UA857
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United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 4:18 pm

What was UA´s Denver hub like in the 1990s did they have international (long-haul) service out of DEN or was it just domestic?
 
emuwarveteran
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 5:26 pm

i couldn't find anything from the 90s on DepartedFlights but this is from July 2000: http://www.departedflights.com/UA0700international.html
the only international routes from DEN they flew were YYC Calgary, YVR Vancouver and YYZ Toronto. even then it says that the map includes flights operated by partners so these could have been Air Canada
CL CRJ9, W6 A320
 
Transpac787
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 5:48 pm

To be clear, do you mean Denver Stapleton, or the new DIA airport??

Stapleton’s final day of operations was Monday, 27 February 1995. The last flight out was a Continental DC10, bound for LGW.
 
flyjoe
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 6:15 pm

Doing this off of memory, but I believe UA was only domestic from DEN. The London flight was on CO and even the YYC flight mentioned was operated by Delta, inherited from Western before the days of open skies between the US and Canada.
 
flyjoe
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 6:19 pm

Here’s the Denver page of the OAG from 1991 and 1995. Domestic only in ‘91 and in ‘95, the only international was MEX.
http://www.departedflights.com/DEN91intro.html
http://www.departedflights.com/DEN95intro.html
 
Transpac787
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 6:33 pm

flyjoe wrote:
Here’s the Denver page of the OAG from 1991 and 1995. Domestic only in ‘91 and in ‘95, the only international was MEX.
http://www.departedflights.com/DEN91intro.html
http://www.departedflights.com/DEN95intro.html


Since those are for the “North America” OAG, they would only indicate international flights to Canada and Mexico, anyway. All oceanic flights are omitted.
 
UA857
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 7:03 pm

Transpac787 wrote:
To be clear, do you mean Denver Stapleton, or the new DIA airport??

Stapleton’s final day of operations was Monday, 27 February 1995. The last flight out was a Continental DC10, bound for LGW.


Both Stapleton and DIA.
 
UA857
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 7:04 pm

Transpac787 wrote:
To be clear, do you mean Denver Stapleton, or the new DIA airport??

Stapleton’s final day of operations was Monday, 27 February 1995. The last flight out was a Continental DC10, bound for LGW.


Both Stapleton and DIA.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 7:19 pm

I always like the CO hub that operated at Stapleton, but didnt operate at DEN.

I find it fascinating that CO operated Stapleton-LGW on the last flight...never to return back to DEN.

Was there a dispute with the airport over costs?
 
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intotheair
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 7:47 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
I always like the CO hub that operated at Stapleton, but didnt operate at DEN.

I find it fascinating that CO operated Stapleton-LGW on the last flight...never to return back to DEN.

Was there a dispute with the airport over costs?


Not really. CO was actually the first (and for a while, the only) airline that agreed to move to the new airport. As a result, CO had some notable influences in the airport’s design. CO was supposed to have Concourse A. CO suggested the airport could cut costs by putting all the international gates in A and building a bridge instead of having international gates on the north side of the terminal like ATL’s design. The lounge level in A still has a little bit of a President’s Club design, DEN was the only non-hub with a Chelsea kitchen, and CO had a hangar in DEN for a long time. CO showed every intention of moving to DIA, and had the airport’s opening not been delayed several times, CO probably would have briefly had a hub there.

It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.

Edit: Also worth pointing out that most of the hub was gone by October 1994. That was one of the projected opening dates for the airport after a few delays, but the LGW flight (and perhaps a few others) stuck around until when the new airport opened in February 1995.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... y,amp.html
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UA857
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 8:05 pm

What will the UA-CO merger be like if CO kept the Denver hub? Another dominant hub?
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 8:45 pm

Great article thank you for sharing
 
zuckie13
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 10:52 pm

UA857 wrote:
What will the UA-CO merger be like if CO kept the Denver hub? Another dominant hub?


That might have led to a hub with about 75% of the domestic flights combined (I'd assume there would have been some consolidation).
I'd expect more long haul would have sprouted up from there.
 
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 11:04 pm

UA857 wrote:
What was UA´s Denver hub like in the 1990s did they have international (long-haul) service out of DEN or was it just domestic?


I believe UA wasn't flying long-haul out of Stappleton. Back then, before DIA opened, UA flew 747-100/200s and 767s over the Atlantic where they began ops in 1991, if I'm correct, while the bunch of DC-10-30s they had then were used on multi-stop flights west of ORD and across the Pacific.
 
ord
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 11:18 pm

intotheair wrote:
It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.


CALite was neither profitable nor a winning strategy.

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/14/busi ... rvice.html
 
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 11:30 pm

I think it was all domestic until the 2000's when London and Frankfurt were ran on UA metal seasonally (or year round?) at several points. Until the last decade or so, DEN just didn't have as much demand for intercontinental flights.

