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Fargo
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What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:57 am

With the rapid growth of Texas both economically and in population, Texas aviation has been getting interesting in recent years. DFW, DAL and AUS in particular have seen phenomenal growth over the last few years for a variety of reasons, and in the case of DFW and AUS, it appears they are just getting started. Even SAT seems to be turning the corner and has seen decent growth over the last two years.

However, the Houston airports, IAH and HOU, have been somewhat of a different story. They are not experiencing the same kind of growth. Why is this?

Some general observations I noticed

1. I have noticed that IAH in particular has been up and down over the course of the last 12 years as far as passenger numbers and has not seen consistent growth. Little new destinations have been added to recently, the most notable being ET announcing intentions to start IAH-ADD, but with no announced start date.

2. HOU has seen steady growth over the last few years, but not a whole lot of new destinations as of late (WN cutting MEX has been the most notable thing coming out of HOU lately).

3. UA is implementing its mid-continent hub strategy to bulk up IAH, ORD and DEN with more connecting traffic, but unless I am missing something, it would appear ORD and DEN have been reaping most of the fruits so far of this strategy. I also find it odd UA doesn't fly to CDG on their own medal. Shouldn't a major hub like IAH have flights on the hub carrier (UA) to all of the major European cities (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc) on their own metal?

4. With KE's departure at the end of 2017, IAH has no flights to ICN. I know the Korean population in Houston is not huge, but shouldn't a city like Houston still have enough business ties to make at least a seasonal flight work?

Why are Houston airports experiencing slower growth compared to elsewhere in the state and what can be done to reverse this (or is it starting to be reversed)? Please no negative comments, this is not a Houston bashing thread, Houston's economy is significant and I am just genuinely surprised at the slower growth of the airports.
 
jplatts
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:09 am

Fargo wrote:
Some general observations I noticed

2. HOU has seen steady growth over the last few years, but not a whole lot of new destinations as of late (WN cutting MEX has been the most notable thing coming out of HOU lately).


Last year, WN actually added HOU-SDF, HOU-MKE, and HOU-SJC nonstop service, extended HOU-CMH nonstop service to year-round, added Sunday-only HOU-SMF nonstop service, and brought back HOU-PHL nonstop service on a seasonal, Sunday-only basis.

There are still some more nonstop routes such as HOU-CVG, HOU-CLE, HOU-DTW, HOU-RSW, HOU-MSP, HOU-NAS, HOU-ONT, HOU-SFO, and HOU-PBI that could be added by WN at HOU.

WN could also bring back HOU-LIT nonstop service and extend HOU-LBB seasonal nonstop service to daily, year-round nonstop service.

WN will likely announce more nonstop routes out of HOU this year since WN is still expanding domestically at HOU and since WN has added more domestic nonstop routes out of HOU during the last 2 years.
 
Ishrion
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:20 am

As of right now, the new routes that are confirmed to open in the future at IAH are:

Frontier: LAS, MCO
UA: GSO, ONT, DRO
Ethiopian like you said without a confirmed date.

Not much compared to the dozens of new routes AA's opening at DFW.

UA currently serves London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt on their own metal from IAH but it does surprise me that they're not serving Paris while AF is.

Houston in general has attracted more foreign carriers than Dallas has. I believe including ET at IAH and AF at DFW, the count is around 21 to 13 which is a huge difference.

However, DFW is AA's superhub and has a LOT more foreign destinations that they serve on their own metal.

I'm not sure what the international destination count is for each DFW/IAH, but if anyone knows, I'd like to know it.

UA has been focusing growth at other hubs while adding a couple of cities to IAH.

It seems like UA is letting the other airlines do the flying to IAH.
They're not being aggressive like AA at DFW, launching DFW-KEF when WOW and FI announced their flights(which both carriers have left DFW), and going double daily to CDG a couple months after AF announced DFW.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:27 am

United cut lots of domestic routes to and from IAH after the UA/CO merger. IAH is too far south to be an east-west domestic hub, but it was the closest to a midcontinent hub that CO had. DFW is already AA's midcontinent east-west hub. UA already had ORD and DEN for midcontinent and western east-west connections. Also there was the oil price collapse in 2014 to 2016 that cut demand for oil and gas travel in Houston from both IAH and HOU.
 
