HouStrategies
Topic Author
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Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:14 pm

Kind of a random thought on UAL IAD growth I'm curious to get feedback on: 52 million people live in the northeast Boston-Washington corridor, and whole lot of them are not all that convenient to the few very congested mega-airports (I've personally dealt with this doing business in SW Connecticut). Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now? Is that possible?) to feed into IAD? Aimed at people who would happily endure a connection to be able to use a closer, less congested airport with easy parking and security (think HPN, MHT). I'm thinking the suburbs of Boston (who wants to fight their way downtown to fly if there's a suburban option?), NH, VT, RI, CT, Long Island, SE NJ, and the Philly suburbs. Would this make any sense?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:20 pm

HouStrategies wrote:
Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now?


Absolutely not. Look at how AA/DL/UA have been shedding props and small jets. Small airports - particularly in the Northeast and MidAtlantic - aren't too far from big airports that have non-stops to lots of destinations -- and price competition.

HouStrategies wrote:
I'm thinking the suburbs of Boston (who wants to fight their way downtown to fly if there's a suburban option?)


Lots of people, apparently. Look at how MHT, PVD, PSM and ORH have shrunk or stagnated vs. BOS.
Last edited by MIflyer12 on Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
1836Sam
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:20 pm

Usually schedule and nonstop service wins if you want any desirable yields.

As for the conversion of private airports (I assume you mean airports without commercial service), the big barrier would be obtaining Part 139 certification from the FAA, which is no walk in the park and not cheap. Not sure how many airports would want to take that leap.
 
kiowa
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:32 pm

UAL does a nice job with what they have to work with in IAD. I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.
 
1836Sam
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:33 pm

kiowa wrote:
UAL does a nice job with what they have to work with in IAD. I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.


UAL is in the driver's seat on that decision, so I wouldn't feel sorry for them.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:37 pm

IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.
 
727200
Posts: 633
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:54 pm

Just buy B6.

Problem solved.
 
HouStrategies
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:39 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:24 pm

727200 wrote:
Just buy B6.

Problem solved.


I've wondered about that. It would certainly tip the scales in their favor in NYC. But is it realistic? Would the feds even allow it?
 
evanb
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:30 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.


I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.
 
ncflyer
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm

I want to know what happened— UA seemed about a year ago to want to retrench on east coast— more connecting in IAD, more O/D in EWR. They put two mainlines a day at my home airport CLE to IAD shortly thereafter. Those mainilines didn’t last long at all and in fact in the winter UA flies 2 of 4 50 seaters on the route. Doesn’t seem like much of a commitment to any kind of strategy.
 
Scarebus34
Posts: 231
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:42 pm

HouStrategies wrote:
727200 wrote:
Just buy B6.

Problem solved.


I've wondered about that. It would certainly tip the scales in their favor in NYC. But is it realistic? Would the feds even allow it?

Tell me the last merger [acquisition] the feds didn’t allow...
 
HouStrategies
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:39 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:57 pm

Scarebus34 wrote:
HouStrategies wrote:
727200 wrote:
Just buy B6.

Problem solved.


I've wondered about that. It would certainly tip the scales in their favor in NYC. But is it realistic? Would the feds even allow it?

Tell me the last merger [acquisition] the feds didn’t allow...


I'm guessing this one?

Hawaiian Airlines' Planned Merger With Aloha Airlines Is Called Off
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1016353635960344880
 
ual763
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:25 pm

kiowa wrote:
UAL does a nice job with what they have to work with in IAD. I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.


True, but keep in mind on the C/D concourse, passengers don’t even really get to step outside of the gate door. They get off the plane, and then the tunnel routes them right away to the people mover. Don’t even get to see the interior of the terminal! Haha
From flying to the NOTAM office
 
SRT75
Posts: 235
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:44 pm

There is a fair amount of small east coast feed into IAD. Richmond, Norfolk, West Virginia, etc. But it's all on contract carriers (i.e. United Express) and I'm not sure how the economics work out for United on those deals. I suspect EAS subsidies float the cost for many of these services.

If you're suggesting "alternative" airports for major metropolitan areas (e.g., BWI for metro-DC, White Plains for New York, etc.) then your best bet is to look to LCCs. That was, after all, Southwest's original growth strategy.

