Americanp
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United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:03 am

Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/
 
BNAMealer
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:26 am

Americanp wrote:
Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/


DEN should be between 600-700 flights from UA, given its prime geographic location. And when ORD is rebuilt, it should be boosted to 900-1,000 flights. DEN and ORD should be their largest two and primary connecting hubs going forward.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:52 am

BNAMealer wrote:
Americanp wrote:
Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/


DEN should be between 600-700 flights from UA, given its prime geographic location. And when ORD is rebuilt, it should be boosted to 900-1,000 flights. DEN and ORD should be their largest two and primary connecting hubs going forward.


The only way ORD could reach 1000 flights would be if AA de-hubbed it first.

United are in the priveleged position of having three large east-west hubs (DEN, ORD, IAH) all of which are capable of handling 500-700 daily departures. The flipside to this is they will never have a 1000+ hub because these three are largely competing with themselves for similar traffic flow.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
alasizon
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:10 am

BNAMealer wrote:
Americanp wrote:
Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/


DEN should be between 600-700 flights from UA, given its prime geographic location. And when ORD is rebuilt, it should be boosted to 900-1,000 flights. DEN and ORD should be their largest two and primary connecting hubs going forward.


Your estimate for DEN is realistic by about 2023-2024 but no way ORD is going to make it to 900-1,000 with the AA hub still being there, the airport physically just wouldn't be able to handle that many flights (remember, AA isn't going to just let UA grow unchecked as well).

To me, DEN is a bit too far west to have the same level of Mainline gauge that DFW & ATL enjoy which will suppress overall departure numbers.
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ericm2031
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:00 am

With SFO growth pretty much capped besides for maybe 1 more small concourse addition and LAX limited to whatever they get out of T9, DEN will be the main driver for growth out West...more frequency followed by upgauging. They have been quietly connecting almost everything out West to DEN, similar for AA with DFW.

I expect maybe a couple more dots to be connected from ORD out West (BUR/ONT/SBA/MFR come to mind) but probably not much from IAH.
 
sldispatcher
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:27 am

I tend to believe the Feb 2020 AM East/West departure bank swap may be the first step in getting things ready for further expansion. It appears that it helps crew scheduling on RON on the express side, but I do not claim to be an expert on such matters. Either way, DEN is poised to get bigger with gauge and flights.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:38 am

Somewhat maxed out on gate space. Manpower is also an issue - United can’t hire fast enough, with quite a bit of turnover on the junior side (you can make $15 an hour working at wendy’s and not have to drive 20 miles to the airport and you can also enjoy legal marijuana). If you’re in school working towards something better, working at DIA is an absolute waste of time.

This summer was an absolute mess manpower wise. I’m not sure how we made it through the summer. I turned some mainline trips nearly by myself while my runner was running city bags to the terminal/baggage claim.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
strfyr51
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:50 am

jetmatt777 wrote:
Somewhat maxed out on gate space. Manpower is also an issue - United can’t hire fast enough, with quite a bit of turnover on the junior side (you can make $15 an hour working at wendy’s and not have to drive 20 miles to the airport and you can also enjoy legal marijuana). If you’re in school working towards something better, working at DIA is an absolute waste of time.

This summer was an absolute mess manpower wise. I’m not sure how we made it through the summer. I turned some mainline trips nearly by myself while my runner was running city bags to the terminal/baggage claim.

the N o Weel thing is just Not for United. And there are other things besides smoking Weed that are advantaged to working at United.
 
N649DL
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:46 am

It's funny that back when UA & CO merged, DEN was on the cutting board as a hub in favor of IAH. Then DEN gave UAL a huge tax break which led to stabilization of the hub and led to UA moving nearly all of it's Houston training to Denver several years later. IIRC, the first negotiations occurred in 2011-2012, the next for the training center consolidation occurred later in circa 2014-2015. This put the DEN hub back on the map an an expansion target. That and the downturn in the O&G industry in IAH also led them to turn down the hub a little bit as corporate contracts were running dry (recall the ill-fated Houston to Lagos routing, UALs only appearance then into Africa).

UAL should be careful with DEN as while it's a great East / West connecting hub, it's probably also relying heavily on the popularity of DEN being a local O&D hub. They have extreme price competition between F9 and WN as well, which doesn't allow UA to control above 50% of the airport (in retrospect, they're doing much better compared to the past.) As someone who lived there, DEN's popularity is fading and many are looking to leave based on COL and hyped up real estate prices.

Is this independent of UAL having a hub there? I'm not sure, but IMHO, UAL jumped on the DEN bandwagon just at the right time but if anything a bit too late based on the current trends. Assuming a dip in the economy hits, DEN will get hit hard because of it's over-speculated real estate prices, and then Kirby might change his tune a bit.

