Two things: does anyone know why AA doesn’t fly PHX-PRC? And does anyone know how the PHX-SGU flight is doing?
I've never been able to understand why PHX-PRC doesn't seem to work as a spoke from the PHX hub. HP ran it for a while at least with their regional arm, but I don't think US ever did, and AA never has since the merger with US. I know PHX-PRC won't work local-market alone as it's been tried by Great Lakes; even with EAS subsidy they couldn't charge a fare low enough to compete with the van service (hell, even with limo service!). But as a spoke from the hub? I don't understand the problem. PRC has grown so much over the decades, largely with Calif. transplants, you'd think there would be plenty of traffic to support at least 2 daily connections from PHX. My mom has lived there for 25+ years, so I know a good deal about this; not saying I'm 100% correct on everything, please correct me if I'm wrong on anything. AS tried running QX from LAX using a triangle route combined with FLG, and it didn't last long...but that may have been because they didn't have enough feed at LAX back then to make it work. UA seems to be making their Express CRJ flights work at PRC to both DEN & LAX.
In short, it's weird. To me anyway.
I’ve flown PHX-PRC on Mesa many times in the 90s and early 2000s when it was America West Express on Beech 1900s. You are correct and there is practically no local demand for the flight, but there are several other factors that would make the argument for a spoke from PHX challenging in today’s landscape:
- The Beech 1900 flights on PHX-PRC were combined with IGM or PGA, which helped spread out the costs with the other stations.
- There is ample and frequent ground transportation to PHX that competes for what demand of connecting traffic is there.
- There is no ideal aircraft in the AA Eagle fleet that could economically carry out the mission on the 87 mile segment. Any CRJ would be to big or inefficient for that route. Also, the closer a spoke is to a hub, the more vulnerable it becomes to delays and misconnects should there be weather or ATC issues.
- It was Skywest that was awarded the EAS subsidy to PRC, not UA. DEN (and LAX to a lesser extent) not only has decent local demand from PRC, but also connects to markets that AA could have done via PHX.
This may seem a little far-fetched, but Instead of PHX-PRC, AA may find that there would be more network value to have a 1x daily DFW-PRC with a CRJ-700, which would then open up even more possible connections than what DEN, LAX or PHX would be able to offer.