For reasons that are mostly untrue, IAD is disfavored as the "domestic" Washington, DC, airport. The people that live in the city think it's "too far," and for many people in Maryland it actually IS too far. As long as they keep liberalizing DCA, IAD will struggle to attract domestic O & D.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:56 pm

HouStrategies wrote:
Kind of a random thought on UAL IAD growth I'm curious to get feedback on: 52 million people live in the northeast Boston-Washington corridor, and whole lot of them are not all that convenient to the few very congested mega-airports (I've personally dealt with this doing business in SW Connecticut). Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now? Is that possible?) to feed into IAD? Aimed at people who would happily endure a connection to be able to use a closer, less congested airport with easy parking and security (think HPN, MHT). I'm thinking the suburbs of Boston (who wants to fight their way downtown to fly if there's a suburban option?), NH, VT, RI, CT, Long Island, SE NJ, and the Philly suburbs. Would this make any sense?

Didn't Independence already try this ?

Maybe it would work now.


I think IAD is really United's to grow in now, and perhaps they need to use it as a way to get more traffic to the North East and Europe from the south. The silver line into IAD will help make IAD a better alternative than BWI for DC travel, but United really needs to work on relieving EWR traffic
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
1836Sam
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:58 pm

evanb wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.


I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.
 
FSDan
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:01 pm

ncflyer wrote:
I want to know what happened— UA seemed about a year ago to want to retrench on east coast— more connecting in IAD, more O/D in EWR. They put two mainlines a day at my home airport CLE to IAD shortly thereafter. Those mainilines didn’t last long at all and in fact in the winter UA flies 2 of 4 50 seaters on the route. Doesn’t seem like much of a commitment to any kind of strategy.


You've cited one small data point, which doesn't serve to disprove UA's strategy at IAD... Mainline is back on IAD-CLE this summer, as well as mainline additions to cities that haven't had mainline service on UA from IAD recently, or maybe ever (e.g. MSP, MCI, BNA). In addition to that, UA has moved multiple destinations from EWR to IAD: LEX, CHA, AVP, ITH, MHT, etc.
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
capitalflyer
Posts: 527
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:10 pm

IAD will continue to see growth from UA. Connecting traffic will continue to be shifted to IAD from EWR, but EWR will still have connectivity to many of those small airports as there is demand for NY connectivity.

I agree that other than taking connections from EWR, IAD's biggest growth potential is as a gateway to the southeast US. Both IAH and IAD are awkwardly positioned to compete with ATL, but IAD has room for connecting traffic and IAH would be better looking at O&D given the catchment area as well as continuing to be Latin American gateway. IAD should be the FL gateway for travelers not originating at a hub.
 
BayAreaFan0
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:13 pm

HouStrategies wrote:
Kind of a random thought on UAL IAD growth I'm curious to get feedback on: 52 million people live in the northeast Boston-Washington corridor, and whole lot of them are not all that convenient to the few very congested mega-airports (I've personally dealt with this doing business in SW Connecticut). Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now? Is that possible?) to feed into IAD? Aimed at people who would happily endure a connection to be able to use a closer, less congested airport with easy parking and security (think HPN, MHT). I'm thinking the suburbs of Boston (who wants to fight their way downtown to fly if there's a suburban option?), NH, VT, RI, CT, Long Island, SE NJ, and the Philly suburbs. Would this make any sense?


There's multiple airports serving this region so the traffic ends up being spread out across all the airports. It's harder to consolidate smaller routes like this than it is in say Atlanta.
 
FSDan
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:16 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
HouStrategies wrote:
Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now?


Absolutely not. Look at how AA/DL/UA have been shedding props and small jets.


The US3 have removed props, but UA still has a ton of 50-seaters, and has actually been adding quite a lot of service to small communities recently. Recent examples that come to mind:

SFO-STS
DEN-STS
LAX-SCK
LAX-PRC
DEN-PRC
DEN-FLG
DEN-CNY
DEN-VEL
DEN-PUB
DEN-LBL
DEN-HYS
ORD-SLN
DEN-BFF
DEN-LBF
DEN-EAR
DEN-PIR/ATY
ORD-RST
ORD-CGI
ORD-UIN
ORD-HHH
IAD-HHH
EWR-HHH
ORD-OGS
IAD-OGS
IAD-PBG
EWR-PQI

So I wouldn't be floored if UA decided to add routes from IAD to the likes of HPN, ISP, HVN, or ORH. However, I don't think they're going to be serving any airports that don't currently have any commercial service...
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
Junction
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:23 pm

kiowa wrote:
I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.


I connected through IAD on the way back to ORD form FRA a couple weeks ago, and having never been through there before was expecting some kind of horrible run down terminal experience due to similar comments on here like this. I honestly didn't think it was bad at all. The train to the UA Express flights was very impressive, and walking to the train through the C/D concourse was just fine. Plenty of restaurants, shops, United Clubs and all the usual amenities. Curious what all the hate is about exactly?
 
Boof02671
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:39 pm

Didn’t UA just change how IAD and EWR operate?
 