YoungDon
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:57 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
United cut lots of domestic routes to and from IAH after the UA/CO merger. IAH is too far south to be an east-west domestic hub, but it was the closest to a midcontinent hub that CO had. DFW is already AA's midcontinent east-west hub. UA already had ORD and DEN for midcontinent and western east-west connections. Also there was the oil price collapse in 2014 to 2016 that cut demand for oil and gas travel in Houston from both IAH and HOU.


Basically all of the above and then Harvey in 2017 delayed Houston's recovery from the oil bust.

2018s numbers are much more positive and reflect the regions air traffic bouncing back strongly. This growth is also not out of line with the other Texas airports if you look at 2018 total passenger growth, by airport:

AUS +13.9%
SAT +10.8%
HOU +7.7%
IAH +7.6%
DAL +3.2%
DFW +3.0%

I do expect DFW to register stronger growth this year as a result of a lot of new AA routes coming online, but Houston airports look to be regaining their growth footing after a rough 3-4 years in terms of the economy and natural disasters.

United's role for IAH kind of is what it is, and it will never have the same level of importance as it did in the CO network. But it's good to see the airline make adds where it makes sense and other carriers have generally done a good job in filling in any gaps.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:57 am

One part of IAH that I find interesting--and that has not been discussed much--is the Spirit focus city. It has seen a few international cuts (especially after its ambitious 2015 Latin America expansion) but has mostly remained steady. Do you think Spirit is in a position to grow here?

Also, asking for Houstonians--are most loyal to United or Southwest?
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MIflyer12
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:01 am

Fargo wrote:
With the rapid growth of Texas both economically and in population, Texas aviation has been getting interesting in recent years. DFW, DAL and AUS in particular have seen phenomenal growth over the last few years for a variety of reasons, and in the case of DFW and AUS, it appears they are just getting started. Even SAT seems to be turning the corner and has seen decent growth over the last two years.

However, the Houston airports, IAH and HOU, have been somewhat of a different story. They are not experiencing the same kind of growth. Why is this?


Have you actually charted five or more years of passenger growth, instead of % growth, which can be distorted by DAL and AUS starting from a much lower base than IAH?
 
Antarius
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:13 am

maps4ltd wrote:
Also, asking for Houstonians--are most loyal to United or Southwest?


AA for me. WN doesn't have the international reach or partners and ever since $mi$ek ruined UA and CO, i stay far far away. AA also flies out of HOU and IAH, which is helpful depending on where I am at the time.

HOU recently got service to MIA on AA, which I was quite appreciative of. HOU is a really nice airport.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
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piedmontf284000
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:27 am

From IAH, UA flies to SYD, 7 South American Cities, 10 Caribbean cities, 10 Central American Cities, 21 Mexican Cities, and 5 European cities, and they have partners to AUK, PEK, NRT, IST, and TPE. To Canada they fly YVR, YCC, YYZ, YEG, and partner with AC to YYZ, YYC (WS also flies here), and YUL. Domestically they fly to 113 cities either mainline or via UX including Hawaii and Alaska. I think they have a very nice compliment of cities throughout the world. If they need to, they can use DEN, ORD, and IAD to move their passengers to European or Asian cities that aren't served by IAH.

From Hobby, WN domestically flies to 50 cities and serves 4 Mexican cities, 3 Central American, and two Caribbean destinations.

It seems like Houston is very well served. The oil market has been a up and down the last several years and there is no end in sight to the volatility. Whether a good or bad oil market has any effect on flights to/from Houston remains to be seen. What is known though is that both Houston airports are still growing at a decent rate, and in fact are growing more rapidly than either Dallas airport.

