ADrum23
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Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:27 pm

So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:33 pm

Um, no. United is dock-blocked by 110 (all mainline) Southwest flights a day at BNA, a market which doesn't even make the top 30 US MSAs. United might as well set bales of money on fire and throw them off the roof of Willis Tower. They could not find a more spectacular way to waste money.

The idea of locating hubs based on geography without regard to competition is... under-developed.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:35 pm

IAD is the same distance from CLT that BNA is. UA could grow there if they want to go after more connecting traffic
 
ncflyer
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:41 pm

In addition to the points made--- I think a big reason that AA killed the BNA hub is it's not really well suited geographically to serve the east coast like CLT/RDU/or ATL is. It's well suited for Chicago to the southeast and caribbean, but out of the way from Boston, NY, DC, Philly, most of the cities with decent population. Nashville is farther west than Indy. Atlanta too is farther west than I'd ever think if I didn't look at a map, but it's already so well established.
 
flyguy84
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:46 pm

If they wanted a SE hub, they could go with TPA. Or... they can just acquire JetBlue or Spirit and take FLL. :stirthepot:

Side note: it wouldn’t surprise me if Fornaro is shopping around Spirit. He’s basically doing the same things he did at AirTran prior to their sale.
Last edited by flyguy84 on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LAXintl
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:46 pm

This keeps coming up every few months

Here is some good commentary from management at employee town hall.


Q.Has there been any thought to a Southeastern hub in places like Orlando, or Carolinas?

A. In large, we aren’t large in the southeast because of a combination of low yields, our history/geography, and other priorities. First, southeast yields tend to be low. Building a presence in a new market/region is always expensive, especially when there are entrenched competitors. For example, AA’s bankruptcy was not a traditional one, as they went in with plenty of cash and actually grew their network during the process. They have strong hubs in CLT and MIA and DL has a strong hub in ATL. Given our network, it makes more sense for us to focus on the network in our business heavy hubs first, and then focus on leisure traffic where possible. We do fly from all of our hubs to the Southeast, but establishing a new hub there would be a risky venture as we go after low-yield traffic. Over time, we might be able to make some inroads there, but it would be incredibly expensive and distract us from other important parts of our network, and we'll get to that part last.
Our history and geography also play important roles. If you might recall, UA used to have a meaningful MIA operation, which ultimately proved to be unprofitable and needed to be cut. A history of losses are a strong predictor of future losses albeit not the only one. ATL is incredibly well-positioned as a connecting hub not only for the Southeast, but also for a vast demand-weighted portion of the country. While it does connect lots of Southeast traffic, we wouldn’t call it a Southeast hub, as it does connect international traffic as well as East-West. MIA isn’t a traditional connecting hub for AA, and largely just serves the local Latin community and some US Domestic Leisure. One might think there would be an opportunity to compete for this local traffic, but history has shown this to be tough. US tried to grow its presence in FLL and had to retreat from that strategy as losses mounted.
Finally, regarding priorities. Most analysts accept that the current success of the US majors is due to discipline. In the “bad old days” of boom/bust, carriers pursued market share above all other priorities, which drove huge losses over the course of the business cycle, and resulted in the entire industry having lost money in aggregate since deregulation. In recent years, things have changed. While carriers do pursue market share objectives, they do not do it by adding lots of all new capacity overnight, but mostly its done incrementally and by moving capacity from other underperforming parts of the network. DL has been doing exactly this recent years as they try to build a bigger NYC presence and a Pacific gateway at SEA. Rather than order airplanes en masse to add all this capacity, they pulled airplanes from previous hubs at CVG, MEM, and other weaker routes to “fund” the growth. AA did the same and reshaped its network by reducing STL, PIT, and LAS. So in a world where we want to grow our presence in the Southeast and likely oversupplying the market and risking losses, what are we willing to give-up? Are we willing to reduce flights at SFO and forgo incentive to grow there? Are we willing to give up profits at EWR? Are we willing to shrink ORD and allow AA/WN an easy path to take our Chicago passengers?
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YYZLGA
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:48 pm

One place I could imagine being a hub for UA--at least at LATAM hub--would be MCO, although it's certainly not likely. It's becoming a very popular destination for Latin Americans, and it's obviously got enough O&D for ample feed from across the US. Not a particularly high-yielding business market, though.