HouStrategies
Topic Author
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:52 pm

capitalflyer wrote:
IAD will continue to see growth from UA. Connecting traffic will continue to be shifted to IAD from EWR, but EWR will still have connectivity to many of those small airports as there is demand for NY connectivity.

I agree that other than taking connections from EWR, IAD's biggest growth potential is as a gateway to the southeast US. Both IAH and IAD are awkwardly positioned to compete with ATL, but IAD has room for connecting traffic and IAH would be better looking at O&D given the catchment area as well as continuing to be Latin American gateway. IAD should be the FL gateway for travelers not originating at a hub.


In this case, I'm thinking beyond just the southeast. The people I'm talking about in this northeast corridor could connect logically to pretty much the entire USA thru IAD. It could be compared to [email protected] and Florida. Delta can take pretty much anyone in Florida - whether from a large or small airport - and efficiently route them anywhere in the USA. UAL could do the same with IAD and the population in the Boston-Philly corridor that doesn't have easy access to BOS, LGA, JFK, EWR, or PHL (or they just prefer the ease of flying out of smaller airports - I was stunned how easy MHT was, and I know people in SW CT that would love more options out of HPN, HVN, or even SWF).
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:40 pm

1836Sam wrote:
evanb wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.


I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.


There may not be one but there is a strategy at UA to flow some regional traffic away from EWR and through IAD and push more connecting traffic through IAD. Whether you call it a reliever hub or not is semantics, given the 237 miles that separate these two hubs.
 
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spinotter
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:46 pm

Junction wrote:
kiowa wrote:
I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.


I connected through IAD on the way back to ORD form FRA a couple weeks ago, and having never been through there before was expecting some kind of horrible run down terminal experience due to similar comments on here like this. I honestly didn't think it was bad at all. The train to the UA Express flights was very impressive, and walking to the train through the C/D concourse was just fine. Plenty of restaurants, shops, United Clubs and all the usual amenities. Curious what all the hate is about exactly?


I believe that the terminals everybody hates are meant to be temporary but have been in place for more than 20 years (correct me if I'm wrong, IAD experts). IAD has always been a jumple of an airport from the very beginning. Concepts that were not successful.
 
USAirALB
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:01 pm

Would there be room to theoretically consolidate the entire UA operation onto the current A/B/Z gates? Some parts of the concourse always seem to be dead to me.

Considering that UA is constructing a Polaris lounge in the "temporary" C/D concourse, they are going to be temporarily used for years to come.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
Judge1310
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:09 pm

Junction wrote:
kiowa wrote:
I find it appauling that the first impression international travelers get of the US nation's capitol is that horrible concourse.


I connected through IAD on the way back to ORD form FRA a couple weeks ago, and having never been through there before was expecting some kind of horrible run down terminal experience due to similar comments on here like this. I honestly didn't think it was bad at all. The train to the UA Express flights was very impressive, and walking to the train through the C/D concourse was just fine. Plenty of restaurants, shops, United Clubs and all the usual amenities. Curious what all the hate is about exactly?


You're quite objective in your assessment and that's refreshing. The deal is that some folks on here think that we ought to have SIN-Changi-style aerodromes all across the US. What they fail to realise is the ultimate question: who is going to pay for all that? Because Heaven FORBID air fares are raised to allow for extensive facility improvements and upgrades. Look at the state of our infrastructure in the USA...crumbling roads and bridges, seriously inadequate and ageing public transportation, and on and on.

Until we address and modify the "I want it all but don't want to pay for it" mentality that is so rife here, we're kinda stuck with what we've got.
 
Judge1310
Posts: 303
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:15 pm

casinterest wrote:
HouStrategies wrote:
Kind of a random thought on UAL IAD growth I'm curious to get feedback on: 52 million people live in the northeast Boston-Washington corridor, and whole lot of them are not all that convenient to the few very congested mega-airports (I've personally dealt with this doing business in SW Connecticut). Could UAL build a business flying small RJs from tiny fields in this region (maybe even fields that are private aircraft only now? Is that possible?) to feed into IAD? Aimed at people who would happily endure a connection to be able to use a closer, less congested airport with easy parking and security (think HPN, MHT). I'm thinking the suburbs of Boston (who wants to fight their way downtown to fly if there's a suburban option?), NH, VT, RI, CT, Long Island, SE NJ, and the Philly suburbs. Would this make any sense?

Didn't Independence already try this ?

Maybe it would work now.