In the meantime, UA will continue to use IAH as their main Central American/South American/Caribbean gateway. Southwest will do the same. Geographically it just makes sense. UA and WN are very happy with what they have in their respective Houston airports. Don't fix what isn't broken
 
Fargo
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:45 am

piedmontf284000 wrote:
From IAH, UA flies to SYD, 7 South American Cities, 10 Caribbean cities, 10 Central American Cities, 21 Mexican Cities, and 5 European cities, and they have partners to AUK, PEK, NRT, IST, and TPE. To Canada they fly YVR, YCC, YYZ, YEG, and partner with AC to YYZ, YYC (WS also flies here), and YUL. Domestically they fly to 113 cities either mainline or via UX including Hawaii and Alaska. I think they have a very nice compliment of cities throughout the world. If they need to, they can use DEN, ORD, and IAD to move their passengers to European or Asian cities that aren't served by IAH.

From Hobby, WN domestically flies to 50 cities and serves 4 Mexican cities, 3 Central American, and two Caribbean destinations.

It seems like Houston is very well served. The oil market has been a up and down the last several years and there is no end in sight to the volatility. Whether a good or bad oil market has any effect on flights to/from Houston remains to be seen. What is known though is that both Houston airports are still growing at a decent rate, and in fact are growing more rapidly than either Dallas airport.

In the meantime, UA will continue to use IAH as their main Central American/South American/Caribbean gateway. Southwest will do the same. Geographically it just makes sense. UA and WN are very happy with what they have in their respective Houston airports. Don't fix what isn't broken


Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.
 
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drerx7
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:15 am

Fargo wrote:
piedmontf284000 wrote:
From IAH, UA flies to SYD, 7 South American Cities, 10 Caribbean cities, 10 Central American Cities, 21 Mexican Cities, and 5 European cities, and they have partners to AUK, PEK, NRT, IST, and TPE. To Canada they fly YVR, YCC, YYZ, YEG, and partner with AC to YYZ, YYC (WS also flies here), and YUL. Domestically they fly to 113 cities either mainline or via UX including Hawaii and Alaska. I think they have a very nice compliment of cities throughout the world. If they need to, they can use DEN, ORD, and IAD to move their passengers to European or Asian cities that aren't served by IAH.

From Hobby, WN domestically flies to 50 cities and serves 4 Mexican cities, 3 Central American, and two Caribbean destinations.

It seems like Houston is very well served. The oil market has been a up and down the last several years and there is no end in sight to the volatility. Whether a good or bad oil market has any effect on flights to/from Houston remains to be seen. What is known though is that both Houston airports are still growing at a decent rate, and in fact are growing more rapidly than either Dallas airport.

In the meantime, UA will continue to use IAH as their main Central American/South American/Caribbean gateway. Southwest will do the same. Geographically it just makes sense. UA and WN are very happy with what they have in their respective Houston airports. Don't fix what isn't broken


Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.

With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?
HOUSTON, TEXAS
 
Fargo
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:30 am

drerx7 wrote:
Fargo wrote:
piedmontf284000 wrote:
From IAH, UA flies to SYD, 7 South American Cities, 10 Caribbean cities, 10 Central American Cities, 21 Mexican Cities, and 5 European cities, and they have partners to AUK, PEK, NRT, IST, and TPE. To Canada they fly YVR, YCC, YYZ, YEG, and partner with AC to YYZ, YYC (WS also flies here), and YUL. Domestically they fly to 113 cities either mainline or via UX including Hawaii and Alaska. I think they have a very nice compliment of cities throughout the world. If they need to, they can use DEN, ORD, and IAD to move their passengers to European or Asian cities that aren't served by IAH.

From Hobby, WN domestically flies to 50 cities and serves 4 Mexican cities, 3 Central American, and two Caribbean destinations.

It seems like Houston is very well served. The oil market has been a up and down the last several years and there is no end in sight to the volatility. Whether a good or bad oil market has any effect on flights to/from Houston remains to be seen. What is known though is that both Houston airports are still growing at a decent rate, and in fact are growing more rapidly than either Dallas airport.