UA already has an excellent hub network in many of the country's most prosperous cities. That doesn't necessarily make for an ultra-profitable airline, though UA is doing better. Part of its problem seems to be that all of those airports are high cost; it doesn't have any ultra-cheap airport like CLT or ATL to use for connections. Might it make sense to find some underused midwestern airport that would be willing to offer them an incredible deal to match CLT's costs? I know that goes against the current dominant philosophy and I doubt that would be possible, but if it were it could get interesting.
 
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william
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:22 am

flyguy84 wrote:
If they wanted a SE hub, they could go with TPA. Or... they can just acquire JetBlue or Spirit and take FLL. :stirthepot:

Side note: it wouldn’t surprise me if Fornaro is shopping around Spirit. He’s basically doing the same things he did at AirTran prior to their sale.


He did not shop AirTran, SWA approached him.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:23 am

YYZLGA wrote:
Part of its problem seems to be that all of those airports are high cost; it doesn't have any ultra-cheap airport like CLT or ATL to use for connections. Might it make sense to find some underused midwestern airport that would be willing to offer them an incredible deal to match CLT's costs? I know that goes against the current dominant philosophy and I doubt that would be possible, but if it were it could get interesting.


That is precisely what I was thinking for BNA, a 200-300 flight hub that would allow them to capture some of the traffic AA and DL enjoy at CLT or ATL respectively. If it weren't for WN's focus city, I'm sure they'd seriously consider it......
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:26 am

flyguy84 wrote:
Side note: it wouldn’t surprise me if Fornaro is shopping around Spirit. He’s basically doing the same things he did at AirTran prior to their sale.


F9 should absorb NK
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:30 am

ncflyer wrote:
In addition to the points made--- I think a big reason that AA killed the BNA hub is it's not really well suited geographically to serve the east coast like CLT/RDU/or ATL is. It's well suited for Chicago to the southeast and caribbean, but out of the way from Boston, NY, DC, Philly, most of the cities with decent population. Nashville is farther west than Indy. Atlanta too is farther west than I'd ever think if I didn't look at a map, but it's already so well established.


Not quite. BNA isn't as far out of the way as people think, and actually, BNA survived slightly longer than RDU.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:34 am

BNA is not a focus city for WN, it is one of their larger hubs.

IAD is technically in the SE but I guess so is CVG.

I always thought RDU would be a great hub for UA, but it would have made more sense before DL announced plans to expand there.
 
tphuang
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:43 am

There is only one legacy carrier currently capable of starting new hub or focus cities. That is delta. And everyone who reads my posts knows I am not a dl fanboy. It takes a lot of money to overcome lower cost competition to build up a new hub.

Ua simply does not have fortress hubs like clt or atl that brings in huge margins. Too much low cost competition in all of its major hubs. They are doing the right thing by solidifying it's hubs first by adding more of those higher yielding less served smaller airports. So these hubs need to become more profitable first and then they can pursue new strategic hubs.
 
jplatts
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:23 am

UA could operate nonstop regional flights to the Midwest, the Deep South, and the East Coast from BNA if it had a hub at BNA. On the other hand, WN already has nonstop service to Midwestern, East Coast, Florida, and Texas destinations from BNA.

Even though WN used to serve JAN until 3 and a half years ago, WN no longer serves any airports located in the state of Mississippi. However, northern Mississippi is served by MEM, and WN does now serve MEM.

WN also already serves several airports near BNA in nearby states, including SDF and CVG in Kentucky, BHM in Alabama, ATL in Georgia, IND in Indiana, and STL in Missouri.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:28 am

Another factor that would make such a prospect very difficult is that UA has been historically a minor player in BNA and has basically zero local ff base. Just a few years ago BNA was all express, and down the road CHA had no service at all. Delta and Southwest have loyal frequent flier bases in the area, and let's face it...both of them have a better reputation than UA, and those folks ain't switching over anytime soon.

