william wrote:That leads to the question, what is a focus city? Because you are describing the beginnings of a hub. DFW is a focus city, does DL schedule connections through DFW? Not arguing, just asking a question.
The definition of an focus city is an airport that (a) is not a hub AND (b) has a significant amount of nonstop service to destinations other than hubs or other focus cities on the focus city carrier.
DL still serves some destinations other than its hubs or focus cities nonstop from CVG, and CVG is still a focus city for DL. RDU is also a focus city for DL since DL serves some destinations that are not hubs or focus cities nonstop from RDU, but most of DL's nonstop service out of RDU is to its hubs, its CVG focus city, and East Coast destinations.
While DL did previously have a hub at DFW prior to its dehubbing in 2005, DFW is not currently a focus city for DL since the only destinations that DL currently serves nonstop from DFW are its ATL, DTW, LAX, MSP, LGA, JFK, and SLC hubs and its CVG focus city.
There are many WN stations that could be considered to be focus cities under this definition, including MDW, BWI, DEN, LAS, HOU, DAL, PHX, STL, MCO, ATL, FLL, TPA, BNA, LAX, OAK, SAN, AUS, MCI, SJC, and SMF. In addition, there are a few other smaller WN stations that could possibly be considered to be focus cities under this definition, including MSY, MKE, and DCA. WN even already offers some itineraries that involve a connection at an airport that isn't a hub or focus city for WN.
While AUS is not yet a focus city for DL, DL will be adding nonstop service to destinations other than DL hubs or its CVG, BOS, and RDU focus cities out of AUS if it is going to be establishing a focus city at AUS.
DL actually does offer some connecting itineraries that involve a connection at CVG or RDU, even though CVG and RDU are focus cities instead of full hubs for DL. However, CVG used to be a full hub for DL prior to the DL-NW merger, and CVG was even marketed as a hub by DL until earlier this year.
DL offering connections to smaller Texas markets from MSP, DTW, CVG, ATL, BOS, JFK, RDU, and MEX (through the DL-AM codeshare and existing AM MEX-AUS nonstop service) through AUS does not automatically make AUS a hub for DL. In fact, DL could offer connecting service to smaller Texas markets from DL hubs, DL focus cities, and MEX through AUS without establishing a hub at AUS. DL just simply needs to add nonstop service to smaller Texas markets out of AUS in order to provide connecting service to these smaller Texas markets from MSP, DTW, CVG, ATL, BOS, JFK, RDU, and MEX.