HP69
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UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:53 pm

Frankfurt is the main Star hub in Western Europe, yet United has just 9 flights per day there, which pales compared to AA at LHR (21) or DL at AMS (21). Why? Is it because Delta and AA have a stronger relationship with there JV partners? Or is there some other reason?
 
Ishrion
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:02 pm

It's because - as stated in the Delta at LHR thread - JVs...

Lufthansa, which has its main hub in Frankfurt, has a joint venture with United. This allows a metal-neutral agreement between the two and lets Lufthansa cover the routes United needs it to.

Same way vice versa.
 
Ishrion
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:07 pm

Just look at all the routes LH already serves in the United States from FRA: https://www.flightsfrom.com/LH

SEA, SFO, LAX, SAN, DEN, DFW, AUS, IAH, ATL, ORD, TPA, MCO, MIA, IAD, PHL, JFK, EWR, DTW, BOS.
 
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kngkyle
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:12 pm

In addition to what others have said, you can also just look at the connecting hubs that each alliance has in Europe:

Oneworld has LHR, MAD and to a lesser extent HEL. (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair)
SkyTeam has AMS, CDG and to a lesser extent FCO. (KLM, Air France, Alitalia)
Star Alliance has FRA, MUC, ZRH and to a lesser extent CPH, ARN, OSL, WAW, VIE, and BRU. (Lufthansa, Swiss, SAS, LOT, Austrian, Brussels Airlines)

The connecting traffic is split between many more airports for Star Alliance compared to Oneworld or SkyTeam.
 
westgate
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:21 pm

I think it partially has to do with the fact that there are many more Star Alliance hubs, so their flights are more spread out around them. LH, unlike BA, AF and KL, doesn't just have one huge fortress hub such as LHR, CDG or AMS, but has two decent size hubs in FRA and MUC. And then add in the hubs of the other LH group airlines such as LX, OS and SN, you also have ZRH, VIE and BRU.

Although UA doesn't fly to VIE at all (neither do AA or DL), they do have 5 daily flights to MUC and 3 daily each to ZRH and BRU. So adding that up with the FRA flights that gives 20 in total, which is still quite a bit less than DL's total of 35 daily flights to both CDG and AMS (14/21). However UA has a very sizeable presence at LHR with 17 daily flights that also provide a lot of connecting opportunities for pax all over Europe on fellow Star Alliance airlines.

FRA obviously serves Frankfurt, which although a major European financial centre, really has almost zero tourist draw for Americans, especially compared to other German cities like Berlin and Munich. This is in stark comparison to London, Paris and Amsterdam, which all draw massive amounts of US tourists. Also the metropolitan area population of Frankfurt is 5.5 million, which is considerably smaller compared to London at 14 million, Paris at 12.5 million and Amsterdam's at 8 million (that's including all of the Randstad so Utrecht, Den Hague and Rotterdam as well).

Although it's hard to say for sure, the fact that Frankfurt has less inbound tourist traffic and has a smaller population base to draw from, could be some of the reasons why UA has so few flights there compared to BA at LHR and DL at AMS and CDG, and of course even UA itself at LHR.
Last edited by westgate on Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
LHUSA
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:23 pm

kngkyle wrote:
In addition to what others have said, you can also just look at the connecting hubs that each alliance has in Europe:

Oneworld has LHR, MAD and to a lesser extent HEL. (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair)
SkyTeam has AMS, CDG and to a lesser extent FCO. (KLM, Air France, Alitalia)
Star Alliance has FRA, MUC, ZRH and to a lesser extent CPH, ARN, OSL, WAW, VIE, and BRU. (Lufthansa, Swiss, SAS, LOT, Austrian, Brussels Airlines)

The connecting traffic is split between many more airports for Star Alliance compared to Oneworld or SkyTeam.


That's a really great point which I didn't fully consider. FRA also has drastically lower local traffic compared to LHR - crazy to think UA has nearly twice as many flights at LHR compared to FRA.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA at FRA

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:51 pm

LHUSA wrote:
That's a really great point which I didn't fully consider. FRA also has drastically lower local traffic compared to LHR - crazy to think UA has nearly twice as many flights at LHR compared to FRA.


You also have to remember London in addition to being a business powerhouse is also one of the top long haul international destinations Americans visit on vacation. Frankfurt is a top business destination in Europe but ranks low as a destination for tourist but is at the same time FRA is a huge connector hub for Star. But as others have pointed out Star spreads the connecting traffic out amongst several European hubs.
One Star hub that has seen a steady rise in traffic from the U.S. is MUC both UA and LH in recent years have added flights to MUC from the U.S. this is do to increased tourism but also LH (if I'm not mistaken) is growing MUC as a connecting hub.
 
notconcerned
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:29 am

The *A TATL JV also has AC providing many TATL routes through YYZ/YUL. UA/AC also have a lot of direct flights that bypass key European hubs, such as TLV, DEL/BOM (when they resume). All of which diminishes the need to route everything through FRA.