UA would be better served by strengthening its existing hubs with more direct service to smaller cities and new international routes. BNA would be better served by ULCC growth, landing AM to MEX and/or one of the Iceland carriers, and maintaining the strength of the WN hub.
Last edited by RamblinMan on Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:28 am

ADrum23 wrote:
So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?

with the pitiful earning (barely) forecast for Q1 this year, the last thing United needs to be doing is adding another hub.

they need to get their crap together before they start trying to build new hubs.
 
axiom
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 am

IAD is their SE hub. That's as good as it gets, limits and all.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:38 am

Complete crazy counterfactual... If DCA had been closed down after 9/11, IAD would be one of the biggest hubs in the country. Clearly the Washington area is very large and very high-income. It certainly has the traffic base to support a large amount of flying, including overseas. It's also the only airport in the northeast that has plenty of room for expansion. Also, with a huge number of new flights added, its cost per passenger would come down pretty swiftly. It's a fantastic location for a hub, if it weren't for the fact that all the premium traffic on the feeder flights is flying to DCA.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:13 am

RamblinMan wrote:
Another factor that would make such a prospect very difficult is that UA has been historically a minor player in BNA and has basically zero local ff base. Just a few years ago BNA was all express, and down the road CHA had no service at all. Delta and Southwest have loyal frequent flier bases in the area, and let's face it...both of them have a better reputation than UA, and those folks ain't switching over anytime soon.

UA would be better served by strengthening its existing hubs with more direct service to smaller cities and new international routes. BNA would be better served by ULCC growth, landing AM to MEX and/or one of the Iceland carriers, and maintaining the strength of the WN hub.


It seems that is the case in almost every airport around BNA's size (UA being a minor player).

The thing is though, idk if BNA can do what you describe. It seems ULCC's are avoiding BNA like the plague, so idk how much we will see there. G4 and NK are both oddly absent from BNA and F9 has minimal service (that rarely expands compared to BNA's peers). It may be because of the WN factor, but I don't think WN at BNA is as intimidating as some make it out to be. If a legacy (like UA) came in and established a hub, I guarantee over time, people would switch to UA because of its status as worldwide airline.

Now if WN gets their head out of the sand and begins codesharing with foreign airlines......... then all bets are off.
 
jubguy3
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:19 am

UA simply has too little market share in each of its hubs to make that kind of move right now. Do you want to know why DL is so successful? Because they dominate in ATL, DTW, MSP, and SLC, and they keep healthy shares in LAX, SEA, NYC, and BOS. They have comprehensive partnerships with bordering and international carriers (AM to the South, AFKL in Europe [arguably one of the most profitable and mature joint ventures], KE in Asia, and WS in Canada). AA has hubs with little competition, much like DL - CLT, DFW, etc,; and they have profitable partnerships with critical airlines like BA.

United has very little of that. They have no niche. Put simply, they are not in a position to open a new hub. Some markets are best left open, like AA in the Pacific Northwest (where a PDX hub would arguably be a good option), DL in Texas, and UA in the Southeast.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:24 am

ADrum23 wrote:
So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?


What about gates? FF loyalty?

Removing those variables as well, I don't see a reason they would be interested in that. A hub in BNA would inevitably take some capacity and connections from IAH and ORD, two hubs that UA is planning on adding lots of capacity to...

Adding a hub in a market the size of BNA is risky, and furthermore would it be worth it for them? I can't imagine the return on investment would be great...
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VictorKilo
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:27 am

RamblinMan wrote:
Another factor that would make such a prospect very difficult is that UA has been historically a minor player in BNA and has basically zero local ff base. Just a few years ago BNA was all express, and down the road CHA had no service at all. Delta and Southwest have loyal frequent flier bases in the area, and let's face it...both of them have a better reputation than UA, and those folks ain't switching over anytime soon


This is a very important point. The seeds had already been planted for DL growth in places like SEA and RDU due to an existing position in the market. No legacy airline can grow a hub without first planting the seeds, and if UA doesn’t even have any seeds planted at BNA or other potential SE hubs, they will not be growing a hub in the region.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:41 am

At this point in the US any of the big 3 that is doing anything other than putting every extra flight they can manage into one of their existing hubs is wasting money.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:47 am

A hub in Orlando? Sounds like a great idea to get a lot of traffic without making any money.
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ADrum23
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:53 am

Midwestindy wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?