I think IAD is really United's to grow in now, and perhaps they need to use it as a way to get more traffic to the North East and Europe from the south. The silver line into IAD will help make IAD a better alternative than BWI for DC travel, but United really needs to work on relieving EWR traffic


Independence Air did not focus on service from small airports in the manner that the OP proposed. Yes, there were CRJ200s running to and from the exact same markets that UA (at the time) was operating as they were keenly aware of the numbers since they (DH) were the operators on those routes. The advent of the A319s allowed for heavier lift for short-hauls (eg. IAD-BOS) in between longer-hauls (eg. IAD-SEA). The business plan was simply highly inappropriate for the market/industry at the time (>US$100/gal for oil; post-9/11 travel adjustments; multiple airline bankruptcies in effect). It was a wonderful concept (inspired from jetBlue, adopted by VirginAmerica) just the *worst* time to be put into effect.
 
drdisque
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:25 pm

SRT75 wrote:
There is a fair amount of small east coast feed into IAD. Richmond, Norfolk, West Virginia, etc. But it's all on contract carriers (i.e. United Express) and I'm not sure how the economics work out for United on those deals. I suspect EAS subsidies float the cost for many of these services.

If you're suggesting "alternative" airports for major metropolitan areas (e.g., BWI for metro-DC, White Plains for New York, etc.) then your best bet is to look to LCCs. That was, after all, Southwest's original growth strategy.

For reasons that are mostly untrue, IAD is disfavored as the "domestic" Washington, DC, airport. The people that live in the city think it's "too far," and for many people in Maryland it actually IS too far. As long as they keep liberalizing DCA, IAD will struggle to attract domestic O & D.


There are very few EAS routes to IAD on UAX - SHD, CKB, LWB, PBG, (OGS coming soon).

Unsubsidized UAX markets at IAD: ALB, AVL, ATL, AUS, BOS, BTV, CHS, CLT, CHO, CHA, CVG, CLE, DTW, ELM, FAY, GRR, GSO, GSP, MDT, BDL, HSV, IND, ITH, JAX, MCI, TYS, LEX, SDF, MHT, MSP, YUL, MSY, ORF, OKC, YOW, PIT, PWM, PVD, RDU, RIC, ROA, ROC, STL, SAT, SAV, SCE, SYR, YYZ, AVP, ILM
 
capitalflyer
Posts: 527
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:37 pm

drdisque wrote:
SRT75 wrote:
There is a fair amount of small east coast feed into IAD. Richmond, Norfolk, West Virginia, etc. But it's all on contract carriers (i.e. United Express) and I'm not sure how the economics work out for United on those deals. I suspect EAS subsidies float the cost for many of these services.

If you're suggesting "alternative" airports for major metropolitan areas (e.g., BWI for metro-DC, White Plains for New York, etc.) then your best bet is to look to LCCs. That was, after all, Southwest's original growth strategy.

For reasons that are mostly untrue, IAD is disfavored as the "domestic" Washington, DC, airport. The people that live in the city think it's "too far," and for many people in Maryland it actually IS too far. As long as they keep liberalizing DCA, IAD will struggle to attract domestic O & D.


There are very few EAS routes to IAD on UAX - SHD, CKB, LWB, PBG, (OGS coming soon).

Unsubsidized UAX markets at IAD: ALB, AVL, ATL, AUS, BOS, BTV, CHS, CLT, CHO, CHA, CVG, CLE, DTW, ELM, FAY, GRR, GSO, GSP, MDT, BDL, HSV, IND, ITH, JAX, MCI, TYS, LEX, SDF, MHT, MSP, YUL, MSY, ORF, OKC, YOW, PIT, PWM, PVD, RDU, RIC, ROA, ROC, STL, SAT, SAV, SCE, SYR, YYZ, AVP, ILM


Seems odd no CRW flights. Only to ORD and IAH from CRW. The only other connecting destinations east of ORD that could open at IAD that are at EWR now are SBN, MEM, BGR, CAK, DAY, ABE, and MYR. And all of these may still retain a flight or two to EWR for O&D purposes. Perhaps some connections in ORD could be shifted to IAD as well if it makes geographic sense? Just moving a few flights from EWR in looking again won't result in much growth at IAD.
 
mcg
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:49 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:04 pm

1836Sam wrote:
evanb wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.


I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.


I'm in DEN and it's clear to me that UA uses IAD as alternative hub (from EWR) for transatlantic travel. Generally traveling to Europe from DEN results in a connection at IAD, very rarely EWR.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:16 pm

mcg wrote:
1836Sam wrote:
evanb wrote:

I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.


I'm in DEN and it's clear to me that UA uses IAD as alternative hub (from EWR) for transatlantic travel. Generally traveling to Europe from DEN results in a connection at IAD, very rarely EWR.


The idea of a reliever hub is operational in nature. All hubs require connections, including EWR. There are plenty of international spokes from EWR that are majority connecting. I suspect the parroting of the “reliever hub” story was more driven by putting as positive a spin as they could on those airports losing a flight to NYC.

