20% of DL's operation, it has dropped a little this year, so probably closer to 15% currently. Most of the routes are in banks, so there are a lot of connection options. Just search any city pair that CVG serves and you can probably find connections.

Just a few I found, there are a ton:
DCA-CVG-DEN
ORD-CVG-XNA
LAS-CVG-PHL
STL-CVG-PHL
DCA-CVG-MCI
ORD-CVG-BWI


How many people are actually using those connections though...
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/DL_SelectFields.asp
Looking at this data for Q2 of 2017

DCA-CVG-DEN-5.11 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-XNA-0.55 connecting pax per day
LAS-CVG-PHL-1.33 connecting pax per day
STL-CVG-PHL-1.88 connecting pax per day
DCA-CVG-MCI-1.66 connecting pax per day
ORD-CVG-BWI-2.55 connecting pax per day




I don't know if that 15%-20%number is accurate, it looks as if CVG is mostly O&D



The problem is more people would use CVG to connect if they knew connections were available there. But the way the Delta system is set up. It is set up in a way that when you enter any city pair it will give you all the Atlanta connection options first you'd have to search for the CVG option through hundreds of routing and the CVG option is also probably higher priced which also hinders it's ability to land more connecting traffic. So in short the Delta system is not conducive to generating connections over CVG so hence the percentage is low.
.
 
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klm617
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Re: Which US Airport Is Most Likely To Be Dehubbed?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:29 am

I see one of these three being reduced greatly in the Delta network DTW, MSP or SEA

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