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airporthistory
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QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi folks,

I was wondering how far back the roots of airline hub-and-spoke operations can be traced.

It goes without saying that when a given airline serves a lot of destinations out of a certain airport, you automatically create opportunities to transfer. With hub-and-spoke, inbound and outbound flights are deliberately timed in such a way that convenient connections are created.

Somewhere on the web there is a mention that Delta pioneered the concept at Atlanta in the early 1970s. Does anyone have more specific information? I know that until 1978 the CAB determined who could fly where. But were airlines free to choose the times at which flew a certain route, enabling them to optimize their schedules?

To my knowledge, KLM started optimizing the connection times between long-haul flights and European flights out of AMS around the same period, but I'm not sure. And here the same question as with the CAB, provided that slots were available, did bilateral treaties allow airlines to choose their departure and arrival times themselves?

Thank you in advance for answering my questions!
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:20 pm

I may be wrong, but when I hear about hub-and-spoke, Bob Crandall comes to mind with what he helped implement at American following deregulation.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:22 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I may be wrong, but when I hear about hub-and-spoke, Bob Crandall comes to mind with what he helped implement at American following deregulation.


Hi, Bob Crandall started implementing the hub-and-spoke model at DFW in 1981. More about that here: https://www.airporthistory.org/dfw-rebuild-1.html
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:28 pm

airporthistory wrote:

To my knowledge, KLM started optimizing the connection times between long-haul flights and European flights out of AMS around the same period (1970s).


For KLM the origins of hub and spoke go way back to the 1920 and 1930's, when the airline designed and published most of its flights to connect with one-another at AMS.

- Scandinavia-AMS-London/Paris
- Germany-AMS-London/Paris
- London/Paris-AMS-Southern Europe.
- Southern Europe-AMS-Scandinavia

etc...

See EXAMPLE from Summer 1926:

KLM - Summer 1926 timetable showing MME-CPH-HAM - AMS - Paris Le Bourget v.v. DAILY except Sundays.
Aircraft and crew did overnights in Malmo, Sweden and Paris Le Bourget to facilitate this operation.

Please note that the published connecting time at AMS was just 15 to 45 minutes.

Image

In 1928 KLM operated in joint venture with Sweden's ABA - they called the service 'The Scandinavian Air Express'

Image
Last edited by factsonly on Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:34 pm

factsonly wrote:

For KLM the origins of hub and spoke go way back to the 1920 and 1930's, when the airline designed and published most of its flights to connect with one-another at AMS.

I never knew this, but this is really cool! It even shows that even back than an overnight stay of the aircraft at an outstation was in place!
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:39 pm

factsonly wrote:
airporthistory wrote:

To my knowledge, KLM started optimizing the connection times between long-haul flights and European flights out of AMS around the same period (1970s).


For KLM the origins of hub and spoke go way back to the 1920 and 1930's, when the airline designed and published most of its flights to connect with one-another at AMS.

- Scandinavia-AMS-London/Paris
- Germany-AMS-London/Paris
- London/Paris-AMS-Southern Europe.
- Southern Europe-AMS-Scandinavia

etc...

See EXAMPLE from Summer 1926:

KLM - Summer 1926 timetable showing MME-CPH-HAM - AMS - Paris Le Bourget v.v. DAILY except Sundays.
Aircraft and crew did overnights in Malmo, Sweden and Paris Le Bourget to facilitate this operation.

https://www.timetableimages.com/ttimage ... l26-19.jpg

really fascinating. Thanks for sharing!
 
Yakflyer
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:47 pm

Delta Airlines was scheduling ATL in a hub and spoke pattern beginning in the late 60's early 70's. It wasn't called hub and spoke in name, but that is what it was effectively. The multitude of flight destinations accelerated and commented Atlanta's position of being the largest city in the south. At the end of WWII Atlanta and Birmingham where about the same size. Superior air and rail transportation hubs made the difference.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:06 pm

factsonly wrote:
airporthistory wrote:

To my knowledge, KLM started optimizing the connection times between long-haul flights and European flights out of AMS around the same period (1970s).


For KLM the origins of hub and spoke go way back to the 1920 and 1930's, when the airline designed and published most of its flights to connect with one-another at AMS.

- Scandinavia-AMS-London/Paris
- Germany-AMS-London/Paris
- London/Paris-AMS-Southern Europe.
- Southern Europe-AMS-Scandinavia

etc...