Let’s go back to 2012, mcg, if you were flying from DEN to CDG were most of your options really via EWR? I doubt it.
Last edited by 1836Sam on Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:18 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
1836Sam wrote:
evanb wrote:

I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.


There may not be one but there is a strategy at UA to flow some regional traffic away from EWR and through IAD and push more connecting traffic through IAD. Whether you call it a reliever hub or not is semantics, given the 237 miles that separate these two hubs.


IAD has been pulled so far back I’m sure the decision was whether to keep it or not. It’s so starved that the decision to “push more connecting traffic through it” means much more about keeping IAD as a hub at all then it does about EWR. “Reliever hub” is pure marketing, as it always has been.
 
FSDan
Posts: 2422
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:34 pm

capitalflyer wrote:
The only other connecting destinations east of ORD that could open at IAD that are at EWR now are SBN, MEM, BGR, CAK, DAY, ABE, and MYR. And all of these may still retain a flight or two to EWR for O&D purposes. Perhaps some connections in ORD could be shifted to IAD as well if it makes geographic sense? Just moving a few flights from EWR in looking again won't result in much growth at IAD.


DAY is already connected to IAD (including one flight upgauged to an E75 this summer). ABE is not connected to either EWR or IAD right now (although it used to be served from IAD back when the SF3s were around).

MEM does seem to be one of the bigger holes in UA's IAD network. Especially given that CHA and TYS are both served - I think IAD is the only airport to have service to CHA and not MEM...
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
blockski
Posts: 473
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:41 pm

1836Sam wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
1836Sam wrote:

There is no business case for a “reliever hub,” no matter how much (albeit simplistic) logical sense it may make. DC is a large and rich market in its on right.


There may not be one but there is a strategy at UA to flow some regional traffic away from EWR and through IAD and push more connecting traffic through IAD. Whether you call it a reliever hub or not is semantics, given the 237 miles that separate these two hubs.


IAD has been pulled so far back I’m sure the decision was whether to keep it or not. It’s so starved that the decision to “push more connecting traffic through it” means much more about keeping IAD as a hub at all then it does about EWR. “Reliever hub” is pure marketing, as it always has been.


Yeah, IAD has always had a lot of local traffic - particularly for international and long-haul routes that DCA can't serve - that is quite lucrative.

United's recent change in strategy recognized that a) they have congestion issues at EWR, b) they have room to flow a lot more traffic through IAD instead, c) growing IAD helps push down Dulles's costs, and d) the local market can handle a lot more growth - particularly if connections are leading the way.

Since Kirby's arrival, UA's emphasis has been on their hubs. And IAD has always been a gateway hub, but now they're interested in using it more for domestic travel up and down the East Coast as well.
 
airlineworker
Posts: 64
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:51 pm

Two airports I can think of that would do well with IAD service. 1. HVN, AA is doing very well with PHL and CLT flights and in May, the flights will be upgauged from CRJ-200's to CRJ-700's and E-175. HVN experienced a 40% increase in passengers during 2018 compared to 2017. Many Star alliance members would find HVN closer than other distant airports and the New Haven metro market is quite large. 2. LYH, another airport where AA is doing very well. There has been some talk about IAD service perhaps beginning soon, but still no official announcement from UA.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:10 pm

blockski wrote:
1836Sam wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:

There may not be one but there is a strategy at UA to flow some regional traffic away from EWR and through IAD and push more connecting traffic through IAD. Whether you call it a reliever hub or not is semantics, given the 237 miles that separate these two hubs.


IAD has been pulled so far back I’m sure the decision was whether to keep it or not. It’s so starved that the decision to “push more connecting traffic through it” means much more about keeping IAD as a hub at all then it does about EWR. “Reliever hub” is pure marketing, as it always has been.


Yeah, IAD has always had a lot of local traffic - particularly for international and long-haul routes that DCA can't serve - that is quite lucrative.

United's recent change in strategy recognized that a) they have congestion issues at EWR, b) they have room to flow a lot more traffic through IAD instead, c) growing IAD helps push down Dulles's costs, and d) the local market can handle a lot more growth - particularly if connections are leading the way.

Since Kirby's arrival, UA's emphasis has been on their hubs. And IAD has always been a gateway hub, but now they're interested in using it more for domestic travel up and down the East Coast as well.


As well it should be ... hubs are by nature about connections and the volume is going to be domestic. UA and CO both screwed the pooch with the constant domestic downgauging.

The one thing that people should be aware of is the marketing spin. They wanted to grow DEN to keep WN and F9 in check, without Wall St crying foul. They wanted to grow ORD to keep a hold on the gates. They wanted to grow SFO and EWR similarly. LAX is already there. IAH and IAD not the same incentives.