In the meantime, UA will continue to use IAH as their main Central American/South American/Caribbean gateway. Southwest will do the same. Geographically it just makes sense. UA and WN are very happy with what they have in their respective Houston airports. Don't fix what isn't broken


Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.

With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?


I’m talking about steady growth over the last decade or so. Until this last year, IAH had been hovering back and forth in 39-42 million pax since 2006. Two years it goes up then two years it goes down, etc. Meanwhile, DFW bottomed out in 2009 during the recession and has seen an increase every year since, with it likely crossing the 70 million mark this year.
 
YoungDon
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:39 am

Fargo wrote:
drerx7 wrote:
Fargo wrote:

Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.

With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?


I’m talking about steady growth over the last decade or so. Until this last year, IAH had been hovering back and forth in 39-42 million pax since 2006. Two years it goes up then two years it goes down, etc. Meanwhile, DFW bottomed out in 2009 during the recession and has seen an increase every year since, with it likely crossing the 70 million mark this year.


2006-07 was the absolute height of the former CO hub. The recession happened right after that, followed by UA's network rationalization following the merger, followed by the oil bust, and then finally Harvey at the tail end of all of that. There's your answer. I'd expect growth to continue at a good clip going forward provided no economic craziness.

DFW itself was similarly stagnant between 1997 and 2013 during a time of generally little growth there from AA along with the Delta dehubbing. For these large hub airports, dynamics of the hub operators are the biggest driver of passenger gains and losses over time, even moreso than economic cycles (though the two are often related).
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:43 am

Fargo wrote:
drerx7 wrote:
Fargo wrote:

Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.

With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?


I’m talking about steady growth over the last decade or so. Until this last year, IAH had been hovering back and forth in 39-42 million pax since 2006. Two years it goes up then two years it goes down, etc. Meanwhile, DFW bottomed out in 2009 during the recession and has seen an increase every year since, with it likely crossing the 70 million mark this year.


The Dallas-Fort Worth region is more tied to the national economy of the US, while Houston is more tied to the oil and gas industry. DFW is a huge east-west midcontinent hub for AA. When the national economy is in recession, DFW is likcly to have a downturn in traffic. When the oil indutstry is down, O and D from the oil and gas industry in Houston is down.
 
alggag
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:45 am

maps4ltd wrote:
Also, asking for Houstonians--are most loyal to United or Southwest?


Houstonian here and my preference is WN, then everybody else, then UA. Most people I know just default to UA though and love to complain about hub captive pricing and what not apparently not realizing that other airlines fly here also.

WN does become more popular for people who live on southeast of the city where HOU is much more convenient than IAH.
 
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ua900
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:08 am

Fargo wrote:
Some general observations I noticed

3. UA is implementing its mid-continent hub strategy to bulk up IAH, ORD and DEN with more connecting traffic, but unless I am missing something, it would appear ORD and DEN have been reaping most of the fruits so far of this strategy. I also find it odd UA doesn't fly to CDG on their own medal. Shouldn't a major hub like IAH have flights on the hub carrier (UA) to all of the major European cities (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc) on their own metal?

4. With KE's departure at the end of 2017, IAH has no flights to ICN. I know the Korean population in Houston is not huge, but shouldn't a city like Houston still have enough business ties to make at least a seasonal flight work?


3. IMO IAH does reasonably well, especially with UA and LatAm and the Caribbean, it's truly their version of AA's MIA now. UA seems to be investing a lot of money in the clubs and at C North after what seems like years of neglect (similar story in DEN and even ORD now).

Europe is still mostly done from EWR and ORD, same with SFO and flights to Asia, but UA @ IAH has three out of the four cities you mentioned covered with non-stops. If every major hub had flights to all of the major cities, it would be overkill, especially if the O&D demand isn't quite there. Same can be said for all the major Asian cities, especially once we factor in *A partners at UA hubs plus *A partners flying to the U.S. from their respective hubs (e.g. A++ flying, NH / J+, and soon to be AV, CM LatAm JV, which won't just impact IAH but also the other hubs). With the LatAm JV in particular, I think you'll see lots of expansion at IAH. As for the Texas economy overall, it is still the only state with two Amex Centurion Lounges, so that says a lot about the spending power in general.