I believe BA started around 1998 or so and was the first major intercontinental flight out of the new DIA (please correct me if I'm wrong), but when did LH start?
 
midway7
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sat May 04, 2019 11:44 pm

At the end of the Stapleton days, UA began a bit of a ramp up, with the reductions of the CO hub. Towards the end of Stapleton, UA was using gates in the C and E concourses, as well as their long home in A and B. Some of the additional gates probably allowed them to bank more flights at peak transfer times. They transferred about 300 daily flights to DIA in Feb 1995.
 
fry530
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 1:25 am

Fargo wrote:
I think it was all domestic until the 2000's when London and Frankfurt were ran on UA metal seasonally (or year round?) at several points. Until the last decade or so, DEN just didn't have as much demand for intercontinental flights.

I believe BA started around 1998 or so and was the first major intercontinental flight out of the new DIA (please correct me if I'm wrong), but when did LH start?


This is correct!

UA didn’t fly long haul from DEN until a short lived DEN-FRA flight for summer 2001. Then tired again around maybe 2008 with summer seasonal DEN-LHR which was cut in October 2010. Then DEN-NRT began in 2013, and now year round FRA and seasonal LHR are back.

BA started in 1998 to LGW, but then switched to LHR around 2002/2003 I believe? LH started FRA in 2001.

We also saw Korean Air for a short time in the 90’s as a tag from either LAX or SFO. That didn’t last long though. But now we’ve got the LH flight to MUC (after they tried originally around 2008?) as well as Icelandair, Norwegian, and Edelweiss. Long Haul from DEN has never been better!

In short, for UA DEN has always largely been domestic. I know they’ve flown some Mexican and Canadian routes for a while, but other than that it’s been domestically focused. Clearly they see enough of a value to expand that a bit, and it seems to be profitable. However, I imagine new international routes from DEN will come from other carries, as I can’t see UA expanding too much more in terms of long haul.
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Fargo
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 1:37 am

fry530 wrote:
Fargo wrote:
I think it was all domestic until the 2000's when London and Frankfurt were ran on UA metal seasonally (or year round?) at several points. Until the last decade or so, DEN just didn't have as much demand for intercontinental flights.

I believe BA started around 1998 or so and was the first major intercontinental flight out of the new DIA (please correct me if I'm wrong), but when did LH start?


This is correct!

UA didn’t fly long haul from DEN until a short lived DEN-FRA flight for summer 2001. Then tired again around maybe 2008 with summer seasonal DEN-LHR which was cut in October 2010. Then DEN-NRT began in 2013, and now year round FRA and seasonal LHR are back.

BA started in 1998 to LGW, but then switched to LHR around 2002/2003 I believe? LH started FRA in 2001.

We also saw Korean Air for a short time in the 90’s as a tag from either LAX or SFO. That didn’t last long though. But now we’ve got the LH flight to MUC (after they tried originally around 2008?) as well as Icelandair, Norwegian, and Edelweiss. Long Haul from DEN has never been better!

In short, for UA DEN has always largely been domestic. I know they’ve flown some Mexican and Canadian routes for a while, but other than that it’s been domestically focused. Clearly they see enough of a value to expand that a bit, and it seems to be profitable. However, I imagine new international routes from DEN will come from other carries, as I can’t see UA expanding too much more in terms of long haul.


Kind of surprised KL isn't at DEN. YYC, a market half the size, has KL service and DEN has the energy ties needed to make the flight work. Also, SkyTeam is the only alliance without TATL presence at DIA, you'd think either AF or KL would want in at some point.

TK is another possibility I see further down the road, but there are some other lower hanging fruits in the US they could add first (i.e, DFW, SEA).
 
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 1:40 am

intotheair wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
I always like the CO hub that operated at Stapleton, but didnt operate at DEN.

I find it fascinating that CO operated Stapleton-LGW on the last flight...never to return back to DEN.

Was there a dispute with the airport over costs?


Not really. CO was actually the first (and for a while, the only) airline that agreed to move to the new airport. As a result, CO had some notable influences in the airport’s design. CO was supposed to have Concourse A. CO suggested the airport could cut costs by putting all the international gates in A and building a bridge instead of having international gates on the north side of the terminal like ATL’s design. The lounge level in A still has a little bit of a President’s Club design, DEN was the only non-hub with a Chelsea kitchen, and CO had a hangar in DEN for a long time. CO showed every intention of moving to DIA, and had the airport’s opening not been delayed several times, CO probably would have briefly had a hub there.

It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.

Edit: Also worth pointing out that most of the hub was gone by October 1994. That was one of the projected opening dates for the airport after a few delays, but the LGW flight (and perhaps a few others) stuck around until when the new airport opened in February 1995.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... y,amp.html

CO never had to fight it out with United, Since United floated $100M in Bonds when the DIA Baggage system didn't work and delayed the opening of DIA...
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 1:47 am

Denver was just a domestic and transborder hub back then. Most destinations that UA served from DEN also had nonstop service to ORD (for those headed to points east and south, like Europe and Latin America) and SFO (for those headed to points west, like Asia and Hawaii) as well. There was little need for any long haul flying from DEN at that time. Key destinations like LHR and NRT were served via international gateways such as EWR and SEA.
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Pi7472000
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 3:30 am

The Denver hub in the 1990s was amazing on United!! I got to fly 747s, DC10s, and 767s all over the place. The service and customer care was great back then on United. Now they seem to have taken a more CO stance to domestic flying out of DEN and it is mostly 737s. Very few wide bodies. It is crazy that there is not one wide body between DEN and ORD. I never would have guessed that with what I used to fly between the two hubs in the 1990s and 2000s.United Airlines was such a great airline for me to fly before merging with CO. Was a great airline.
 