If UAL went full-on build up at DEN sooner instead of Smisek tampering with it in favor of IAH and then retraction and build up of DEN with Kirby, they'd probably be in an even better spot. UAL has a great hub in DEN no doubt, but UAL in the past was willing to sell it out quickly because IAH at the time functioned in the same fashion.

Bottom Line: Smisek and his "Know a Thing or Two" approach affected the Denver hub, while Kirby sees opportunity. That's great, but UAL had major opportunity during the merger period with CO and it was more or less squandered. Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?
 
Max Q
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:35 am

Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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MIflyer12
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:38 am

RyanairGuru wrote:
BNAMealer wrote:
Americanp wrote:
Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/


DEN should be between 600-700 flights from UA, given its prime geographic location. And when ORD is rebuilt, it should be boosted to 900-1,000 flights. DEN and ORD should be their largest two and primary connecting hubs going forward.


The only way ORD could reach 1000 flights would be if AA de-hubbed it first.



Yes, BNAMealer is just ignoring competition by WN/F9 in DEN and AA/WN in CHI. His hopes are, medium term, quite unrealistic - especially if UA should upgauge (and it should, for cost and gate utilization purposes).
 
CanadianRedneck
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:22 pm

Max Q wrote:
Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!


Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.
 
United1
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:42 pm

CanadianRedneck wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!


Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Depends on the transcon.....SEA-DEN-BOS is shorter than SEA-IAH-BOS by almost 700 miles. DEN is also a bit easier for UA connections because, for the most part, UA is all on one concourse vs IAH where UA is much more spread out.
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KFTG
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:51 pm

Can they expand the people mover first?
 
xjetflyer2001
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:34 pm

United1 wrote:
CanadianRedneck wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!


Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Depends on the transcon.....SEA-DEN-BOS is shorter than SEA-IAH-BOS by almost 700 miles. DEN is also a bit easier for UA connections because, for the most part, UA is all on one concourse vs IAH where UA is much more spread out.


Actually United is now on all 3 concourses at DEN, only 1 gate on C, C38, but utilize about 10 gates for express on the East end of A and 4 or 5 gates for mainline on A usually about 2 to 3 flights in the morning per mainline A gate and 2 in the afternoon.

edit: I just saw your disclaimer "for the most part"
 
jayunited
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:41 pm

Max Q wrote:
Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!


Every time someone post IAH is neglected I often wonder what do they mean and what additional flights would they like to see UA add at IAH?

I also wonder are people looking at AA operation at DFW and saying UA operation at IAH should be of similar size?

Over the past 2 years UA has grown DEN, IAH and ORD's domestic operation whether through adding flights or upguaging equipment. Internationally DEN has gotten some love with the addition of both FRA, and LHR, but right now the focus for international growth is on EWR and SFO and rightly so.
Looking at UA's network no other hubs in our network can beat EWR or SFO, they both have strong O&D markets and are the best choice for connecting international passengers. Once UA has solidified our international growth EWR and SFO I think the attention will turn to IAD but then also DEN and IAH. However, do to gate constraints at both ORD and LAX I think any major international growth will have to wait till more widebody gates are available, or UA would need to do a major rebanking at these two hubs which would have a domino effect around the system especially rebanking ORD.
 
United1
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:11 pm

xjetflyer2001 wrote:
United1 wrote:
CanadianRedneck wrote:

Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Depends on the transcon.....SEA-DEN-BOS is shorter than SEA-IAH-BOS by almost 700 miles. DEN is also a bit easier for UA connections because, for the most part, UA is all on one concourse vs IAH where UA is much more spread out.


Actually United is now on all 3 concourses at DEN, only 1 gate on C, C38, but utilize about 10 gates for express on the East end of A and 4 or 5 gates for mainline on A usually about 2 to 3 flights in the morning per mainline A gate and 2 in the afternoon.

edit: I just saw your disclaimer "for the most part"


Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
codc10
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:33 pm

N649DL wrote:
Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?


787 is a performance thing. Pre-merger UA's 648k 77Es would have fairly significant weight restrictions on a summertime midday departure DEN-NRT. The 787 just has a better mix of payload to fixed cost (margin).

Kirby was also clear as to why DEN-FRA was a "top 5" most profitable international route this summer: scale. At ~350 flights a day a few years ago, there probably wasn't enough flow traffic to support additional FRA flying above the daily LH 747 (not to mention the seasonal MUC A330). Now, with increased capacity (more connectivity) through the hub, 500 peak-day departures and larger gauge (resulting in about 5mm+ more annual UA pax through DEN since 2017), additional flying not only makes sense, but is very successful.

United1 wrote:
Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


This winter when UA was doing concrete pad replacements on several gates at a time on B, it was using some C gates for RONs, but that continued into the summer with C38 (a common-use city gate) even with most of the B gates available. I think UA will take any gates it can get as it plans to keep growing DEN.
Last edited by codc10 on Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
xjetflyer2001
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:35 pm

United1 wrote:
xjetflyer2001 wrote:
United1 wrote:

Depends on the transcon.....SEA-DEN-BOS is shorter than SEA-IAH-BOS by almost 700 miles. DEN is also a bit easier for UA connections because, for the most part, UA is all on one concourse vs IAH where UA is much more spread out.