See EXAMPLE from Summer 1926:

KLM - Summer 1926 timetable showing MME-CPH-HAM - AMS - Paris Le Bourget v.v. DAILY except Sundays.
Aircraft and crew did overnights in Malmo, Sweden and Paris Le Bourget to facilitate this operation.

Please note that the published connecting time at AMS was just 15 to 45 minutes.

Image

In 1928 KLM operated in joint venture with Sweden's ABA - they called the service 'The Scandinavian Air Express'

Image


Good stuff, thanks! Proud of my Dutch homies! ;-)

On a related note, I hope KLM can recover from Corona. All those transfer passenger won't be coming back to AMS automatically.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:20 pm

airporthistory wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I may be wrong, but when I hear about hub-and-spoke, Bob Crandall comes to mind with what he helped implement at American following deregulation.


Hi, Bob Crandall started implementing the hub-and-spoke model at DFW in 1981. More about that here: https://www.airporthistory.org/dfw-rebuild-1.html


There is a book on Bob Crandall and American by Dan Reed which does talk a little about this as well as the growth of American in the 1980's. You may be able to find one out there right now on eBay (Shameless plug)
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:48 pm

According to Wikipedia, Delta started in 1955. FedEx's tremendous success with their hub and spoke system in the 1970s had everyone ready to employ the model.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoke%E ... n_paradigm
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ethernal
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:00 pm

Hub and spoke transportation models have been used for millennia dating back to ancient times with caravan networks. In more public times (in order of creation), rail hubs, subway hubs, and streetcar/bus hubs have all formed. Even old airline networks had loose concepts of hubs (as evidenced by the KLM example), although certainly not to the extent of modern day hubs.

Airlines optimizing completely around hubs (including heavy use of structured banks) is a more recent phenomenon driven by advances in aircraft technology (no need to have technical stopovers) and changes in regulatory structure. But I think pointing to a singular "origin" is going to be challenging given that they have existed in some capacity for a long time. You can identify use cases (such as American or Delta referenced above) but I think it would be wrong to say either "invented" or created them - rather a continual enhancement of an ancient concept.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:01 pm

I suspect or goes back further, to tramp steamers connecting with liners, or to stage coaches connecting with trains.
 
SELMER40
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:29 pm

I was a teenager in Birmingham in the 1950s. The two sayings I remember from then are -to go any where from here you have to go to Atlanta first and when you die, whether you are going to heaven or hell, you have to transfer in Atlanta.
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:48 pm

Yakflyer wrote:
Delta Airlines was scheduling ATL in a hub and spoke pattern beginning in the late 60's early 70's. It wasn't called hub and spoke in name, but that is what it was effectively. The multitude of flight destinations accelerated and commented Atlanta's position of being the largest city in the south. At the end of WWII Atlanta and Birmingham where about the same size. Superior air and rail transportation hubs made the difference.


I was going to say this too - Atlanta .. both Delta and Eastern. And then DAL (Love Field) with Braniff. And BWI - in the late 60s (I believe it was the late 60s) Allegheny turned over some small city service to Henson Aviation and funneled it through BWI - that was the first Allegheny Commuter carrier.
 
seat1a
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:52 pm

Delta and Eastern for sure in ATL. Showing some bias here, but Braniff in the early 1970s at DFW and MCI. At DFW, you could connect to those hourly flights to DEN, SAT, IAH, and ORD, and JFK/LGA/EWR.
 
citationjet
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:33 pm

Braniff in 1966 looks like a small hub and spoke at DAL.

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bn/bn66/bn66-02.jpg
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:45 pm

Railroads and steamships established what would be called 'hub and spoke' today. In the 1850's, the White Star Line and Cunard lines (among others) started regular trans Atlantic service. Well at each end, relatively low percentages were origin and destination. Passengers had traveled from Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc to board at NYC. Similarly, the main train lines passed thru say Chicago, but secondary market was by other trains, etc.

First the 707 was able to fly NYC to London, but insufficient traffic for just O & D, the majority of passengers connected in NYC to fly to London, the first spokes in aviation. Many cities had short haul traffic on DC-3's to the hub, then boarded the jets. I believe that a lot of the short haul was by different airlines then instead of the majors. Connections with baggage transfers happened later as the system matured, then the major airlines either served the short haul or made agreements to do connecting flights.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:58 am

Air France had an early hub at Orly. They printed a promo brochure about great service and cuisine, included was a picture of 2 707's and 4 Caravelles, The caption was passengers make their "jet to jet connections". I don't know what kind of volume, but they were certainly pushing an Orly hub.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:38 am

Yakflyer wrote:
Delta Airlines was scheduling ATL in a hub and spoke pattern beginning in the late 60's early 70's. It wasn't called hub and spoke in name, but that is what it was effectively. The multitude of flight destinations accelerated and commented Atlanta's position of being the largest city in the south. At the end of WWII Atlanta and Birmingham where about the same size. Superior air and rail transportation hubs made the difference.