What about gates? FF loyalty?

Removing those variables as well, I don't see a reason they would be interested in that. A hub in BNA would inevitably take some capacity and connections from IAH and ORD, two hubs that UA is planning on adding lots of capacity to...

Adding a hub in a market the size of BNA is risky, and furthermore would it be worth it for them? I can't imagine the return on investment would be great...


Gates would be a small challenge, but they could make it work with UA potentially taking over B and expanding it in a L-shaped Concourse. But the FF, as has already been pointed out, is virtually non-existent. BNA is a WN town with a combination of AA/DL as the preferred second option.

CLT is not much bigger than BNA and they have a large, profitable (but way oversized) hub in their market. However, to be fair, that has been being built for decades as a Piedmont/USAir hub that AA has now inherited.

BNA is fine as it is, this was just an idea if UA really truly wanted a southeastern hub. They have WAY bigger issues to deal with than worrying about this.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:04 am

ADrum23 wrote:
I don't think WN at BNA is as intimidating as some make it out to be. If a legacy (like UA) came in and established a hub, I guarantee over time, people would switch to UA because of its status as worldwide airline.


You "guarantee" it?!? LOL "over time" United hemorrhages cash trying to build up to a 200 flight/day hub waiting for the WN loyalists with their rapid reward companion passes who are used to 737s and free checked luggage to switch over to cramped CRJs, no ff benefits, and inferior service.

Oh but they fly international, you say... do you envision a plethora of Europe or Asia services from BNA in this hypothetical hub scenario? LHR, FRA, NRT probably... but anywhere else you're going to connect through another hub anyway. And BNA-LHR already exists.

The only purpose of this hub would be to have somewhere to funnel yankees down to Florida. Spirit already has those folks covered.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:07 am

I can't see UA opening another hub because it seems like they are usually at least 3rd and a lot of the time 4th at most of the bigger airports behind AA/DL/WN except at their current hubs or former hubs. They are too far behind to catch up now without a major shift at them, which would take some time. They are just too small of a presence at BNA right now.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?


What about gates? FF loyalty?

Removing those variables as well, I don't see a reason they would be interested in that. A hub in BNA would inevitably take some capacity and connections from IAH and ORD, two hubs that UA is planning on adding lots of capacity to...

Adding a hub in a market the size of BNA is risky, and furthermore would it be worth it for them? I can't imagine the return on investment would be great...


Gates would be a small challenge, but they could make it work with UA potentially taking over B and expanding it in a L-shaped Concourse. But the FF, as has already been pointed out, is virtually non-existent. BNA is a WN town with a combination of AA/DL as the preferred second option.

CLT is not much bigger than BNA and they have a large, profitable (but way oversized) hub in their market. However, to be fair, that has been being built for decades as a Piedmont/USAir hub that AA has now inherited.

BNA is fine as it is, this was just an idea if UA really truly wanted a southeastern hub. They have WAY bigger issues to deal with than worrying about this.


CLT has the banking industry to fill the front cabin to a lot of destinations. BNA doesn't have that.
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Themotionman
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:43 am

United cant build a hub and entrench their current hubs at the same time. They are inflaming Wall St enough as it is just expanding by 4-6%. Where will United draw capacity from? LAX? No! SFO? No! DEN? No! ORD? No! IAH? No! EWR? No! IAD? Maybe, but that is counterproductive considering everyone is saying IAD is United's best bet for more south east presence. WN will bully UA in BNA and UA will only prise WN FFs when they offer more than WN. That will mean, not just CRJ200s and E145s on every route but main line frequencies and non stop international service.
 
afcjets
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:03 pm

incitatus wrote:
A hub in Orlando? Sounds like a great idea to get a lot of traffic without making any money.