Actually United is now on all 3 concourses at DEN, only 1 gate on C, C38, but utilize about 10 gates for express on the East end of A and 4 or 5 gates for mainline on A usually about 2 to 3 flights in the morning per mainline A gate and 2 in the afternoon.

edit: I just saw your disclaimer "for the most part"


Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


I believe its "supposed to be" temporary, but I honestly believe now that UA has that gate, they won't be giving it up easily
 
CALMSP
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:41 pm

xjetflyer2001 wrote:
United1 wrote:
xjetflyer2001 wrote:

Actually United is now on all 3 concourses at DEN, only 1 gate on C, C38, but utilize about 10 gates for express on the East end of A and 4 or 5 gates for mainline on A usually about 2 to 3 flights in the morning per mainline A gate and 2 in the afternoon.

edit: I just saw your disclaimer "for the most part"


Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


I believe its "supposed to be" temporary, but I honestly believe now that UA has that gate, they won't be giving it up easily


Well, both WN and NK are also using the gate, so it’s not all UA.
 
DEN1895
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:12 pm

I think the biggest issue that UA will face in the coming years is gate space, B Concourse is technically not getting any new gates. 17 RJ gates are being replaced by 12 Mainline and 5 new RJ gates, while this is great for up gauging it will not help them increase their flight count. Their "temporary" relocation of the RJ flights to the 11 gates on the East side of A will probably become permanent after the construction is done on B. I have heard rumors they make take over some of the international common use gates on A once the new common use gates open, but this would only give them a few additional gates. With both Frontier and Southwest trying to get as many gates as possible over the next two years it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I do hope that if they keep growing on A they put in a UA lounge, this could be in a partnership with Lufthansa and Air Canada.
 
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Frontier14
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:23 pm

Both Frontier and Southwest are also projecting adding flights in/out of DEN. Southwest has indicated they may want all of the new gates (16) that are being built on the C concourse. F9 has expressed interest in adding 3-5 additional gates on A concourse.

United has committed to the new gates for the B concourse which is nearly maxed out, if not already. If this proposed expansion is to happen they are gong the have to find gates on the A and C concourses. Those gates will be hard to find.

Frontier 14
 
DoctorVenkman
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:54 pm

CanadianRedneck wrote:
Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Absolutely not true. IAH is further south than 99% of the contential USA's landmass, while DEN is right in the middle. The only transcon route where IAH has an advantage is Florida to Southern California; basically any other transcon would be better served by DEN.
 
N649DL
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:46 pm

codc10 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?


787 is a performance thing. Pre-merger UA's 648k 77Es would have fairly significant weight restrictions on a summertime midday departure DEN-NRT. The 787 just has a better mix of payload to fixed cost (margin).

Kirby was also clear as to why DEN-FRA was a "top 5" most profitable international route this summer: scale. At ~350 flights a day a few years ago, there probably wasn't enough flow traffic to support additional FRA flying above the daily LH 747 (not to mention the seasonal MUC A330). Now, with increased capacity (more connectivity) through the hub, 500 peak-day departures and larger gauge (resulting in about 5mm+ more annual UA pax through DEN since 2017), additional flying not only makes sense, but is very successful.

United1 wrote:
Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


This winter when UA was doing concrete pad replacements on several gates at a time on B, it was using some C gates for RONs, but that continued into the summer with C38 (a common-use city gate) even with most of the B gates available. I think UA will take any gates it can get as it plans to keep growing DEN.


Even on the 77E's they would take weight restrictions on DEN-NRT? They've operated some very long hauls on these birds, DEN does have the altitude issue though.

IIRC, back around 2012-2014 DEN and EWR were essentially around the same size for number of flights, but DEN had more outsourced RJs and EWR had more mainline. What they did at DEN was add extra banks and up-gauged a lot of regional jets back to mainline. Recall back around 2012 when UA / CO was still getting integrated, DEN lost mainline in favor of ERJ and even Q400s. For instance, DEN-MCI which was a big 757 route got downgraded on certain flights to Q400s and whatnot.
 
xjetflyer2001
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:29 pm

CALMSP wrote:
xjetflyer2001 wrote:
United1 wrote:

Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


I believe its "supposed to be" temporary, but I honestly believe now that UA has that gate, they won't be giving it up easily


Well, both WN and NK are also using the gate, so it’s not all UA.


Some days it is only UA on that gate all day, I've worked that gate from 7am-3pm and have more flights scheduled after that, all UA, so maybe not everday, but there are days when only UA is using gate C38
 
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msp747
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:37 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
CanadianRedneck wrote:
Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Absolutely not true. IAH is further south than 99% of the contential USA's landmass, while DEN is right in the middle. The only transcon route where IAH has an advantage is Florida to Southern California; basically any other transcon would be better served by DEN.