4. UA has SFO for their own metal flights to ICN, and LAX sees 3x 380s plus a 777 every day. That's a lot of non-stop capacity for *A and KE, and the international traffic is often bundled near the respective coastlines with domestic connections in between. For IAH that directionally includes more LatAm and Caribbean flights than say ORD or DEN. Also, from an anecdotal passenger perspective, intercontinental O&D flying out of Texas east or west is noticeably more expensive than either east or west coast, especially in business class.
2020: AMS | BRU | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | IAH | LAX | MCO | MUC | ORD | PTY | SFO | TXL
 
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DalDC9Bos
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:28 am

Spent much of my life in Houston. Live in the East now, but family is still there. For my fam, it has always been DL. After Delta, it is WN and last is CO/UA.

As mentioned above with AA, DL has always flown from HOU and IAH...provides some options and pricing differences. In the past, DL had a focus city at IAH and during the times of the DFW hub, it was a quick hop north to access a great number of destinations. Their level of service, as with AA, stood out distinctly from CO/UA, even if meant making a connection. WN has always been popular with domestic flyers, large families, and those who live south of I-10.

CO and now UA flyers seem to be mostly business types flying on their companies contract w/the airline. Even under Bethune, CO wasn't particularly known for being a friendly one. In addition, the drive to IAH can be long for many, especially in traffic, and has higher parking rates. HOU is a smaller airport, but it is more of a city airport and one can possibly get from the curb to check-in to gate in 15 min flat. It can take 15 min at IAH just to drive from the freeway exit to the terminals or make a loop between terminals.
 
YoungDon
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:49 pm

ua900 wrote:
Fargo wrote:
4. UA has SFO for their own metal flights to ICN, and LAX sees 3x 380s plus a 777 every day. That's a lot of non-stop capacity for *A and KE, and the international traffic is often bundled near the respective coastlines with domestic connections in between. For IAH that directionally includes more LatAm and Caribbean flights than say ORD or DEN. Also, from an anecdotal passenger perspective, intercontinental O&D flying out of Texas east or west is noticeably more expensive than either east or west coast, especially in business class.


I think an ICN-IAH flight is doable, but I'd like to see OZ try it. I think they are the most natural fit to fly it and make money over KE or UA. I still dont think they have the airplanes to try it quite yet, but perhaps they will when they get some more A350s on property.
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:17 pm

You’re surprised by the up and down passenger numbers over the past 12 years? Now plot those numbers against the up and down price of oil price 2006. There may lie your answer. Two oil booms and two big busts with a mini bust since October 2018.
 
rbavfan
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:40 pm

Fargo wrote:
With the rapid growth of Texas both economically and in population, Texas aviation has been getting interesting in recent years. DFW, DAL and AUS in particular have seen phenomenal growth over the last few years for a variety of reasons, and in the case of DFW and AUS, it appears they are just getting started. Even SAT seems to be turning the corner and has seen decent growth over the last two years.

However, the Houston airports, IAH and HOU, have been somewhat of a different story. They are not experiencing the same kind of growth. Why is this?

Some general observations I noticed

1. I have noticed that IAH in particular has been up and down over the course of the last 12 years as far as passenger numbers and has not seen consistent growth. Little new destinations have been added to recently, the most notable being ET announcing intentions to start IAH-ADD, but with no announced start date.

2. HOU has seen steady growth over the last few years, but not a whole lot of new destinations as of late (WN cutting MEX has been the most notable thing coming out of HOU lately).

3. UA is implementing its mid-continent hub strategy to bulk up IAH, ORD and DEN with more connecting traffic, but unless I am missing something, it would appear ORD and DEN have been reaping most of the fruits so far of this strategy. I also find it odd UA doesn't fly to CDG on their own medal. Shouldn't a major hub like IAH have flights on the hub carrier (UA) to all of the major European cities (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc) on their own metal?