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intotheair
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 3:33 am

ord wrote:
intotheair wrote:
It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.


CALite was neither profitable nor a winning strategy.

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/14/busi ... rvice.html


I was joking. A lot of the pieces of the former CO DEN hub went to build CALite, which did not last nor was it a good idea.

fry530 wrote:
This is correct!

UA didn’t fly long haul from DEN until a short lived DEN-FRA flight for summer 2001. Then tired again around maybe 2008 with summer seasonal DEN-LHR which was cut in October 2010. Then DEN-NRT began in 2013, and now year round FRA and seasonal LHR are back.

BA started in 1998 to LGW, but then switched to LHR around 2002/2003 I believe? LH started FRA in 2001.

We also saw Korean Air for a short time in the 90’s as a tag from either LAX or SFO. That didn’t last long though. But now we’ve got the LH flight to MUC (after they tried originally around 2008?) as well as Icelandair, Norwegian, and Edelweiss. Long Haul from DEN has never been better!

In short, for UA DEN has always largely been domestic. I know they’ve flown some Mexican and Canadian routes for a while, but other than that it’s been domestically focused. Clearly they see enough of a value to expand that a bit, and it seems to be profitable. However, I imagine new international routes from DEN will come from other carries, as I can’t see UA expanding too much more in terms of long haul.


United announced DEN-LHR as a daily, year-round flight beginning in March 2008 with the beginning of EU/US open skies. United then had a rough summer overall and cut the flight in October. It was not officially a seasonal flight, and it did not fly in summer 2009. It returned as a summer seasonal in 2010 and 2011 and was still on the 3-class 772. It then resumed last summer on the 788 and is back this summer too. I'm glad to be able to say that I've flown it in both of those eras.

I have it in my head that because of some quirk with Bermuda II, BA initially did DEN-LGW because UA claimed it flew DEN-LHR "direct" as a one-stop via ORD or IAD. I can't find anything online now that spells it out that way, but that is correct that the BA flight was to LGW before switching to LHR in 2002.

The LH MUC flight was a seasonal 2007 add but was another economic casualty.

There were also some other odd overseas flights that were flown out of DIA: Martinair flew once weekly DEN-AMS until 1998, and LTU (which later became Airberlin) briefly flew to DUS in 1998.

https://www.westword.com/news/off-limits-5059041

https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stor ... tory7.html
(Paywall but you might be able to read if you stop loading the page really quickly)

It's crazy to think how far the airport has come in terms of international flights. Denver went from begging for overseas service to now having so much more. The international side of the A concourse is a busy place in the afternoon now!
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intotheair
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 3:44 am

Pi7472000 wrote:
The Denver hub in the 1990s was amazing on United!! I got to fly 747s, DC10s, and 767s all over the place. The service and customer care was great back then on United. Now they seem to have taken a more CO stance to domestic flying out of DEN and it is mostly 737s. Very few wide bodies. It is crazy that there is not one wide body between DEN and ORD. I never would have guessed that with what I used to fly between the two hubs in the 1990s and 2000s.United Airlines was such a great airline for me to fly before merging with CO. Was a great airline.


I think United has gone back to more widebody domestic flying from DEN compared to immediately after the merger when there were almost no widebodies. When post-merger UA did away with the domestic 763s, for a while, there were very few big birds to be seen in DEN.

Looking at Monday's schedules, you're right that there are no widebodies on DEN-ORD or ORD-DEN, but there was a 77A on it fairly recently. It looks like it's the same case with EWR, though I know there was a 77A on it recently too, and DEN-EWR at least has a lot of 752s with flatbeds. HNL, OGG, SFO, LAX, IAH, and IAD all have at least one 77A or 788 according to schedules. You have a good chance of seeing several of them all at once in the late afternoon.
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N649DL
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 4:57 am

intotheair wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
I always like the CO hub that operated at Stapleton, but didnt operate at DEN.

I find it fascinating that CO operated Stapleton-LGW on the last flight...never to return back to DEN.

Was there a dispute with the airport over costs?


Not really. CO was actually the first (and for a while, the only) airline that agreed to move to the new airport. As a result, CO had some notable influences in the airport’s design. CO was supposed to have Concourse A. CO suggested the airport could cut costs by putting all the international gates in A and building a bridge instead of having international gates on the north side of the terminal like ATL’s design. The lounge level in A still has a little bit of a President’s Club design, DEN was the only non-hub with a Chelsea kitchen, and CO had a hangar in DEN for a long time. CO showed every intention of moving to DIA, and had the airport’s opening not been delayed several times, CO probably would have briefly had a hub there.

It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.

Edit: Also worth pointing out that most of the hub was gone by October 1994. That was one of the projected opening dates for the airport after a few delays, but the LGW flight (and perhaps a few others) stuck around until when the new airport opened in February 1995.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... y,amp.html


I honestly think if CO stuck it out at DEN they would've still have been there for a long while up until the merger with UA.