Exactly. I avoid flying AA on east-west trips because of the added travel time to connect through DFW. IAH is even further south. DEN is the ideal location for these kinds of connections.
 
xjetflyer2001
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:39 pm

Frontier14 wrote:
Both Frontier and Southwest are also projecting adding flights in/out of DEN. Southwest has indicated they may want all of the new gates (16) that are being built on the C concourse. F9 has expressed interest in adding 3-5 additional gates on A concourse.

United has committed to the new gates for the B concourse which is nearly maxed out, if not already. If this proposed expansion is to happen they are gong the have to find gates on the A and C concourses. Those gates will be hard to find.

Frontier 14


It will be interesting, I've heard from some of the higher ups here at UA DEN that they eventually want to take over most of the A Concourse, I would assume, pushing F9 out, which in my mind, the plan is to send them to the C concourse expansion gates, I guess time will tell.
 
codc10
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:41 pm

N649DL wrote:
[They've operated some very long hauls on these birds, DEN does have the altitude issue though.


That's exactly what it is. DEN-NRT is not only a pretty long haul at 5000nm+, but density altitude is a big factor. Looking at right now, which is pretty much "standard day" in DEN (20C), the density altitude is the equivalent of 6650ft. On a scorcher day in the July, that density altitude can approach 9000ft.

Just doing some basic back-of-the-envelope calculations, after fuel for a given mission, the 787-8 would actually be able to lift close to, or greater payload than the 648k 77E, with fewer seats to fill and lower operating costs.
 
jhsusman
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:59 pm

I have noticed that United has recently been using the A intl gates for outbound NRT/FRA/LHR 787 flights without towing the planes over to the B-concourse. I believe this is a relatively recent change. Is UA going to add more DEN long-haul before the new gates on A open? CDG? AMS? BOG? AKL?
 
303dk
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:19 pm

jhsusman wrote:
I have noticed that United has recently been using the A intl gates for outbound NRT/FRA/LHR 787 flights without towing the planes over to the B-concourse. I believe this is a relatively recent change. Is UA going to add more DEN long-haul before the new gates on A open? CDG? AMS? BOG? AKL?

It’s varies by day. Today, NRT and LHR were on B and FRA was boarding on A when I walked by. LH MUC flight was on BA’s gate. They’re using what’s available and towing when needed.
 
Karlsands
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:48 pm

N649DL wrote:
codc10 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?


787 is a performance thing. Pre-merger UA's 648k 77Es would have fairly significant weight restrictions on a summertime midday departure DEN-NRT. The 787 just has a better mix of payload to fixed cost (margin).

Kirby was also clear as to why DEN-FRA was a "top 5" most profitable international route this summer: scale. At ~350 flights a day a few years ago, there probably wasn't enough flow traffic to support additional FRA flying above the daily LH 747 (not to mention the seasonal MUC A330). Now, with increased capacity (more connectivity) through the hub, 500 peak-day departures and larger gauge (resulting in about 5mm+ more annual UA pax through DEN since 2017), additional flying not only makes sense, but is very successful.

United1 wrote:
Didn't realize UA was on C now...would assume that is temporary while they work on expanding B concourse.


This winter when UA was doing concrete pad replacements on several gates at a time on B, it was using some C gates for RONs, but that continued into the summer with C38 (a common-use city gate) even with most of the B gates available. I think UA will take any gates it can get as it plans to keep growing DEN.


Even on the 77E's they would take weight restrictions on DEN-NRT? They've operated some very long hauls on these birds, DEN does have the altitude issue though.

IIRC, back around 2012-2014 DEN and EWR were essentially around the same size for number of flights, but DEN had more outsourced RJs and EWR had more mainline. What they did at DEN was add extra banks and up-gauged a lot of regional jets back to mainline. Recall back around 2012 when UA / CO was still getting integrated, DEN lost mainline in favor of ERJ and even Q400s. For instance, DEN-MCI which was a big 757 route got downgraded on certain flights to Q400s and whatnot.

They have a 16k foot runway so I assume it wouldn’t be any issue even on the hottest days we see
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:50 pm

My outside-in observation is that ORD is far more constrained than DEN, and UA is flowing a lot of hub-agnostic connecting traffic over ORD that could easily connect over DEN. If UA needs to orient ORD more toward ORD that hub-agnostic connecting traffic can easily be flowed over DEN.

Example: GRR-ORD-LAX can go GRR-DEN-LAX.
 
sealevel
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:57 pm

And all the rest in Den are 12k feet - and fortunately we are not Phoenix in the summer.
 