In college we studied the Hub and Spoke system as an assignment In aviation Management . I got out of the Navy in 1977 and Delta was already doing that. At the time they still had a large HUB at DFW so they were already retrenching when I got to United in 1984. They closed their Hub at DFW Not long after and really went all in on their Hub at ATL. I heard the Hub Fortress Mantle not long after and al the other Majors scrambled to set up their OWN Fortress Hubs not long after, Then? they started eating each other like Cannibals. Now? We have the system we invented, But I doubt the Feast is over. Somebody will still be on the Dinner Table, but the question is?
WHO??
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:07 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Railroads and steamships established what would be called 'hub and spoke' today. In the 1850's, the White Star Line and Cunard lines (among others) started regular trans Atlantic service. Well at each end, relatively low percentages were origin and destination. Passengers had traveled from Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc to board at NYC. Similarly, the main train lines passed thru say Chicago, but secondary market was by other trains, etc.

First the 707 was able to fly NYC to London, but insufficient traffic for just O & D, the majority of passengers connected in NYC to fly to London, the first spokes in aviation. Many cities had short haul traffic on DC-3's to the hub, then boarded the jets. I believe that a lot of the short haul was by different airlines then instead of the majors. Connections with baggage transfers happened later as the system matured, then the major airlines either served the short haul or made agreements to do connecting flights.


Hope you are not assuming that transatlantic commercial aviation started in the late '50s with the advent of the 707, as you make it sound above. Transatlntic landplane service had started right after the end of WW2, in 1945-46. And there was scheduled flying boat service for a couple of years before the war as well. Also, the only passengers that could have gone from a DC-3 to a 707 in the late '50s were flying on Local Service carriers, and even most of those were rapidly shrinking their DC-3 fleets in favor of Convair or Martin twins by 1959. Pretty much all of the Trunk carriers had sold off their '3s' by that time. Much more common for a trunk carrier passenger to go from a DC-6/DC-7/Constellation to one of the brand-new jets (and turboprops like the Lockheed Electra, which also entered service in 1959).
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:12 am

UA operated ORD as a hub at least since the early 70's.
707 717 727 72S 737 733 737-700 747 757 753 767-300 764 A319 A320 DC-9-10 DC-9-30 DC-9-50, MD-82 MD-88 MD-90 DC-10-10 DC-10-40 F-100
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:02 am

It’s interesting to read the references to railroads here. Freight railroads in the US have been utilizing the hub and spoke system since the late 1800’s or early 1900’s when the first hump yard was established. The thought, for almost 115 years, was drive as much traffic into major yard facilities from smaller outlying yards, reclassify the traffic and send it out to the smaller yards on new trains. That theory has now been thrown out the window by the major freight roads because suddenly the hubs (hump yards) are too expensive to operate and more efficiencies can be gained running traffic point to point. And the cost savings are proving to be incredible.

I’m not saying airlines are going to be flying point to point overnight. But it will be interesting to see if during this downturn, a new, data driven thought process emerges in the industry.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:59 am

ethernal wrote:
Hub and spoke transportation models have been used for millennia dating back to ancient times with caravan networks. In more public times (in order of creation), rail hubs, subway hubs, and streetcar/bus hubs have all formed. Even old airline networks had loose concepts of hubs (as evidenced by the KLM example), although certainly not to the extent of modern day hubs.

Airlines optimizing completely around hubs (including heavy use of structured banks) is a more recent phenomenon driven by advances in aircraft technology (no need to have technical stopovers) and changes in regulatory structure. But I think pointing to a singular "origin" is going to be challenging given that they have existed in some capacity for a long time. You can identify use cases (such as American or Delta referenced above) but I think it would be wrong to say either "invented" or created them - rather a continual enhancement of an ancient concept.


One could argue that large-scale, modern passenger hubs began with the Union Pacific. Its lines connected every major city in the West through a few hubs: Omaha, Cheyenne / Laramie, and Ogden. In contrast, other railroads often had sprawling point-to-point networks, mostly notably the Pennsy and New York Central.

Freight railroads have always done hubs to some degree, but it was the UP who perfected the concept to passenger railroading. UP timed almost every train to meet at each hub, where they shuffled "through cars" between the trains to create seamless connections. This old ad provides a good example: http://streamlinermemories.info/UP/YourAmerica.jpg.