Remember the P-Club at DEN in Concourse A? It was huge! I was there in 2005 and CO only had 5 or so gates by that point. So they definitely had intent to make the hub work but I believe they were really strapped for cash by 1994-1995 (almost to the point of liquidating, IIRC) and DEN had to go.

Also IIRC, the P-Club was divided up that it now occupies a AA Admiral Club, a USO lounge, and a DL SkyClub. Hence why the restrooms are common use between the 3 clubs. Having lived in DEN for a bit over the last 3 years and using the DL Club frequently, this was super annoying BTW. Yet the DL club that opened in 2016 was quite large.

Legend has it that CO wanted to move into Concourse A because they advocated for the bridge to the Jeppessen Terminal as an advantage over UA in case of bad weather. I read that on here a few years ago, not sure if it's conspiracy or actual truth.

UA on the other hand had lots of widebody flights and saw nearly all of the overall fleet's types including 733, A320, 727, 757, 777, and 744. Larger spokes as late as 1999 saw flights like DEN-SEA on a 744 and DEN-EWR on a 777 (which continued to LHR.)

One thing I do recall first connecting in DEN in 2008 was they published the aircraft types at the gate. LAX-DEN-EWR was all on UA 757s.
 
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intotheair
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 5:40 am

N649DL wrote:
I honestly think if CO stuck it out at DEN they would've still have been there for a long while up until the merger with UA.


Had CALite not happened, possibly. DEN made a lot of sense in CO's network, and CO had such a long history there. It's easy to see how the hub would have maybe faded away in the 2000s like DL at DFW, as I'm not sure DEN is a large enough city that could support two legacy hubs. With that said, nobody thought DEN would have been able to sustain major operations from UA, WN, and F9 for as long as it has.

Legend has it that CO wanted to move into Concourse A because they advocated for the bridge to the Jeppessen Terminal as an advantage over UA in case of bad weather. I read that on here a few years ago, not sure if it's conspiracy or actual truth.


Not so much bad weather, but I always heard it explained that CO management was worried about a train breakdown scenario. If the train were to break down, CO passengers would have still been able to access the A gates easily through the bridge. The location of the international gates in A make it much more attractive to a hubbed airline in A too. CO could have done everything they wanted under one roof. Because CO agreed to DIA before UA did, UA ended up in B. To this day, UA international arrivals must arrive in A because those are the only gates that have customs facilities, but UA then tows planes back to B for long haul international departures.

The original airport design called for international gates in a north side terminal area and no bridge to A. CO had a lot of say in the design early on, but the benefits of a long haul hub operation in A with international gates and a bridge to the concourse have never been fully realized. I guess it saved money in the airport's construction, and it all still works, but it makes for a slightly unusual arrangement the way the common use international gates ended up in A.

Now that UA's DEN operation is so large that it doesn't all fit in one concourse, I would love to eventually see UA take over a chunk of the A concourse. It would make a lot of sense to do that and shift the other airlines around to expanded parts of C or the proposed concourses.
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CALTECH
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 12:28 pm

ord wrote:
intotheair wrote:
It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.


CALite was neither profitable nor a winning strategy.

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/14/busi ... rvice.html


Kinda like that wonderful winning strategy and on-time Shuttle By United success story.

midway7 wrote:
At the end of the Stapleton days, UA began a bit of a ramp up, with the reductions of the CO hub. Towards the end of Stapleton, UA was using gates in the C and E concourses, as well as their long home in A and B. Some of the additional gates probably allowed them to bank more flights at peak transfer times. They transferred about 300 daily flights to DIA in Feb 1995.


Where in the world did you come up with this misinformation ? Stapleton's own history...

' By the early 1990s, Concourses A and B were exclusively used by United and United Express, Continental used most of Concourses C and D, and most other airlines moved to Concourse E.'
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 4:14 pm

Going even more OT, IMO CO should've made a move for F9. They had quite an extensive codeshare, complementary fleets and networks, and CO really wanted to get back in to DEN. Before the UA merger, there were rumors that if UA dumped DEN during bankruptcy, that CO would be all over it like white on rice.
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Fargo
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 7:12 pm

intotheair wrote:
N649DL wrote:
I honestly think if CO stuck it out at DEN they would've still have been there for a long while up until the merger with UA.


Had CALite not happened, possibly. DEN made a lot of sense in CO's network, and CO had such a long history there. It's easy to see how the hub would have maybe faded away in the 2000s like DL at DFW, as I'm not sure DEN is a large enough city that could support two legacy hubs. With that said, nobody thought DEN would have been able to sustain major operations from UA, WN, and F9 for as long as it has.

Legend has it that CO wanted to move into Concourse A because they advocated for the bridge to the Jeppessen Terminal as an advantage over UA in case of bad weather. I read that on here a few years ago, not sure if it's conspiracy or actual truth.