Brick
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 pm

Karlsands wrote:
They have a 16k foot runway so I assume it wouldn’t be any issue even on the hottest days we see

It's not a question of runway length, but tire speed limitations on hot days.
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N649DL
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:08 am

codc10 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
[They've operated some very long hauls on these birds, DEN does have the altitude issue though.


That's exactly what it is. DEN-NRT is not only a pretty long haul at 5000nm+, but density altitude is a big factor. Looking at right now, which is pretty much "standard day" in DEN (20C), the density altitude is the equivalent of 6650ft. On a scorcher day in the July, that density altitude can approach 9000ft.

Just doing some basic back-of-the-envelope calculations, after fuel for a given mission, the 787-8 would actually be able to lift close to, or greater payload than the 648k 77E, with fewer seats to fill and lower operating costs.


It's true, that the altitude in DEN is killer and isn't discussed enough regarding side affects and whatnot. It's definitely a factor as to why I left as well.

I wonder how the summer weather and altitude plays at DEN during the summer? I'd imagine the 739ERs take restrictions as well on domestic routes too. DEN behaves a lot like a city in the south with afternoon thunderstorms with some producing Tornado Warnings and hail. When weather blows through, ops at DEN get nailed. That has to be problematic for UA in terms of gate space.

jhsusman wrote:
I have noticed that United has recently been using the A intl gates for outbound NRT/FRA/LHR 787 flights without towing the planes over to the B-concourse. I believe this is a relatively recent change. Is UA going to add more DEN long-haul before the new gates on A open? CDG? AMS? BOG? AKL?


Not all that recent. UA was using A gates at DEN when I was still living there for the NRT flight. This was over 2 years ago in Spring / Summer 2017.

KFTG wrote:
Can they expand the people mover first?


They should start with expanding the width of the escalators first on all concourses. I can't tell you how many times I took the elevator or stairs because all these tourists moved slowly with all their gear getting to and from the concession areas and to the monorail. Oh and also the restrooms as they tend to look like complete s*** and have no ventilation. It was super frustrating when using the DL SkyClub at DEN and having to share the overcrowded restroom facilities with the USO Lounge and Admirals Club and you're suffocating while attempting to go #2.
Last edited by N649DL on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Gulfstream500
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:16 am

DoctorVenkman wrote:
CanadianRedneck wrote:
Agreed, IAH is located in a much denser location with a more centralized location. I personally would much rather connect through IAH than DEN for transcon.


Absolutely not true. IAH is further south than 99% of the contential USA's landmass, while DEN is right in the middle. The only transcon route where IAH has an advantage is Florida to Southern California; basically any other transcon would be better served by DEN.


IAH is intended to be the Latin America gateway for UA, and is also a nice place to connect for West Coast-Caribbean flights.
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Italianflyer
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:01 am

Do you remember when DEN was relegated to 'Expressville' with half of B jetbridges being configured for CRJs and ERJs?

Pepperidge Farms remembers.

This stuff is cyclical...pull up this thread in 2029 and people will be talking about how its "all about ___".
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:07 am

Karlsands wrote:
N649DL wrote:
codc10 wrote:

787 is a performance thing. Pre-merger UA's 648k 77Es would have fairly significant weight restrictions on a summertime midday departure DEN-NRT. The 787 just has a better mix of payload to fixed cost (margin).

Kirby was also clear as to why DEN-FRA was a "top 5" most profitable international route this summer: scale. At ~350 flights a day a few years ago, there probably wasn't enough flow traffic to support additional FRA flying above the daily LH 747 (not to mention the seasonal MUC A330). Now, with increased capacity (more connectivity) through the hub, 500 peak-day departures and larger gauge (resulting in about 5mm+ more annual UA pax through DEN since 2017), additional flying not only makes sense, but is very successful.



This winter when UA was doing concrete pad replacements on several gates at a time on B, it was using some C gates for RONs, but that continued into the summer with C38 (a common-use city gate) even with most of the B gates available. I think UA will take any gates it can get as it plans to keep growing DEN.


Even on the 77E's they would take weight restrictions on DEN-NRT? They've operated some very long hauls on these birds, DEN does have the altitude issue though.

IIRC, back around 2012-2014 DEN and EWR were essentially around the same size for number of flights, but DEN had more outsourced RJs and EWR had more mainline. What they did at DEN was add extra banks and up-gauged a lot of regional jets back to mainline. Recall back around 2012 when UA / CO was still getting integrated, DEN lost mainline in favor of ERJ and even Q400s. For instance, DEN-MCI which was a big 757 route got downgraded on certain flights to Q400s and whatnot.

They have a 16k foot runway so I assume it wouldn’t be any issue even on the hottest days we see


The length of the runway certainly helps but it’s tire speed and brake energy limits that affect the takeoff weight. I have been restricted nearly 50K on DEN-NRT when it was 100 degrees.