UA tried to make MCO a hub in the early 1990s at the same time it was a hub for DL.
 
afcjets
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:08 pm

UA already has two hubs in the Central Time Zone. No other airline besides WN has more than two hubs there. AA did for a while after they purchased TW and back when BNA was a hub for them too.
 
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STT757
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:14 pm

IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.
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FlyPNS1
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:36 pm

STT757 wrote:
IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.


IAD is far from ideal, but it's the best option UA has. If UA was more committed, they could make IAD work as a better Southeastern hub. However, UA has better things to do with their resources.

BNA and RDU would both be spectacular disasters for UA. Too much competition and not enough local traffic to make either very profitable.
 
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:43 pm

STT757 wrote:
IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.


I'll give you Delaware but please stop about New Jersey. The part of southern New Jersey that is parallel to IAD is the end of a long thin peninsula that runs several miles out into the Delaware bay. It's not even close to being parallel with Camden, Atlantic City or Millville which is where the bulk of the population of South Jersey is located.
 
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southwest1675
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:52 pm

Well I would see Concourse A becoming an L shape.
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LAXdude1023
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:42 pm

STT757 wrote:
IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.


The answer to UA's lack of a Southeast hub issue is simple: there isnt going to be one. UA has said this in many an interview.
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STT757
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:54 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
STT757 wrote:
IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.


I'll give you Delaware but please stop about New Jersey. The part of southern New Jersey that is parallel to IAD is the end of a long thin peninsula that runs several miles out into the Delaware bay. It's not even close to being parallel with Camden, Atlantic City or Millville which is where the bulk of the population of South Jersey is located.


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evank516
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:04 pm

axiom wrote:
IAD is their SE hub. That's as good as it gets, limits and all.


Agreed. And if they wanted to capitalize on flowing traffic to the southeast, then they would have done it through IAD. It's not a bad location to do so. While WN may do it through BNA, it does it through BWI too. I only bring up BWI because it's a lot of the same metro area as IAD.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:05 pm

STT757 wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
STT757 wrote:
IAD is not the answer to the need of a Southeast hub, IAD is as far South as Southern New Jersey. Much of the State of Delaware is further South than IAD. IAD is the same distance from Charlotte as it is from Toronto Canada.


I'll give you Delaware but please stop about New Jersey. The part of southern New Jersey that is parallel to IAD is the end of a long thin peninsula that runs several miles out into the Delaware bay. It's not even close to being parallel with Camden, Atlantic City or Millville which is where the bulk of the population of South Jersey is located.


When I'm in Cape May the DC radio stations come in loud and clear.


OK...Cape May is tiny sea town at the end of the peninsula. Can't pick up DC stations in Camden or Atlantic City. Can't even pick up DC stations in Wilmington, Delaware. I used be able to pick up London, Ontario analog TV stations in Cleveland, does that make London part of the Cleveland metro? Plus to get to DC from Cape May requires back tracking all the way to Wilmington and going through Baltimore. Or is there a ferry to Delaware? Even still, it's not really part of the area.

Sure it's NJ but it's a tiny part of it and not the bulk of South Jersey which is well north of Cape May.
 
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tlecam
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:08 pm

tphuang wrote:
There is only one legacy carrier currently capable of starting new hub or focus cities. That is delta. And everyone who reads my posts knows I am not a dl fanboy. It takes a lot of money to overcome lower cost competition to build up a new hub.

Ua simply does not have fortress hubs like clt or atl that brings in huge margins. Too much low cost competition in all of its major hubs. They are doing the right thing by solidifying it's hubs first by adding more of those higher yielding less served smaller airports. So these hubs need to become more profitable first and then they can pursue new strategic hubs.


:checkmark:

And further to this point, given the strategy to return their existing hubs to “natural share”, per the latest earnings call, where would the capital and aircraft come from to launch a new hub, whether it be BNA or anywhere else?
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janders
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:25 pm

tlecam wrote:
And further to this point, given the strategy to return their existing hubs to “natural share”, per the latest earnings call, where would the capital and aircraft come from to launch a new hub, whether it be BNA or anywhere else?


:checkmark:

Everyone here is babbling nonsense.