IST is another substantial *A hub covering Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

LHUSA wrote:
That's a really great point which I didn't fully consider. FRA also has drastically lower local traffic compared to LHR - crazy to think UA has nearly twice as many flights at LHR compared to FRA.


While UA has 2x more flights to LHR than FRA, seat capacity is only around 34% more (LHR 3,800 vs. FRA 2,500). Not accounting for the fact that LH flies mostly A380 or 748 to most UA hubs from FRA.
 
aviationlover7
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:40 am

kngkyle wrote:
In addition to what others have said, you can also just look at the connecting hubs that each alliance has in Europe:

Oneworld has LHR, MAD and to a lesser extent HEL. (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair)
SkyTeam has AMS, CDG and to a lesser extent FCO. (KLM, Air France, Alitalia)
Star Alliance has FRA, MUC, ZRH and to a lesser extent CPH, ARN, OSL, WAW, VIE, and BRU. (Lufthansa, Swiss, SAS, LOT, Austrian, Brussels Airlines)

The connecting traffic is split between many more airports for Star Alliance compared to Oneworld or SkyTeam.


You forgot to add LIS (TAP) as a Star Alliance Hub in Europe.
 
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intotheair
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:56 am

United has previously said that it was limited in the A++ joint venture by how much flying it could do, leaving LH to do the bulk of transatlantic flying. Scott Kirby has reportedly said that he renegotiated the terms of the JV to allow United to have a greater share of the flying. That is why we've seen UA add a lot more flights like SFO-MUC/ZRH and DEN-FRA.

Also, the SK and TP hubs aren't really relevant in this discussion. SK and TP are not part of the JV, and while they are Star airlines, they aren't particularly friends with UA. They codeshare with one another to some extent, but they are otherwise competitors across the pond.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 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
 
LondonXtreme
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:16 am

If we bring LH to the table, the US routes departs from FRA is far less compare to LHR.

JFK:
LHR 20 flights (BA 8, AA 4, VS 6, DL 2) ; FRA 4 flights(LH 2, DL 1, SQ 1)

EWR:
LHR 8 flights(BA 2, UA 5, VS 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 1, UA 1)

LAX:
LHR 9 fights(BA 3, AA 2, VS 2, UA 1, NZ 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 2)

SFO:
LHR 6 flights(BA 2, VS 2, UA 2) ; FRA 3 flights(UA 2, LH 1)

ORD:
LHR 9 flights(BA 2, AA 4, UA 3) ; FRA 4 flights(UA 2, LH 2)

BOS:
LHR 7 flights(BA 4, VS 2, DL 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 2)

IAD:
LHR 6 flights(BA 2, UA 3, VS 1) ; FRA 4 flights(LH 2, UA 2)

MIA:
LHR 5 flights(BA 3, AA 1, VS 1) ; FRA 1 flight(LH 1)

IAH:
LHR 4 flights(BA 2, UA 2); FRA 2 flights(LH 1, UA 1)

DFW:
LHR 5 flights(BA 1, AA 4) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 1, AA 1)

.................

I just listed some major airports in US, the gap between FRA and LHR is huuuuuuuuuuuge in terms of the number of flights.
 
fraT
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:37 am

As others have mentioned, FRA is completely different to LHR and CDG. While there are also lots of American tourists in the area (go to Heidelberg or Rüdesheim and you will know what I am talking about), it is not comparable to mega cities like London, Paris or Berlin. Compared to Britain and France, Germany is much more decentralized so a lot of corporate headquarters are based in the FRA area (same as MUC). That is why there are so few transatlantic flights to Berlin and so many in FRA and MUC. UA is flying to all of it's hubs except LAX and LH does offer additional destinations with an UA code on it's flights. But since the O/D traffic to LON is much bigger, UA can fill all of the LHR flights with very little connections available.
 
Fargo
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:23 am

fraT wrote:
Compared to Britain and France, Germany is much more decentralized so a lot of corporate headquarters are based in the FRA area (same as MUC). That is why there are so few transatlantic flights to Berlin and so many in FRA and MUC.


Is this a culture thing, or is this the result of the geopolitical events of the 20th century?