A 777 would be significantly weight restricted on more days than a -8 just because of its size. So I do believe that the 777 couldn’t make money flying to NRT our of DEN. My guess is that DEN-NRT will always be a -8 for this reason unless they can find a tire that’s good up to 230 or so knots. Right now we are at 204
 
BNAMealer
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:29 am

KFTG wrote:
Can they expand the people mover first?


Or better yet, bore a pedestrian tunnel?
 
BNAMealer
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:34 am

xjetflyer2001 wrote:
Frontier14 wrote:
Both Frontier and Southwest are also projecting adding flights in/out of DEN. Southwest has indicated they may want all of the new gates (16) that are being built on the C concourse. F9 has expressed interest in adding 3-5 additional gates on A concourse.

United has committed to the new gates for the B concourse which is nearly maxed out, if not already. If this proposed expansion is to happen they are gong the have to find gates on the A and C concourses. Those gates will be hard to find.

Frontier 14


It will be interesting, I've heard from some of the higher ups here at UA DEN that they eventually want to take over most of the A Concourse, I would assume, pushing F9 out, which in my mind, the plan is to send them to the C concourse expansion gates, I guess time will tell.


I don’t see how this could happen if WN takes the new all C gates (as they should).
 
BNAMealer
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:40 am

alasizon wrote:
BNAMealer wrote:
Americanp wrote:
Saw an interesting article. Kirby said, “though the airline has not yet decided how much. He suggested it could be between about 500 daily flights and 720.”

Article link: https://skift.com/2019/09/12/united-airlines-plays-up-its-denver-advantage-as-global-routes-suffer/


DEN should be between 600-700 flights from UA, given its prime geographic location. And when ORD is rebuilt, it should be boosted to 900-1,000 flights. DEN and ORD should be their largest two and primary connecting hubs going forward.


Your estimate for DEN is realistic by about 2023-2024 but no way ORD is going to make it to 900-1,000 with the AA hub still being there, the airport physically just wouldn't be able to handle that many flights (remember, AA isn't going to just let UA grow unchecked as well).

To me, DEN is a bit too far west to have the same level of Mainline gauge that DFW & ATL enjoy which will suppress overall departure numbers.


With the new lease agreement, UA can really put the squeeze on AA at ORD in the coming years if they wanted to.
 
grbauc
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:19 am

N649DL wrote:
It's funny that back when UA & CO merged, DEN was on the cutting board as a hub in favor of IAH. Then DEN gave UAL a huge tax break which led to stabilization of the hub and led to UA moving nearly all of it's Houston training to Denver several years later. IIRC, the first negotiations occurred in 2011-2012, the next for the training center consolidation occurred later in circa 2014-2015. This put the DEN hub back on the map an an expansion target. That and the downturn in the O&G industry in IAH also led them to turn down the hub a little bit as corporate contracts were running dry (recall the ill-fated Houston to Lagos routing, UALs only appearance then into Africa).

UAL should be careful with DEN as while it's a great East / West connecting hub, it's probably also relying heavily on the popularity of DEN being a local O&D hub. They have extreme price competition between F9 and WN as well, which doesn't allow UA to control above 50% of the airport (in retrospect, they're doing much better compared to the past.) As someone who lived there, DEN's popularity is fading and many are looking to leave based on COL and hyped up real estate prices.

Is this independent of UAL having a hub there? I'm not sure, but IMHO, UAL jumped on the DEN bandwagon just at the right time but if anything a bit too late based on the current trends. Assuming a dip in the economy hits, DEN will get hit hard because of it's over-speculated real estate prices, and then Kirby might change his tune a bit.

If UAL went full-on build up at DEN sooner instead of Smisek tampering with it in favor of IAH and then retraction and build up of DEN with Kirby, they'd probably be in an even better spot. UAL has a great hub in DEN no doubt, but UAL in the past was willing to sell it out quickly because IAH at the time functioned in the same fashion.

Bottom Line: Smisek and his "Know a Thing or Two" approach affected the Denver hub, while Kirby sees opportunity. That's great, but UAL had major opportunity during the merger period with CO and it was more or less squandered. Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?



Wasn’t Denver a fortress hub for United Airlines I remember in the late 90s South West water they would never go back there and any airline that seem to go to Denver will get smashed. Was it the fall of frontier and the weakness of UA that open the gate for others in DEN?
 
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chepos
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United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:57 am

grbauc wrote:
N649DL wrote:
It's funny that back when UA & CO merged, DEN was on the cutting board as a hub in favor of IAH. Then DEN gave UAL a huge tax break which led to stabilization of the hub and led to UA moving nearly all of it's Houston training to Denver several years later. IIRC, the first negotiations occurred in 2011-2012, the next for the training center consolidation occurred later in circa 2014-2015. This put the DEN hub back on the map an an expansion target. That and the downturn in the O&G industry in IAH also led them to turn down the hub a little bit as corporate contracts were running dry (recall the ill-fated Houston to Lagos routing, UALs only appearance then into Africa).