Not so much bad weather, but I always heard it explained that CO management was worried about a train breakdown scenario. If the train were to break down, CO passengers would have still been able to access the A gates easily through the bridge. The location of the international gates in A make it much more attractive to a hubbed airline in A too. CO could have done everything they wanted under one roof. Because CO agreed to DIA before UA did, UA ended up in B. To this day, UA international arrivals must arrive in A because those are the only gates that have customs facilities, but UA then tows planes back to B for long haul international departures.

The original airport design called for international gates in a north side terminal area and no bridge to A. CO had a lot of say in the design early on, but the benefits of a long haul hub operation in A with international gates and a bridge to the concourse have never been fully realized. I guess it saved money in the airport's construction, and it all still works, but it makes for a slightly unusual arrangement the way the common use international gates ended up in A.

Now that UA's DEN operation is so large that it doesn't all fit in one concourse, I would love to eventually see UA take over a chunk of the A concourse. It would make a lot of sense to do that and shift the other airlines around to expanded parts of C or the proposed concourses.


Curious, how big is the customs facility at DEN (i.e, how many FIS gates are there and how many pax can it process per hour) and has it ever been expanded?

Still don't understand why they didn't build a tunnel along with the APM. After the current work is done, A could still be expanded a bit to the east. If I were in charge, I'd move F9 to C with WN and all of the non-affiliated carriers (AA, DL, AS, NK, SY, etc) to A. This would make things more convenient for O&D pax and be a heck of a lot cheaper than building large linear concourses on either side of the Jeppesen Terminal.
 
N649DL
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 7:47 pm

intotheair wrote:
N649DL wrote:
I honestly think if CO stuck it out at DEN they would've still have been there for a long while up until the merger with UA.


Had CALite not happened, possibly. DEN made a lot of sense in CO's network, and CO had such a long history there. It's easy to see how the hub would have maybe faded away in the 2000s like DL at DFW, as I'm not sure DEN is a large enough city that could support two legacy hubs. With that said, nobody thought DEN would have been able to sustain major operations from UA, WN, and F9 for as long as it has.

Legend has it that CO wanted to move into Concourse A because they advocated for the bridge to the Jeppessen Terminal as an advantage over UA in case of bad weather. I read that on here a few years ago, not sure if it's conspiracy or actual truth.


Not so much bad weather, but I always heard it explained that CO management was worried about a train breakdown scenario. If the train were to break down, CO passengers would have still been able to access the A gates easily through the bridge. The location of the international gates in A make it much more attractive to a hubbed airline in A too. CO could have done everything they wanted under one roof. Because CO agreed to DIA before UA did, UA ended up in B. To this day, UA international arrivals must arrive in A because those are the only gates that have customs facilities, but UA then tows planes back to B for long haul international departures.

The original airport design called for international gates in a north side terminal area and no bridge to A. CO had a lot of say in the design early on, but the benefits of a long haul hub operation in A with international gates and a bridge to the concourse have never been fully realized. I guess it saved money in the airport's construction, and it all still works, but it makes for a slightly unusual arrangement the way the common use international gates ended up in A.

Now that UA's DEN operation is so large that it doesn't all fit in one concourse, I would love to eventually see UA take over a chunk of the A concourse. It would make a lot of sense to do that and shift the other airlines around to expanded parts of C or the proposed concourses.


Yeah that's what it was. But was that paranoia or a legitimate reason? Has the train even broken down at DIA?

Kind of sad CO had so much input and didn't end up trying out the hub. Did they ever have more than just a few gates at DIA or was it a spoke operation from day 1?

If CO ended up in A, I'll bet they would've been viewed as the more convenient hub tenant at the airport. When I first moved to DEN and DL was up in C, I hated it. Then when they moved to A it made life so much easier.

I didn't really like living in Denver (from a social viewpoint) so I moved back to CA in 2017. One thing I won't miss about living out there was much time it took to get in and out of DIA and the freaking open air zoo of the economy parking lot. I would take a photo of the zone I was in and I would still get lost trying to find my car.
 
United1
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 8:57 pm

CALTECH wrote:

midway7 wrote:
At the end of the Stapleton days, UA began a bit of a ramp up, with the reductions of the CO hub. Towards the end of Stapleton, UA was using gates in the C and E concourses, as well as their long home in A and B. Some of the additional gates probably allowed them to bank more flights at peak transfer times. They transferred about 300 daily flights to DIA in Feb 1995.


Where in the world did you come up with this misinformation ? Stapleton's own history...

' By the early 1990s, Concourses A and B were exclusively used by United and United Express, Continental used most of Concourses C and D, and most other airlines moved to Concourse E.'


A and B concourses at Stapleton were definitely UAs main operations at DEN but towards the end UA did have 6 or 7 gates in E concourse. I don't remember UA being in C or D however.

https://imgur.com/a/bGXtthA
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intotheair
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 10:10 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Going even more OT, IMO CO should've made a move for F9. They had quite an extensive codeshare, complementary fleets and networks, and CO really wanted to get back in to DEN. Before the UA merger, there were rumors that if UA dumped DEN during bankruptcy, that CO would be all over it like white on rice.