They’re all great hub markets in their own right but the opportunities and costs are different and there’s a lot of marketing spin. Thankfully the strategy itself has been successful ... but it’s simple at heart ... connect people over hubs with competitive schedules, networks, and prices. Sad so much ground was lost.
 
N292UX
Posts: 388
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:15 pm

A big part of UA's strategy at IAD is increasing connections. They want to have less connections at EWR and more at IAD. This of course while also appealing to local traffic in the DC metro area. They've actually cut a bunch of regional routes from EWR and switched them to IAD. AVL, AVP, CHA, ELM, LEX, and MHT all come to mind. They also completely cut BDL-EWR and promptly boosted capacity on IAD-BDL.

So in other words, I'd definitely expect some more regional routes and EAS routes to appear at IAD in the near future. Some of the regional routes may be shifted from EWR while others are intended to bolster UA's presence at IAD. ALB, CAK, XNA all come into mind. UA already flies EWR-ALB, but it is a very short route, and they may be better off just cutting it and boosting IAD-ALB. UA is not the only airline flying NYC-CAK/XNA, so cutting those routes may not have a serious affect on the rest of the market. AA/DL could add capacity to those routes if needed. Places like MKE, MEM, OMA, MSN, BHM, JAN, BGR, and maybe SBN/EVV are some regional routes which would likely be successful if UA launched them from IAD, with or without making any changes at EWR.

Places like EWN, AGS, TRI, HTS, and PHF are some markets I could see UA entering from IAD, and maybe ORD on some of them, too. All of these markets are basically DL to ATL vs AA to CLT and pretty much nothing, except for some small exceptions like G4 to SFB/PIE. These are probably some markets which UA could get to work from IAD assuming they time the flights correctly to maximize connections at IAD.

As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever. If they really want to increase connecting passengers at IAD, it may be a good idea for them to move IAD-DUB/MAD/FCO to year round or at least year round minus winter. Having more transatlantic connecting options at IAD would go a long way towards increasing connecting passengers. I don't really think UA needs to add anymore transatlantic routes from IAD at the moment. They probably could add a summer seasonal IAD-ATH/GLA/VCE, but that's a conversation for a different day.
 
SurfandSnow
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:39 pm

N292UX wrote:
As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever.


All of these routes have been tried and failed. EWR-SJC also didn't work out. I can't help but wonder about IAD-SNA, though. Then again, that route is probably the same pie in the sky optimism I have for UA to add ORD-BUR...
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
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OzarkD9S
Posts: 5349
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Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:01 pm

Ahh the eternal IAD conundrum. The "reliever hub" nonsense should be put to rest as we're talking about DC. Yes, it's far away from DC compared to DCA but the money is there to be made. IAD has been a hub for what, 5 airlines? UA, CO, New York Air, Presidential and Independence at various times. No widebodies at DCA. Perimeter rules. No international at DCA without pre-clearance (Canada, Nassau). IAD has room to grow, DCA only if they build a new runway in the Potomac. (Yeah, right). The growth will be at IAD long term, and EWR is not a growth market except for upgauging. UA has NOTHING on the East Coast except EWR and IAD. Both in prime markets. The roles of each will come to pass.
Finally headed to DORKFEST! Sept 7, STL-LAX-PHX-STL. :cloudnine:
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:07 pm

N292UX wrote:
A big part of UA's strategy at IAD is increasing connections. They want to have less connections at EWR and more at IAD. This of course while also appealing to local traffic in the DC metro area. They've actually cut a bunch of regional routes from EWR and switched them to IAD. AVL, AVP, CHA, ELM, LEX, and MHT all come to mind. They also completely cut BDL-EWR and promptly boosted capacity on IAD-BDL.

So in other words, I'd definitely expect some more regional routes and EAS routes to appear at IAD in the near future. Some of the regional routes may be shifted from EWR while others are intended to bolster UA's presence at IAD. ALB, CAK, XNA all come into mind. UA already flies EWR-ALB, but it is a very short route, and they may be better off just cutting it and boosting IAD-ALB. UA is not the only airline flying NYC-CAK/XNA, so cutting those routes may not have a serious affect on the rest of the market. AA/DL could add capacity to those routes if needed. Places like MKE, MEM, OMA, MSN, BHM, JAN, BGR, and maybe SBN/EVV are some regional routes which would likely be successful if UA launched them from IAD, with or without making any changes at EWR.