In an alternative history where things such as the Third Reich, the division of Germany and Berlin, etc, never happen, I could have easily seen Berlin becoming on par or even surpassing London and Paris as an aviation hub.
 
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mercure1
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:33 am

Fargo wrote:
Is this a culture thing, or is this the result of the geopolitical events of the 20th century?
.


It's historic.
Remember Germany was not unified as a single nation until late 1800s by which time many regions already had their own significant economic and social importance. Similar to Italy which like Germany was a rather late unification of separate states.
mercure f-wtcc
 
fraT
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:36 am

mercure1 wrote:
Fargo wrote:
Is this a culture thing, or is this the result of the geopolitical events of the 20th century?
.


It's historic.
Remember Germany was not unified as a single nation until late 1800s by which time many regions already had their own significant economic and social importance. Similar to Italy which like Germany was a rather late unification of separate states.


Definitely true but of course the more recent history after WW2 also plays a huge role. The area around Berlin was part of the Sowjet zone and in contrast to what the other allied powers but especially the U.S. did, the Sowjets pulled out all industrial stuff which was not destroyed in order to make this part of Germany an agricultural state.
That is basically the reason that very few major companies have their HQs in Eastern Germany. Same applies for Berlin, which had a very special staus from 1949 till 1990 with many restrictions. In additions the area around Berlin has always been more sparsely populated than the Rhein-Main and the Rhein-Ruhr areas.
 
simairlinenet
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:36 pm

One should also consider geography. oneworld and SkyTeam hubs tend to be farther west than Star Alliance hubs, so American and Delta have a greater incentive to fly to partner hubs, whereas United would therefore be more inclined to fly directly to destinations west of Germany.
 
Dominion301
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:06 pm

LondonXtreme wrote:
If we bring LH to the table, the US routes departs from FRA is far less compare to LHR.

JFK:
LHR 20 flights (BA 8, AA 4, VS 6, DL 2) ; FRA 4 flights(LH 2, DL 1, SQ 1)

EWR:
LHR 8 flights(BA 2, UA 5, VS 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 1, UA 1)

LAX:
LHR 9 fights(BA 3, AA 2, VS 2, UA 1, NZ 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 2)

SFO:
LHR 6 flights(BA 2, VS 2, UA 2) ; FRA 3 flights(UA 2, LH 1)

ORD:
LHR 9 flights(BA 2, AA 4, UA 3) ; FRA 4 flights(UA 2, LH 2)

BOS:
LHR 7 flights(BA 4, VS 2, DL 1) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 2)

IAD:
LHR 6 flights(BA 2, UA 3, VS 1) ; FRA 4 flights(LH 2, UA 2)

MIA:
LHR 5 flights(BA 3, AA 1, VS 1) ; FRA 1 flight(LH 1)

IAH:
LHR 4 flights(BA 2, UA 2); FRA 2 flights(LH 1, UA 1)

DFW:
LHR 5 flights(BA 1, AA 4) ; FRA 2 flights(LH 1, AA 1)

.................

I just listed some major airports in US, the gap between FRA and LHR is huuuuuuuuuuuge in terms of the number of flights.


It's no different in Canada for LHR vs FRA.

Canadian airports with LHR (or LGW):
YYT (temporarily suspended due to the MAX saga)
YHZ (temporarily suspended due to the MAX saga)
YUL
YOW
YYZ
YYC
YVR
YWG (LGW)
YEG (LGW)
YYZ, YUL, YYC, YUL and YVR also have LGW service.
Total airports: 9

Canadian airports with FRA
YUL
YOW
YYZ
YYC
YVR
YHZ
YXY
Total airports: 7

While there's only a 2 airport difference, the flight frequency differential is substantial. Countries with English speaking majorities, of which Canada and the US are two, unsurprisingly have close ties with the UK.
 
AIRT0M
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:13 pm

westgate wrote:

FRA obviously serves Frankfurt, which although a major European financial centre, really has almost zero tourist draw for Americans, especially compared to other German cities like Berlin and Munich.


Wouldn't say it's almost zero. 660.000 Americans stayed in Frankfurt overnight in 2018, compared to 1.1 million in Munich and 2 million in Berlin. Out of 10.2 million stays in total, Americans were the biggest foreign visitor group in Frankfurt. Frankfurt's tourism sector has been booming for years and the yearly growth rates were higher than in booming Berlin.
 
ual763
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:13 pm

Fargo wrote:
fraT wrote:
Compared to Britain and France, Germany is much more decentralized so a lot of corporate headquarters are based in the FRA area (same as MUC). That is why there are so few transatlantic flights to Berlin and so many in FRA and MUC.