I'm not sure where you're getting your information. CO had codeshares with Alaska and America West, but I don't ever recall a CO/F9 codeshare. CO did acquire the old Frontier, though very little of it survived as it was shut down. The new Frontier started up again with some used 732s and 733s before it moved to an all-new A318/319 fleet in the early 2000s. I don't see much of a case for a CO/F9 tie-up aside from getting back into Denver, which would not have been hard for CO to do on its own as it still had some infrastructure there, and capacity at DIA has almost always been virtually unlimited.

Fargo wrote:
Curious, how big is the customs facility at DEN (i.e, how many FIS gates are there and how many pax can it process per hour) and has it ever been expanded?

Still don't understand why they didn't build a tunnel along with the APM. After the current work is done, A could still be expanded a bit to the east. If I were in charge, I'd move F9 to C with WN and all of the non-affiliated carriers (AA, DL, AS, NK, SY, etc) to A. This would make things more convenient for O&D pax and be a heck of a lot cheaper than building large linear concourses on either side of the Jeppesen Terminal.


The airport opened with eight city-owned swing gates with access to customs. Some of them are double-headed (can handle two narrowbodies or one widebody). More gates were converted to swing gates a few years ago – I think 12 gates might have FIS access now, though don't quote me on that. The ongoing concourse expansion will add "five international nodes," which appears to mean five widebody gates capable of splitting into ten narrowbody gates.

https://business.flydenver.com/bizops/d ... ansion.pdf

As for the train, a total system failure requiring a bus bridge has only happened once. Censor issues have caused major delays (though not a complete failure) at least once.

New concourses will absolutely be needed within 10-20 years, and I highly doubt shuffling airlines around would do anything to delay that.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 380 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 CRK Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
AA AF AS AY AZ B6 BA BR DL F9 FI GA HA KF LH MI QX SK SN SQ UA US VY WN
 
departedflights
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 10:29 pm

N649DL wrote:
Did they ever have more than just a few gates at DIA or was it a spoke operation from day 1?


Denver International opened in February 1995.

The Official Airline Guide for April 1995 (just two months after the new airport opened) showed that Concourse A was used only by Continental and Mexicana.

The previous fall (October 1994), Continental was already down to only 23 daily mainline departures out of Stapleton (5 to Chicago Midway, 4 to Cleveland, 9 to Houston Intercontinental and 5 to Newark).

By April 1995, the Chicago flights has been dropped and there were only 15 daily mainline departures (3 to Cleveland, 8 to Houston Intercontinental and 4 to Newark)

This chart shows the dramatic decline around that time:

http://www.departedflights.com/CODENhub.html
 
Fargo
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 10:49 pm

intotheair wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Going even more OT, IMO CO should've made a move for F9. They had quite an extensive codeshare, complementary fleets and networks, and CO really wanted to get back in to DEN. Before the UA merger, there were rumors that if UA dumped DEN during bankruptcy, that CO would be all over it like white on rice.


I'm not sure where you're getting your information. CO had codeshares with Alaska and America West, but I don't ever recall a CO/F9 codeshare. CO did acquire the old Frontier, though very little of it survived as it was shut down. The new Frontier started up again with some used 732s and 733s before it moved to an all-new A318/319 fleet in the early 2000s. I don't see much of a case for a CO/F9 tie-up aside from getting back into Denver, which would not have been hard for CO to do on its own as it still had some infrastructure there, and capacity at DIA has almost always been virtually unlimited.

Fargo wrote:
Curious, how big is the customs facility at DEN (i.e, how many FIS gates are there and how many pax can it process per hour) and has it ever been expanded?

Still don't understand why they didn't build a tunnel along with the APM. After the current work is done, A could still be expanded a bit to the east. If I were in charge, I'd move F9 to C with WN and all of the non-affiliated carriers (AA, DL, AS, NK, SY, etc) to A. This would make things more convenient for O&D pax and be a heck of a lot cheaper than building large linear concourses on either side of the Jeppesen Terminal.


The airport opened with eight city-owned swing gates with access to customs. Some of them are double-headed (can handle two narrowbodies or one widebody). More gates were converted to swing gates a few years ago – I think 12 gates might have FIS access now, though don't quote me on that. The ongoing concourse expansion will add "five international nodes," which appears to mean five widebody gates capable of splitting into ten narrowbody gates.

https://business.flydenver.com/bizops/d ... ansion.pdf

As for the train, a total system failure requiring a bus bridge has only happened once. Censor issues have caused major delays (though not a complete failure) at least once.

New concourses will absolutely be needed within 10-20 years, and I highly doubt shuffling airlines around would do anything to delay that.


I agree, my point was move all the non-hub airlines to A to make it more convenient for O&D traffic. That way they can continue the current design (i.e, build D and E) rather than build the direct terminal linear concourses proposed in the last master plan. In light of the resurgence of connecting traffic thanks to UA/WN’s expansion, I feel it would be better to go back to the original plan.
 
midway7
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 10:52 pm

midway7 wrote:
At the end of the Stapleton days, UA began a bit of a ramp up, with the reductions of the CO hub. Towards the end of Stapleton, UA was using gates in the C and E concourses, as well as their long home in A and B. Some of the additional gates probably allowed them to bank more flights at peak transfer times. They transferred about 300 daily flights to DIA in Feb 1995.