Places like EWN, AGS, TRI, HTS, and PHF are some markets I could see UA entering from IAD, and maybe ORD on some of them, too. All of these markets are basically DL to ATL vs AA to CLT and pretty much nothing, except for some small exceptions like G4 to SFB/PIE. These are probably some markets which UA could get to work from IAD assuming they time the flights correctly to maximize connections at IAD.

As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever. If they really want to increase connecting passengers at IAD, it may be a good idea for them to move IAD-DUB/MAD/FCO to year round or at least year round minus winter. Having more transatlantic connecting options at IAD would go a long way towards increasing connecting passengers. I don't really think UA needs to add anymore transatlantic routes from IAD at the moment. They probably could add a summer seasonal IAD-ATH/GLA/VCE, but that's a conversation for a different day.


Tell you what ... let’s meet here in a decade and look and see how much connecting volume has changed at EWR.
 
N292UX
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:08 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:08 pm

SurfandSnow wrote:
N292UX wrote:
As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever.


All of these routes have been tried and failed. EWR-SJC also didn't work out. I can't help but wonder about IAD-SNA, though. Then again, that route is probably the same pie in the sky optimism I have for UA to add ORD-BUR...

Then problem with IAD-SNA is that they don't have the slots to do it. I definitely think that would work with a 73G, but in order to do that, they'd have to free up a slot at SNA to do it. If they really wanted to do, they could cut a frequency from one of their other routes from SNA in order to launch IAD. So it's not impossible.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:34 pm

N292UX wrote:
SurfandSnow wrote:
N292UX wrote:
As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever.


All of these routes have been tried and failed. EWR-SJC also didn't work out. I can't help but wonder about IAD-SNA, though. Then again, that route is probably the same pie in the sky optimism I have for UA to add ORD-BUR...

Then problem with IAD-SNA is that they don't have the slots to do it. I definitely think that would work with a 73G, but in order to do that, they'd have to free up a slot at SNA to do it. If they really wanted to do, they could cut a frequency from one of their other routes from SNA in order to launch IAD. So it's not impossible.


So ... what’s the conclusion?

They can’t do it, but on second thought they can, but they choose not to? Hmmmmm ...

We’ll see when the SNA traffic cap increases in a couple years. I’d be surprised if IAD doesn’t get a flight.
 
maximairways
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:05 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:38 pm

N292UX wrote:
A big part of UA's strategy at IAD is increasing connections. They want to have less connections at EWR and more at IAD. This of course while also appealing to local traffic in the DC metro area. They've actually cut a bunch of regional routes from EWR and switched them to IAD. AVL, AVP, CHA, ELM, LEX, and MHT all come to mind. They also completely cut BDL-EWR and promptly boosted capacity on IAD-BDL.

So in other words, I'd definitely expect some more regional routes and EAS routes to appear at IAD in the near future. Some of the regional routes may be shifted from EWR while others are intended to bolster UA's presence at IAD. ALB, CAK, XNA all come into mind. UA already flies EWR-ALB, but it is a very short route, and they may be better off just cutting it and boosting IAD-ALB. UA is not the only airline flying NYC-CAK/XNA, so cutting those routes may not have a serious affect on the rest of the market. AA/DL could add capacity to those routes if needed. Places like MKE, MEM, OMA, MSN, BHM, JAN, BGR, and maybe SBN/EVV are some regional routes which would likely be successful if UA launched them from IAD, with or without making any changes at EWR.

Places like EWN, AGS, TRI, HTS, and PHF are some markets I could see UA entering from IAD, and maybe ORD on some of them, too. All of these markets are basically DL to ATL vs AA to CLT and pretty much nothing, except for some small exceptions like G4 to SFB/PIE. These are probably some markets which UA could get to work from IAD assuming they time the flights correctly to maximize connections at IAD.

As for longer mainline routes from IAD, some will eventually come, but it'll take more time. I think IAD-SJC/SLC and a seasonal IAD-ABQ would work, but we'd have to see if UA actually launches these routes ever. If they really want to increase connecting passengers at IAD, it may be a good idea for them to move IAD-DUB/MAD/FCO to year round or at least year round minus winter. Having more transatlantic connecting options at IAD would go a long way towards increasing connecting passengers. I don't really think UA needs to add anymore transatlantic routes from IAD at the moment. They probably could add a summer seasonal IAD-ATH/GLA/VCE, but that's a conversation for a different day.


It seems like CT is pretty well covered by BDL to IAD. In May I see its now up to 4x A320.
 
coairman
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:42 am

United has been exploring adding extra banks to the hub which could translate to a huge expansion....we will see...but if it happens, for example adding 2 more banks out of the current 4 banks bringing it to 6 banks represents a huge expansion.....the planes would have to come mostly from EWR and other hub flying....we will see...maybe something happens this fall... this would all work well with the Metro Station opening up at IAD and the Amazon HQ2 in Northern Va.