In an alternative history where things such as the Third Reich, the division of Germany and Berlin, etc, never happen, I could have easily seen Berlin becoming on par or even surpassing London and Paris as an aviation hub.


It could have easily surpassed London/Paris as a city as well. Berlin was the epitome of urban planning back in the day and it’s growth was tremendous (even before the Third Reich). Read the book “1913” to get an idea of what the World was like right before WW1. WW1 (particularly the economic aftermath) is what threw Berlin into a downward spiral. And then obviously the destruction in WW2.

I cannot remember the book, but it was a revisionist history on WW1. Basically, if the Americans had decided to enter into WW1 on the German side (which could have been a very real possibility had the President and his war propaganda chief not been of British descent and inclination), the Triple Entente more than likely would have lost WW1 with the Central Powers emerging victorious. Hell, now we know that the Triple Entente most likely would have lost WW1 even if the Americans stayed neutral. If this happened, not only would Germany (and Berlin) have flourished, but Hitler would have been a nobody. Baghdad/Istanbul would also be great cities had the Central Powers been victorious. We also wouldn’t have all the problems we do now in the Middle East.

However, there is always a consequence in losing a war. If the Triple Entente lost, that would mean London/Paris would have suffered.
Last edited by ual763 on Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ual763
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:22 pm

And Frankfurt is a popular destination too. It is the nearest airport to Mainz, Heidelberg, and also the most scenic portion of the Rhine river valley south of Koblenz. But, obviously, the city itself isn’t a huge draw for tourists as it was rebuilt in the modern style rather than the old. I’d venture to say most of the Americans (that aren’t business travellers) who are spending the night in Frankfurt, are only there because they have a flight the next morning out of FRA back to the states.
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FSDan
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Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Nonspecific thread titles like this violate forum rules, FYI... You might want to re-read them briefly.

AA has a ton of flights to London because it's one of the biggest international destinations for Americans, and a huge world financial center. That demand (plus BA's onward connections) supports multiple daily flights from most AA hubs, including up to 4 daily from big business markets like DFW, ORD, and JFK. Even if you took away the BA partnership, London would probably still easily be the largest European station for AA. That's also why you see UA having more flights to LHR than to their JV hubs.

While AMS doesn't have nearly the O&D traffic that LHR has, DL has a ton of flights to Amsterdam because that's their main European connecting hub (in partnership with KL), and part of their strategy is to connect major U.S. outstations directly into that hub. As a result of that, you see DL flying to AMS from the likes of PDX, TPA, and MCO, and flying multiple daily flights to even the smaller hubs like SEA and BOS.

UA at FRA doesn't have the O&D demand that LHR has, and also lets all the nonhub flying be done by LH.
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westgate
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:17 pm

Re: UA at FRA

Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:28 pm

AIRT0M wrote:
westgate wrote:

FRA obviously serves Frankfurt, which although a major European financial centre, really has almost zero tourist draw for Americans, especially compared to other German cities like Berlin and Munich.


Wouldn't say it's almost zero. 660.000 Americans stayed in Frankfurt overnight in 2018, compared to 1.1 million in Munich and 2 million in Berlin. Out of 10.2 million stays in total, Americans were the biggest foreign visitor group in Frankfurt. Frankfurt's tourism sector has been booming for years and the yearly growth rates were higher than in booming Berlin.


660,000 Americans stayed overnight in Frankfurt in 2018 because they were either A) there on business, so not tourists, or B) flew into Frankfurt as their German/European point of entry/exit because of the significant amount of direct flights from USA into FRA, stayed the night after flying in or before flying out (especially with an early morning departure) and maybe took a bit of a look around the city because they just happened to be there and then headed off elsewhere for the rest of their vacation.

Yes there are nearby tourist attractions that cause incoming US tourists to utilise FRA as their point of entry/departure, but Frankfurt itself has little to absolutely no interest for American tourists. For example there are very significant numbers of American tourists who will fly into either London, Paris, Amsterdam and also Berlin, Munich, Rome or Barcelona and who will literally visit that city ONLY for an entire week or two and then fly straight back out to the States at the end. No American tourist ever flies direct to Frankfurt to solely spend a week in that city and then flies home again, unless they happen to be visiting family there. The lack of this type of tourist demand to Frankfurt certainly will be a factor in the fact there are much less flights to FRA as opposed to LHR, CDG and AMS who serve cities that are undoubtedly huge tourist attractions all on their own.

Frankfurt's tourism sector may be booming, but that could be due to many things, such as an increase in German tourists visiting the city on a weekend break for example.

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