Where in the world did you come up with this misinformation ? Stapleton's own history...

' By the early 1990s, Concourses A and B were exclusively used by United and United Express, Continental used most of Concourses C and D, and most other airlines moved to Concourse E.'[/quote]


First hand knowledge sir. However, since you are so interested in information only obtained from the internet, you may view a certain Youtube video that shows UA aircraft on Concourse E. Thank you.
 
ytib
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Sun May 05, 2019 11:39 pm

Fargo wrote:
If I were in charge, I'd move F9 to C with WN and all of the non-affiliated carriers (AA, DL, AS, NK, SY, etc) to A. This would make things more convenient for O&D pax and be a heck of a lot cheaper than building large linear concourses on either side of the Jeppesen Terminal.


This wouldn't really provide anything right now, as there are only two airlines on C besides WN with 4 gates not used by Southwest.

C38: City Gate - UA during the day due to the concrete work around B closing some gates. NK uses for one or two flights in the evening and AS overnights there (At this time 1am arrival, 6am departure)
C39: Alaska
C48: Spirit
C50: Spirit

The trains are already packed leaving C a good part of the day
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TWA772LR
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 12:40 am

ytib wrote:

The trains are already packed leaving C a good part of the day

They really have to do something about the trains, like adding more cars and doors or making them run more frequently. Ive been on it where they get totally full just when they leave C to go back to the terminal and have little to no room for the folks in B and none for folks in A.
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Fargo
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 2:15 am

ytib wrote:
Fargo wrote:
If I were in charge, I'd move F9 to C with WN and all of the non-affiliated carriers (AA, DL, AS, NK, SY, etc) to A. This would make things more convenient for O&D pax and be a heck of a lot cheaper than building large linear concourses on either side of the Jeppesen Terminal.


This wouldn't really provide anything right now, as there are only two airlines on C besides WN with 4 gates not used by Southwest.

C38: City Gate - UA during the day due to the concrete work around B closing some gates. NK uses for one or two flights in the evening and AS overnights there (At this time 1am arrival, 6am departure)
C39: Alaska
C48: Spirit
C50: Spirit

The trains are already packed leaving C a good part of the day


The point here is airlines other than UA, WN and F9 don't really have connecting passengers, so it makes sense for those pax to be in A, to eliminate the need for them to take the train. Leave B and C for connecting pax, which with a few exceptions, don't really require a change in concourse (although this will likely change down the road if UA gets up to 600+ flights). This, along with expanding and upgrading the train, helps temporarily alleviate congestion while D is planned/built, which needs to start happening now.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 2:19 am

When AA sold its SEA-NRT slot (which used the MD-11 since AA passed on the 747-300/-400, a decision then-CEO Bob Crandall ended up regretting) to United in the post 9/11 fallout, United started Denver-Bangkok service via Seattle and Narita:

UA875 DEN-SEA-NRT-BKK
UA876 BKK-NRT-SEA-DEN

Used the 777-200ER for the entirety of the service's lifespan.

The route was discontinued when ANA announced its own nonstop daily NRT-SEA service. (End of 2011 I think?) NH is a Star Alliance partner and has an ATI joint venture with UA. DEN-NRT would eventually get its dedicated daily nonstop service UA139/138, using the 787-8 Dreamliner. First flight was June 10, 2013. It was/is the first ever service from Denver to Asia. When United pulled out of Africa in 2016, the flight number designation was changed to UA143/142, which was used for the former Dulles-Lagos route.
 
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CALTECH
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 4:44 am

midway7 wrote:
midway7 wrote:
At the end of the Stapleton days, UA began a bit of a ramp up, with the reductions of the CO hub. Towards the end of Stapleton, UA was using gates in the C and E concourses, as well as their long home in A and B. Some of the additional gates probably allowed them to bank more flights at peak transfer times. They transferred about 300 daily flights to DIA in Feb 1995.


Where in the world did you come up with this misinformation ? Stapleton's own history...

' By the early 1990s, Concourses A and B were exclusively used by United and United Express, Continental used most of Concourses C and D, and most other airlines moved to Concourse E.'



First hand knowledge sir. However, since you are so interested in information only obtained from the internet, you may view a certain Youtube video that shows UA aircraft on Concourse E. Thank you.


I worked at 'C' Concourse, and there never was a United Airlines using 'C' Concourse there. Since I will believe my personal experience over your story, first hand knowledge or youtube , please show where a Youtube video, or your internet obtained information, that shows a United Airlines aircraft at 'C' Concourse. You are welcome for the correction to your misinformation.
Oh, and I never wrote that there wasn't a United Airlines aircraft at 'E' Concourse. Maybe you should read that again. You're welcome.
Last edited by CALTECH on Mon May 06, 2019 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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william
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 5:07 am

Denver was pretty proactive with Stapleton. With DIA starting construction, Stapleton went through a major refurb and expansion. UA's Concourse B was the widest and nicest of the Stapleton's concourses.
 
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CALTECH
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 5:08 am

intotheair wrote:
ord wrote:
intotheair wrote:
It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.