UAL should be careful with DEN as while it's a great East / West connecting hub, it's probably also relying heavily on the popularity of DEN being a local O&D hub. They have extreme price competition between F9 and WN as well, which doesn't allow UA to control above 50% of the airport (in retrospect, they're doing much better compared to the past.) As someone who lived there, DEN's popularity is fading and many are looking to leave based on COL and hyped up real estate prices.

Is this independent of UAL having a hub there? I'm not sure, but IMHO, UAL jumped on the DEN bandwagon just at the right time but if anything a bit too late based on the current trends. Assuming a dip in the economy hits, DEN will get hit hard because of it's over-speculated real estate prices, and then Kirby might change his tune a bit.

If UAL went full-on build up at DEN sooner instead of Smisek tampering with it in favor of IAH and then retraction and build up of DEN with Kirby, they'd probably be in an even better spot. UAL has a great hub in DEN no doubt, but UAL in the past was willing to sell it out quickly because IAH at the time functioned in the same fashion.

Bottom Line: Smisek and his "Know a Thing or Two" approach affected the Denver hub, while Kirby sees opportunity. That's great, but UAL had major opportunity during the merger period with CO and it was more or less squandered. Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?



Wasn’t Denver a fortress hub for United Airlines I remember in the late 90s South West water they would never go back there and any airline that seem to go to Denver will get smashed. Was it the fall of frontier and the weakness of UA that open the gate for others in DEN?


Up until the mid 90’s DEN was a dual hub, for UA and CO. Then Frontier version 2 came along (which has not failed as they are still around). WestPac also hubbed there before they ceased ops.

Southwest had to fly into DEN, it is a large market and by 2006 WN was already a large national carrier and could not avoid such a large market. WN was not afraid of UA, they had been turned off by the high usage fees at the new airport, which is why they left the DEN market right as Stapleton was closing.


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grbauc
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:08 am

chepos wrote:
grbauc wrote:
N649DL wrote:
It's funny that back when UA & CO merged, DEN was on the cutting board as a hub in favor of IAH. Then DEN gave UAL a huge tax break which led to stabilization of the hub and led to UA moving nearly all of it's Houston training to Denver several years later. IIRC, the first negotiations occurred in 2011-2012, the next for the training center consolidation occurred later in circa 2014-2015. This put the DEN hub back on the map an an expansion target. That and the downturn in the O&G industry in IAH also led them to turn down the hub a little bit as corporate contracts were running dry (recall the ill-fated Houston to Lagos routing, UALs only appearance then into Africa).

UAL should be careful with DEN as while it's a great East / West connecting hub, it's probably also relying heavily on the popularity of DEN being a local O&D hub. They have extreme price competition between F9 and WN as well, which doesn't allow UA to control above 50% of the airport (in retrospect, they're doing much better compared to the past.) As someone who lived there, DEN's popularity is fading and many are looking to leave based on COL and hyped up real estate prices.

Is this independent of UAL having a hub there? I'm not sure, but IMHO, UAL jumped on the DEN bandwagon just at the right time but if anything a bit too late based on the current trends. Assuming a dip in the economy hits, DEN will get hit hard because of it's over-speculated real estate prices, and then Kirby might change his tune a bit.

If UAL went full-on build up at DEN sooner instead of Smisek tampering with it in favor of IAH and then retraction and build up of DEN with Kirby, they'd probably be in an even better spot. UAL has a great hub in DEN no doubt, but UAL in the past was willing to sell it out quickly because IAH at the time functioned in the same fashion.

Bottom Line: Smisek and his "Know a Thing or Two" approach affected the Denver hub, while Kirby sees opportunity. That's great, but UAL had major opportunity during the merger period with CO and it was more or less squandered. Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with regards to the past?



Wasn’t Denver a fortress hub for United Airlines I remember in the late 90s South West water they would never go back there and any airline that seem to go to Denver will get smashed. Was it the fall of frontier and the weakness of UA that open the gate for others in DEN?


Up until the mid 90’s DEN was a dual hub, for UA and CO. Then Frontier version 2 came along (which has not failed as they are still around). WestPac also hubbed there before they ceased ops.

Southwest had to fly into DEN, it is a large market and by 2006 WN was already a large national carrier and could not avoid such a large market. WN was not afraid of UA, they had been turned off by the high usage fees at the new airport, which is why they left the DEN market right as Stapleton was closing.


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Ok so with the Dual hubs at DEN UA was never really in a position to keep WN out Ok. I thought Frontier went BK and gave up there hubbing there for a more P2P operation and that was the open door for WN that basically moved SLC to DEN for more of the connections traffic.
 
KFTG
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:09 am

The West Pac hub was in COS if memory serves.
 
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chepos
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:12 am

KFTG wrote:
The West Pac hub was in COS if memory serves.