All one needs to do is read management commentary LAXIntl posted in Reply #6 to see its not going to happen.

At time when UA is already complaining about being undersized, it will not rob its existing hubs even further to go on an adventure in the south.
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FlyPNS1
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:52 pm

evank516 wrote:
axiom wrote:
IAD is their SE hub. That's as good as it gets, limits and all.


Agreed. And if they wanted to capitalize on flowing traffic to the southeast, then they would have done it through IAD. It's not a bad location to do so. While WN may do it through BNA, it does it through BWI too. I only bring up BWI because it's a lot of the same metro area as IAD.


Exactly. If UA wanted to they could add many southern (and northern) cities to IAD and improve flows and connectivity. There are small cities (like TRI and AVL) that could be connected to IAD and offer competitive connections to northeastern markets (plus international) if UA desired. However, UA has other priorities that are likely to produce more profits.
 
DaufuskieGuy
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:07 pm

UA needs to be patient and play the long game with IAD, it can only grow as the area around it does also (and Amazon 2nd HQ would be a big boost) also DCA will always be limited in the service it can offer. Remember they have the lions share of the presumably lucrative intercon/transcon traffic already. My guess is that's their strategy
 
incitatus
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:25 pm

LAXdude1023 wrote:

CLT has the banking industry to fill the front cabin to a lot of destinations. BNA doesn't have that.


Not clear to me banking in CLT has a big influence in first/business class. At least in long-haul, what gives CLT an edge in first/business class long-haul is all the German companies based in the Carolinas that boost traffic to Europe.

BNA has entertainment industry traffic, though probably significantly smaller than banking + german business.
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jph7291
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:14 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
STT757 wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:

I'll give you Delaware but please stop about New Jersey. The part of southern New Jersey that is parallel to IAD is the end of a long thin peninsula that runs several miles out into the Delaware bay. It's not even close to being parallel with Camden, Atlantic City or Millville which is where the bulk of the population of South Jersey is located.


When I'm in Cape May the DC radio stations come in loud and clear.


OK...Cape May is tiny sea town at the end of the peninsula. Can't pick up DC stations in Camden or Atlantic City. Can't even pick up DC stations in Wilmington, Delaware. I used be able to pick up London, Ontario analog TV stations in Cleveland, does that make London part of the Cleveland metro? Plus to get to DC from Cape May requires back tracking all the way to Wilmington and going through Baltimore. Or is there a ferry to Delaware? Even still, it's not really part of the area.

Sure it's NJ but it's a tiny part of it and not the bulk of South Jersey which is well north of Cape May.



Jeez. His point was that IAD is too far north. Take a breather.
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AAvgeek744
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:23 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
So with all this talk of AA wanting to grow at CLT and DL having the largest hub in the world at ATL, some have been pointing out how UA doesn't have a cheap hub in the southeast.

The solution to that? Establish a hub at BNA. It is the only logical city left in the southeast that could be hubbed, sustain the hub and do so very cheaply. There are a lot of benefits of putting a hub in the Nashville market as well.

I know this probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, but ignoring WN's large presence at BNA, let's say UA decided to build a hub at BNA, what would happen and how would it work?


What about gates? FF loyalty?

Removing those variables as well, I don't see a reason they would be interested in that. A hub in BNA would inevitably take some capacity and connections from IAH and ORD, two hubs that UA is planning on adding lots of capacity to...

Adding a hub in a market the size of BNA is risky, and furthermore would it be worth it for them? I can't imagine the return on investment would be great...


Gates would be a small challenge, but they could make it work with UA potentially taking over B and expanding it in a L-shaped Concourse. But the FF, as has already been pointed out, is virtually non-existent. BNA is a WN town with a combination of AA/DL as the preferred second option.

CLT is not much bigger than BNA and they have a large, profitable (but way oversized) hub in their market. However, to be fair, that has been being built for decades as a Piedmont/USAir hub that AA has now inherited.

BNA is fine as it is, this was just an idea if UA really truly wanted a southeastern hub. They have WAY bigger issues to deal with than worrying about this.