CALite was neither profitable nor a winning strategy.

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/14/busi ... rvice.html


I was joking. A lot of the pieces of the former CO DEN hub went to build CALite, which did not last nor was it a good idea.

fry530 wrote:
This is correct!

UA didn’t fly long haul from DEN until a short lived DEN-FRA flight for summer 2001. Then tired again around maybe 2008 with summer seasonal DEN-LHR which was cut in October 2010. Then DEN-NRT began in 2013, and now year round FRA and seasonal LHR are back.


CALite, old airplanes, many different configurations, it was not great at all.

As I remember events, when UAL decided on Indy for their new MX Base, CAL went to Denver and asked for the same tax breaks that were offered to UAL. Mayor Webb and the Denver City Council at the time said no. CAL was in bankruptcy and not doing well. That's when CAL started talking about a reduced Acft MX presence in DIA. There was no way that CAL could afford the hangars that had been in operation at Stapleton, Continental Hangar 10, Frontier Hangar 1 and Western Hangar 2. The cutbacks in flights were inevitable as Continental shifted it's focus to the East Coast with it's presence at Newark.

I liked Stapleton. Lots of history there.....

Continental Airlines modified B-17s at Stapleton.
Image

Last day of Ops at Stapleton....
Image
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jsnww81
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 9:04 am

CALTECH wrote:

Where in the world did you come up with this misinformation ? Stapleton's own history...

' By the early 1990s, Concourses A and B were exclusively used by United and United Express, Continental used most of Concourses C and D, and most other airlines moved to Concourse E.'


Sorry, brother, but he's right. United started taking gates on E during the last few years Stapleton was open. I have a photo of a United 737 parked on E that I took myself in March 1993: http://www.aviationphotographs.net/StapletonAirport/JamieSullivan/jamie-007.jpg

See also this Stapleton map from February 1993: http://www.aviationphotographs.net/StapletonAirport/JamieSullivan/jamie-009.jpg

Sometimes you gotta look beyond the airport history page on Wikipedia.
 
KFTG
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 9:18 am

intotheair wrote:
Pi7472000 wrote:
Looking at Monday's schedules, you're right that there are no widebodies on DEN-ORD or ORD-DEN, but there was a 77A on it fairly recently. It looks like it's the same case with EWR, though I know there was a 77A on it recently too, and DEN-EWR at least has a lot of 752s with flatbeds. HNL, OGG, SFO, LAX, IAH, and IAD all have at least one 77A or 788 according to schedules. You have a good chance of seeing several of them all at once in the late afternoon.


I'm booked in late June on a 777, DEN-ORD-DEN.
 
picarus
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 10:53 am

"Yeah that's what it was. But was that paranoia or a legitimate reason? Has the train even broken down at DIA?"

Yep, and I was one of the unfortunate saps who was held captive for several hours while the engineers resolved the problem. Fortunately, I wasn't in a big hurry to get home that morning. But IMHO it's still a poor design flaw to not have a secondary pedestrian access to Terminals B/C.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 2:47 pm

intotheair wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
I always like the CO hub that operated at Stapleton, but didnt operate at DEN.

I find it fascinating that CO operated Stapleton-LGW on the last flight...never to return back to DEN.

Was there a dispute with the airport over costs?


Not really. CO was actually the first (and for a while, the only) airline that agreed to move to the new airport. As a result, CO had some notable influences in the airport’s design. CO was supposed to have Concourse A. CO suggested the airport could cut costs by putting all the international gates in A and building a bridge instead of having international gates on the north side of the terminal like ATL’s design. The lounge level in A still has a little bit of a President’s Club design, DEN was the only non-hub with a Chelsea kitchen, and CO had a hangar in DEN for a long time. CO showed every intention of moving to DIA, and had the airport’s opening not been delayed several times, CO probably would have briefly had a hub there.

It eventually just didn’t make sense for CO to play second fiddle in a city the size of Denver. UA put up a tough fight to say the least, and CO was also interested in building up its highly profitable and winning CALite strategy back east.

Edit: Also worth pointing out that most of the hub was gone by October 1994. That was one of the projected opening dates for the airport after a few delays, but the LGW flight (and perhaps a few others) stuck around until when the new airport opened in February 1995.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... y,amp.html


Not exactly. As Continental Airlines emerged from its second bankruptcy in the early 1990s, it decided to de-hub DEN entirely and move the assets including planes, to build up EWR and CLE further.
 
UA857
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 3:42 pm

Will we see any more UA TPAC routes from DEN? I could possibly see UA launch DEN-PVG.
 
gwrudolph
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Mon May 06, 2019 11:24 pm

I think United will hold back on any further major China expansion for the moment. Too much capacity US-China right now
 
UA857
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Tue May 07, 2019 4:46 am

gwrudolph wrote:
I think United will hold back on any further major China expansion for the moment. Too much capacity US-China right now


Is there demand for a Denver to China route?
 
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Re: United Denver hub 1990s?

Tue May 07, 2019 4:55 am

The reason why I wrote this article is because with UA starting DEN-FRA service recently and I want to know if the legacy UA (1990s) operated any long haul flights of DEN?

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