Plus IAD-TLV starts in May!
The views I express are of my own, and not the company I work for.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:51 am

coairman wrote:
United has been exploring adding extra banks to the hub which could translate to a huge expansion....we will see...but if it happens, for example adding 2 more banks out of the current 4 banks bringing it to 6 banks represents a huge expansion.....the planes would have to come mostly from EWR and other hub flying....we will see...maybe something happens this fall... this would all work well with the Metro Station opening up at IAD and the Amazon HQ2 in Northern Va.

Plus IAD-TLV starts in May!


Hey, if you have a hub in Washington, DC, might as well make it useful. Which it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

Many, many more flights needed to FL, best way to fill planes on that axis. That’ll also help the international operation.

If I were UA I’d negotiate to take over A, B, and Z (not on long term lease to anyone), tear down the ACA A gates and build to same standard, move everyone else to C or D (whichever one has the FIS). Whichever one doesn’t UA can retain to be the new crappy A gates.
 
coairman
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:06 am

1836Sam wrote:
coairman wrote:
United has been exploring adding extra banks to the hub which could translate to a huge expansion....we will see...but if it happens, for example adding 2 more banks out of the current 4 banks bringing it to 6 banks represents a huge expansion.....the planes would have to come mostly from EWR and other hub flying....we will see...maybe something happens this fall... this would all work well with the Metro Station opening up at IAD and the Amazon HQ2 in Northern Va.

Plus IAD-TLV starts in May!


Hey, if you have a hub in Washington, DC, might as well make it useful. Which it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

Many, many more flights needed to FL, best way to fill planes on that axis. That’ll also help the international operation.

If I were UA I’d negotiate to take over A, B, and Z (not on long term lease to anyone), tear down the ACA A gates and build to same standard, move everyone else to C or D (whichever one has the FIS). Whichever one doesn’t UA can retain to be the new crappy A gates.



Actually the C/D terminal may get terrazzo flooring one day and it really doesn’t look too bad for being a temporary facility .......A new UA Polaris Lounge will be built near C-17 and best of all......a Chick- Fil-A will be built somewhere in C/D. :)
The views I express are of my own, and not the company I work for.
 
N649DL
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:24 am

evanb wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
IAD seems to be in some ways a reliever hub for EWR, as well as an operation focused on the substantial enough O&D the region around IAD generates, being an economic engine. UA has shifted some regional flying out of EWR and into IAD, moving 50 seat planes there. The role of IAD in the route network changed post-merger, with EWR being almost twice as large and much more crucial to the overall operation, given the NY/NJ area being the nation's top O&D market.


I think this reflects the capacity constraints on EWR (runway, gates and ATC) and the relatively fewer of these challenges at IAD.


Smisek apparently was about to part ways with IAD as a hub but thankfully got fired before they could actually do it. Kirby actually saw the value in the IAD hub and re-banked it so it could coexist with EWR up the road.

Smisek also dumped CLE citing it as "not profitable" when UA retained over 80% of all the airport's traffic at high prices. It was complete nonsense as well.
Last edited by N649DL on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
admanager
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:28 pm

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:25 am

IAD - FAY was just dropped this month. I'm not convinced UA is looking south for opportunity.
 
1836Sam
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 am

Re: Potential UAL strategy at IAD?

Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:53 am

coairman wrote:
1836Sam wrote:
coairman wrote:
United has been exploring adding extra banks to the hub which could translate to a huge expansion....we will see...but if it happens, for example adding 2 more banks out of the current 4 banks bringing it to 6 banks represents a huge expansion.....the planes would have to come mostly from EWR and other hub flying....we will see...maybe something happens this fall... this would all work well with the Metro Station opening up at IAD and the Amazon HQ2 in Northern Va.

Plus IAD-TLV starts in May!


Hey, if you have a hub in Washington, DC, might as well make it useful. Which it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

Many, many more flights needed to FL, best way to fill planes on that axis. That’ll also help the international operation.

If I were UA I’d negotiate to take over A, B, and Z (not on long term lease to anyone), tear down the ACA A gates and build to same standard, move everyone else to C or D (whichever one has the FIS). Whichever one doesn’t UA can retain to be the new crappy A gates.



Actually the C/D terminal may get terrazzo flooring one day and it really doesn’t look too bad for being a temporary facility .......A new UA Polaris Lounge will be built near C-17 and best of all......a Chick- Fil-A will be built somewhere in C/D. :)


Woo woo, terrazzo and Chick fil A! That’ll make it all worthwhile. (Except on Sundays.)
Last edited by 1836Sam on Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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