Gates a small challenge? Where exactly do you put 200-300 flights? You would need between 25-35 gates to accommodate that kind of operation. Short of building a new terminal, there is no way. This is one of the more absurd "what if" threads I've seen on a.net.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:35 pm

incitatus wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:

CLT has the banking industry to fill the front cabin to a lot of destinations. BNA doesn't have that.


Not clear to me banking in CLT has a big influence in first/business class. At least in long-haul, what gives CLT an edge in first/business class long-haul is all the German companies based in the Carolinas that boost traffic to Europe.

BNA has entertainment industry traffic, though probably significantly smaller than banking + german business.


It depends on the destination. To London, its very significant. To most other long haul destinations, it isnt as significant.

One way or the other, CLT has way more international O&D than BNA.
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ScottB
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:49 pm

LAXintl wrote:
First, southeast yields tend to be low.


To be fair, saying that "southeast yields tend to be low" (and I know that's a statement from UA management, not you) is a gross oversimplification. Yields to the large tourism markets, particularly in Florida, tend to be low. Yields to the second- and third-tier markets tend to be extremely high, even if the traffic volumes pale in comparison to MCO/TPA/RSW/FLL/MIA.

The hubs at ATL and CLT are extraordinarily profitable because they have low costs and are able to exploit high-yield traffic to, from, and between the smaller Southeast markets. While the Florida traffic may not make much money (or may even be marginally unprofitable), the traffic volumes help to support the use of larger equipment and greater frequencies to cities within and outside the region, allowing the hub carriers to access an even broader array of highly-profitable traffic flows.

ADrum23 wrote:
I don't think WN at BNA is as intimidating as some make it out to be. If a legacy (like UA) came in and established a hub, I guarantee over time, people would switch to UA because of its status as worldwide airline.


Well, no, they wouldn't -- primarily because business travel is overwhelmingly domestic and the UA domestic product isn't superior to WN unless you're paying more (and the corporate travel department might not be happy about employees spending more to fly UA). The Nashville-based passengers who do need long-haul international coverage are already mostly loyal to AA or DL, and there's not much of an advantage to connecting at FRA vs. ATL or PHL for access to most major European cities.

ncflyer wrote:
In addition to the points made--- I think a big reason that AA killed the BNA hub is it's not really well suited geographically to serve the east coast like CLT/RDU/or ATL is. It's well suited for Chicago to the southeast and caribbean, but out of the way from Boston, NY, DC, Philly, most of the cities with decent population. Nashville is farther west than Indy. Atlanta too is farther west than I'd ever think if I didn't look at a map, but it's already so well established.


I agree on the geography point; BNA is poorly-located for traffic flows between the Northeast and Florida. It's almost as out-of-the-way for a connection between LGA and MCO as DTW is. And besides, UA already has two hubs at EWR and IAD which can serve that function if desired. BNA has a decent location for connecting traffic within the Southeast region (excluding Florida) but beyond that it gains them little they can't already handle via the existing hubs at IAH, ORD, IAD, and EWR. And in the end UA can't be all things to all people, just as AA and DL each have their own geographic weaknesses as well.

Yes, ATL is farther west than most people realize, but Florida is also farther west than most people realize.
 
mikejepp
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:50 pm

How bout reopen the old Continental hub in GSO?
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Hypothetical: United builds a hub at BNA

Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:50 pm

LAXdude1023 wrote:
incitatus wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:

CLT has the banking industry to fill the front cabin to a lot of destinations. BNA doesn't have that.


Not clear to me banking in CLT has a big influence in first/business class. At least in long-haul, what gives CLT an edge in first/business class long-haul is all the German companies based in the Carolinas that boost traffic to Europe.

BNA has entertainment industry traffic, though probably significantly smaller than banking + german business.


It depends on the destination. To London, its very significant. To most other long haul destinations, it isnt as significant.

One way or the other, CLT has way more international O&D than BNA.


Macro level, that's true, though BNA almost certainly has more demand to East Asia than does CLT. That said, it's not relevant to this discussion (a UA hub in BNA is a dumb idea either way for a host of reasons).
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