They moved the COS hub to DEN as they started merger negotiations with Frontier.


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adv40624
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:44 am

Concourse A handles all international arrivals into Denver excluding airports with border preclearance. There are currently 12 gates that can handle international arrivals with direct access to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Only 5 gates are equipped to handle wide-body aircraft, of which only two have twin jet bridges. United tows their international arrivals back over to the B Concourse for departures. Lufthansa uses A for both arrivals and departures as well as British Airway’s on their flight to London. DIA started construction in May of 2018 on a 12 gate expansion to the west end of Concourse A. According to the DIA website, the first five gates are expected to be completed in June of 2020 and the remaining project to be completed by December of 2020. Almost all of the new gates on the north side of Concourse A will be capable of handing widebody aircraft for international flights with direct access to customs. Once all this construction is done, the A Concourse will have 50 gates and around 24 will be capable of handling international flights.
 
strfyr51
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:18 am

[quote="N649DL"]It's funny that back when UA & CO merged, DEN was on the cutting board as a hub in favor of IAH. Then DEN gave UAL a huge tax break which led to stabilization of the hub and led to UA moving nearly all of it's Houston training to Denver several years later. IIRC, the first negotiations occurred in 2011-2012, the next for the training center consolidation occurred later in circa 2014-2015. This put the DEN hub back on the map an an expansion target. That and the downturn in the O&G industry in IAH also led them to turn down the hub a little bit as corporate contracts were running dry (recall the ill-fated Houston to Lagos routing, UALs only appearance then into Africa).

UAL should be careful with DEN as while it's a great East / West connecting hub, it's probably also relying heavily on the popularity of DEN being a local O&D hub. They have extreme price competition between F9 and WN as well, which doesn't allow UA to control above 50% of the airport (in retrospect, they're doing much better compared to the past.) As someone who lived there, DEN's popularity is fading and many are looking to leave based on COL and hyped up real estate prices.

Is this independent of UAL having a hub there? I'm not sure, but IMHO, UAL jumped on the DEN bandwagon just at the right time but if anything a bit too late based on the current trends. Assuming a dip in the economy hits, DEN will get hit hard because of it's over-speculated real estate prices, and then Kirby might change his tune a bit.

If UAL went full-on build up at DEN sooner instead of Smisek tampering with it in favor of IAH and then retraction and build up of DEN with Kirby, they'd probably be in an even better spot. UAL has a great hub in DEN no doubt, but UAL in the past was willing to sell it out quickly because IAH at the time functioned in the same fashion.

Bottom Line: Smisek and his "Know a Thing or Two" approach affected the Denver hub, while Kirby sees opportunity. That's great, but UAL had major opportunity during the merger period with CO and it was more or less squandered. Recall Smisek's dumbass remarks along the lines of "The only way DEN-NRT can happen is on a 787, no other aircraft will work." That's complete B.S. as I'm sure back then they could fly the route on an IPTE 777 and still be fine. Only now DEN-FRA is suddenly profitable? What gives with H or anywhere else! This same line of reasoning tried to do the same thing at IAD in favor of EWR only to find out that EWR is at capacity. The next thing we'll hear is ORD is overwrought so we need CLE as a Hub again. what I do think is that United should return to SJC, OAK ONT and expand SMF make mini Hubs at STL TPA and MIA and try to expand at ATL. and make CLT a UAX Path Finder Hub with E170's and E190's to the limits of their range before bringing in Mainline long Haul Transcon service. Use UAX to foothold new service.
 
SteelChair
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:30 am

DEN is too far west to ever be a hub on the scale of ORD or ATL.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: United Growth in Denver

Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:41 pm

jayunited wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Great to see Denver grow like this but
Houston seems to be consistently neglected


IAH and EWR were the two Cal strongholds
and both are highly valuable to the new United


Is Houston ever going to get any love ?!


Every time someone post IAH is neglected I often wonder what do they mean and what additional flights would they like to see UA add at IAH?

I also wonder are people looking at AA operation at DFW and saying UA operation at IAH should be of similar size?

.


Let me clear this up.

Perhaps its because wed like to see the list of destinations from IAH grow instead of shrink which is what it has been doing recently. No, I dont have pie in the sky dreams of a long list of exciting international destinations and of course IAH will never be DFW due to its smaller domestic O&D and geographic location. However, it would be nice to see an increase in domestic destinations but the reverse is true for UA at IAH in the last couple of rounds of expansion. It would be nice to see another Asian and European destination though I feel confident UA isnt interested in the slightest. Its more understandable for Asia because yields to China are in the gutter but there is easily room for another route to Europe for IAH. But again, any optimism Ive had has been ground into dust. IAH's growth has been uniformly from other airlines.

So when people say "IAH gets no love", Im inclined to agree. They are the only airport of UA's hubs (besides LAX) whose list of destinations is at best stagnant and at worst shrinking.
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