4. With KE's departure at the end of 2017, IAH has no flights to ICN. I know the Korean population in Houston is not huge, but shouldn't a city like Houston still have enough business ties to make at least a seasonal flight work?

Why are Houston airports experiencing slower growth compared to elsewhere in the state and what can be done to reverse this (or is it starting to be reversed)? Please no negative comments, this is not a Houston bashing thread, Houston's economy is significant and I am just genuinely surprised at the slower growth of the airports.


Oil market has shrunk and it's the main factor for Houston's airports & economy.
Denver is better suited for both North/south & east west out of the hub. IAH is too far south to be as effective for use as an east west hub.
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:47 pm

The premise of this is off IMO. The Houston airports have grown internationally over the last decade. Houston is by far the most international and most diverse city in Texas. Also, Energy/Oil/gas is only ~50% of Houston metro's economy. Healthcare, Shipping, and Aerospace are huge (even Tech is huge numbers wise). Healthcare/medicine especially is a massive business and #2.

There is a reason IAH has a higher international pax count than DFW, for example. Even with AA's big presence. Depending on how far back one goes, numbers can be used to show growth or slow-down. Ten years, 12, 5, 3, 20, etc. AUS was starting from scratch basically so of course it is growing. Comparing AUS with IAH or DFW is not valid IMO. Major differences in the metro size and economy.

As for my choice, UA far and away number 1. As a Global Services flying internationally often, there is no other first choice for me. AA is my distant 2nd, though I appreciate the lounge at Bush now.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:58 pm

1) oil booms and busts
2) Hurricane Harvey
3) Dallas is the center for Korea O&D in Texas not Houston. Houston has more O&D to China, Southeast Asian, and Japan, but not Korea.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:03 pm

FlyingSicilian wrote:
The premise of this is off IMO. The Houston airports have grown internationally over the last decade. Houston is by far the most international and most diverse city in Texas. Also, Energy/Oil/gas is only ~50% of Houston metro's economy. Healthcare, Shipping, and Aerospace are huge (even Tech is huge numbers wise). Healthcare/medicine especially is a massive business and #2.

There is a reason IAH has a higher international pax count than DFW, for example. Even with AA's big presence. Depending on how far back one goes, numbers can be used to show growth or slow-down. Ten years, 12, 5, 3, 20, etc. AUS was starting from scratch basically so of course it is growing. Comparing AUS with IAH or DFW is not valid IMO. Major differences in the metro size and economy.

As for my choice, UA far and away number 1. As a Global Services flying internationally often, there is no other first choice for me. AA is my distant 2nd, though I appreciate the lounge at Bush now.


To be fair saying oil and gas is only 50% of the economy can be misleading for two reasons. The first is that oil and gas accounts for wayyy more than 50% of premium travel from Houston. Other industries like healthcare don’t drive international travel. The 2nd is that if one industry has 50% of the economy, the city has a very non-diverse economy.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
GreenCountry
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:33 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:15 pm

Fargo wrote:
drerx7 wrote:
Fargo wrote:

Let me be clear I am not suggesting IAH or HOU is underserved, what I am saying is I am surprised by the up and down pax numbers for IAH over the last 12 years whereas DFW, after an up and down decade during the 2000's, has seen an increase in pax every year since 2010. I know UA at IAH will never even come close to the scale that AA is at DFW, but I am just a bit surprised IAH is not seeing more steady growth.

With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?


I’m talking about steady growth over the last decade or so. Until this last year, IAH had been hovering back and forth in 39-42 million pax since 2006. Two years it goes up then two years it goes down, etc. Meanwhile, DFW bottomed out in 2009 during the recession and has seen an increase every year since, with it likely crossing the 70 million mark this year.


Some facts:

In 2006, IAH had 35,139,422 passengers (not in the 39-42 million hovering range claimed)
In 2018, IAH had 43,807,539 passengers
Up 24.67%

In 2006, DFW had 60,226,138 passengers
In 2018, DFW had 69,112,607 passengers
Up 14.76%
 
Fargo
Topic Author
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:00 am

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:15 am

GreenCountry wrote:
Fargo wrote:
drerx7 wrote:
With HOU and IAH showing 7% growth...is it really not seeing steady growth?


I’m talking about steady growth over the last decade or so. Until this last year, IAH had been hovering back and forth in 39-42 million pax since 2006. Two years it goes up then two years it goes down, etc. Meanwhile, DFW bottomed out in 2009 during the recession and has seen an increase every year since, with it likely crossing the 70 million mark this year.


Some facts:

In 2006, IAH had 35,139,422 passengers (not in the 39-42 million hovering range claimed)
In 2018, IAH had 43,807,539 passengers
Up 24.67%

In 2006, DFW had 60,226,138 passengers
In 2018, DFW had 69,112,607 passengers
Up 14.76%


Incorrect.

In 2006, IAH had 42,550,432 passengers
In 2018, IAH had 43,807,539 passengers
Up only 2.95% since 2006

Traffic at IAH has fluctuated up and down since. DFW meanwhile, after fluctuating between 55 to 60 million from the late 1990s until bottoming out in 2009, has seen an increase every year since.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8415
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:38 am

I still don’t understand why IAH-CDG was
cancelled, it was a very successful route
flown by Cal for many years


To give that market to AF made no sense
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
justloveplanes
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:38 am

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:23 am

maps4ltd wrote:
One part of IAH that I find interesting--and that has not been discussed much--is the Spirit focus city. It has seen a few international cuts (especially after its ambitious 2015 Latin America expansion) but has mostly remained steady. Do you think Spirit is in a position to grow here?

Also, asking for Houstonians--are most loyal to United or Southwest?


I really don't have a choice but to be loyal to UA. It's price competitive and the fastest way to get everywhere globally out of Houston. At one point in the not too distant past, I think I read UA was 80% of the departures from IAH. If you fly a lot of international (like me) what else can one do? Loyalty program pays off better for UA than LUV for people like me.

NOTE: So many elites here, the elite security line is often slower than the non-elites security line.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6164
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:55 am

Despite being only 250 miles apart and being rivals, comparing DFW to IAH is a false equivalency.

1) DFW is AA's jack of all trades hub. IAH is not a jack of all trades hub for UA. IAH is more of a niche hub in two regards. It is UA's gateway to Latin America and it has a large domestic connection component. DFW is pretty much everything to AA and the UA equivalent is ORD not IAH.

2) The 250 miles make a big difference. If you're trying to connect domestic passengers and they have to fly an extra 250 miles to get to IAH and an extra 250 miles once they leave IAH to their destination, that adds a lot in terms of cost of fuel and flight operation. If you're talking a hub with 500-600 departures that adds up. Its much cheaper to operate a domestic hub from DFW than IAH for that reason.

3) UA doesn't have a megahub strategy that AA and DL have. They don't seem interested in building one massive hub at all.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
Pbb152
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2000 2:57 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:08 am

Max Q wrote:
I still don’t understand why IAH-CDG was
cancelled, it was a very successful route
flown by Cal for many years


To give that market to AF made no sense


Airlines don't drop "very successful" routes. Obviously it was not the success you think it was. It also seems to be somewhat seasonal as AF drops down to their smallest widebody, the A332, for the entire IATA winter season.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6164
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:51 pm

Max Q wrote:
I still don’t understand why IAH-CDG was
cancelled, it was a very successful route
flown by Cal for many years


To give that market to AF made no sense


I was told by a very reliable source that IAH-CDG was never exactly a barn burner of a route even when CO and AF were alliance partners. IAH-LHR and IAH-AMS have always been stellar.

IAH-CDG has a heavy J component, but Schlumberger is a huge part of that and AF has the contract with them.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
slider
Posts: 7602
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:35 pm

DalDC9Bos wrote:
Spent much of my life in Houston. Live in the East now, but family is still there. For my fam, it has always been DL. After Delta, it is WN and last is CO/UA.

As mentioned above with AA, DL has always flown from HOU and IAH...provides some options and pricing differences. In the past, DL had a focus city at IAH and during the times of the DFW hub, it was a quick hop north to access a great number of destinations. Their level of service, as with AA, stood out distinctly from CO/UA, even if meant making a connection. WN has always been popular with domestic flyers, large families, and those who live south of I-10.

CO and now UA flyers seem to be mostly business types flying on their companies contract w/the airline. Even under Bethune, CO wasn't particularly known for being a friendly one. In addition, the drive to IAH can be long for many, especially in traffic, and has higher parking rates. HOU is a smaller airport, but it is more of a city airport and one can possibly get from the curb to check-in to gate in 15 min flat. It can take 15 min at IAH just to drive from the freeway exit to the terminals or make a loop between terminals.


I don't know what you're talking about, because CO's customer service metrics were outstanding. And parking cost? Dude, there are scores of parking places on JFK and Will Clayton that are like $5/day!! Finally, among I-69 (59-Eastex), Hardy Toll Road and the Beltway, it's far easier to get to IAH *generally* speaking from anywhere in the Houston metro easier than it is to get to HOU, which is generally only down Gulf Fwy 45, or maybe Telephone Rd....it's still a bitch to get there more often than not, and the neighborhood ain't exactly great either.

Love the new terminal at HOU though and have enjoyed flying out of there when I do. But the terminal development in IAH, new concessions, UA's improved performance make IAH my go-to about 100% of the time.
 
YoungDon
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu May 31, 2001 9:33 am

Re: What is going on with the Houston airports (IAH and HOU)?

Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:09 pm

slider wrote:
DalDC9Bos wrote:
Spent much of my life in Houston. Live in the East now, but family is still there. For my fam, it has always been DL. After Delta, it is WN and last is CO/UA.

As mentioned above with AA, DL has always flown from HOU and IAH...provides some options and pricing differences. In the past, DL had a focus city at IAH and during the times of the DFW hub, it was a quick hop north to access a great number of destinations. Their level of service, as with AA, stood out distinctly from CO/UA, even if meant making a connection. WN has always been popular with domestic flyers, large families, and those who live south of I-10.

CO and now UA flyers seem to be mostly business types flying on their companies contract w/the airline. Even under Bethune, CO wasn't particularly known for being a friendly one. In addition, the drive to IAH can be long for many, especially in traffic, and has higher parking rates. HOU is a smaller airport, but it is more of a city airport and one can possibly get from the curb to check-in to gate in 15 min flat. It can take 15 min at IAH just to drive from the freeway exit to the terminals or make a loop between terminals.


I don't know what you're talking about, because CO's customer service metrics were outstanding. And parking cost? Dude, there are scores of parking places on JFK and Will Clayton that are like $5/day!! Finally, among I-69 (59-Eastex), Hardy Toll Road and the Beltway, it's far easier to get to IAH *generally* speaking from anywhere in the Houston metro easier than it is to get to HOU, which is generally only down Gulf Fwy 45, or maybe Telephone Rd....it's still a bitch to get there more often than not, and the neighborhood ain't exactly great either.

Love the new terminal at HOU though and have enjoyed flying out of there when I do. But the terminal development in IAH, new concessions, UA's improved performance make IAH my go-to about 100% of the time.


While I agree with you about CO's customer service (it was generally excellent imo), IAH is generally pretty hard (and more time consuming) to get to if you live south of I-10. I live near downtown south of I-10 and the fastest I have ever made it to the terminal lots is 31 minutes in the early morning with no traffic. On a normal day, you're talking about closer to 40 minutes and it can be worse. The toll road helps obviously, but you still have to get to 610 to catch it, which is a challenge at times.

On the other hand, HOU is 15 minutes away, and if traffic is bad on 45, taking Telephone Road only adds 5 minutes to the drive. Plus its a shorter walk from parking to the terminal, security is far quicker (for some reason, IAH security lines are perpetually slow), and its a shorter walk in-terminal. Apples to apples, HOU is an easier airport to deal with for a good chunk of the metro.

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