Compare that Union Pacific map to this overly-complex Pennsy network: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/47/bd ... e089a7.jpg.

This is a major reason why Union Pacific survives today, while every other railroad from the "Golden Age" has become a "fallen flag".
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:29 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Railroads and steamships established what would be called 'hub and spoke' today. In the 1850's, the White Star Line and Cunard lines (among others) started regular trans Atlantic service. Well at each end, relatively low percentages were origin and destination. Passengers had traveled from Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc to board at NYC. Similarly, the main train lines passed thru say Chicago, but secondary market was by other trains, etc..


In the book, Aviation and the Role of Government By Harry W. Lawrence, the author says Delta began hub and spoke in the 1940s at the request of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) formed in 1938 to bring service to small outlying communities.

I suspect that it wasn't until the early 1980s that banking flights became more common. I suppose it is a matter of semantics if you want to divide a simple transfer to an organized schedule to optimize transfers.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:02 pm

Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html
 
Toinou
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:11 pm

Comparaing UP and Pennsylvania is not so simple. The line density is vastly different depending which side of the Mississippi you are. UP simply had fewer lines to serve.
It is like if you compared the network of two airlines, one doing only flights within Europe and another one only intercontinental.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:16 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html

First, thank you for the ATL map link. I see an ATL hub forming, with ATL already serving Florida to the snowbird states. The CAB did have a tendency to branch out routes. By pursuing connections at ATL, DL was well positioned for deregulation.

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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:20 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html

Looks like significant operations out of Dallas as well as even Houston at that time, with Dallas connecting many communities in the west to the southeast and Houston serving destinations in the northeast and the south.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:28 pm

Swadian wrote:
ethernal wrote:
Hub and spoke transportation models have been used for millennia dating back to ancient times with caravan networks. In more public times (in order of creation), rail hubs, subway hubs, and streetcar/bus hubs have all formed. Even old airline networks had loose concepts of hubs (as evidenced by the KLM example), although certainly not to the extent of modern day hubs.

Airlines optimizing completely around hubs (including heavy use of structured banks) is a more recent phenomenon driven by advances in aircraft technology (no need to have technical stopovers) and changes in regulatory structure. But I think pointing to a singular "origin" is going to be challenging given that they have existed in some capacity for a long time. You can identify use cases (such as American or Delta referenced above) but I think it would be wrong to say either "invented" or created them - rather a continual enhancement of an ancient concept.


One could argue that large-scale, modern passenger hubs began with the Union Pacific. Its lines connected every major city in the West through a few hubs: Omaha, Cheyenne / Laramie, and Ogden. In contrast, other railroads often had sprawling point-to-point networks, mostly notably the Pennsy and New York Central.

Freight railroads have always done hubs to some degree, but it was the UP who perfected the concept to passenger railroading. UP timed almost every train to meet at each hub, where they shuffled "through cars" between the trains to create seamless connections. This old ad provides a good example: http://streamlinermemories.info/UP/YourAmerica.jpg.

Compare that Union Pacific map to this overly-complex Pennsy network: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/47/bd ... e089a7.jpg.

This is a major reason why Union Pacific survives today, while every other railroad from the "Golden Age" has become a "fallen flag".
I would disagree with your premise that the Pennsylvania didn’t have any hubs compared to UP. PRR had several hubs for both passengers and freight. PRR had trains to New York from every major city and corner of their map. Chicago had almost as many. Add in connections at intermediate stations and you could get to every location they served. Take a look at Philadelphia. You could hop on/hop off a train going practically everywhere in the eastern US. If that isn’t a hub, we need a new definition.

Every railroad scheduled passenger trains to meet at locations to trade cars to different locations. This was certainly not unique to UP. Even different railroads would coordinate exchanging cars at some locations to provide same seat through service between some cities.

Their massive investment in passenger operations aided their downfall as passengers flocked to airplanes for faster travel and new highways made car trips more practical.
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:40 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html


SJU-MSY ! I remember flying that route as a kid. May have been 1979-1981 time frame. What a weird route.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:55 pm

In remarks 2 and 3 of this thread it states that AA implemented the DFW hub in 1981. That always confuses me as I started with AA in 1979 when ABQ was opened and we had three daily flights to DFW all timed to make multiple eastboound connections, DFW was already quite the hub by that time. I do remember a large expansion of DFW in 1981.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:08 pm

ethernal wrote:
Hub and spoke transportation models have been used for millennia dating back to ancient times with caravan networks.


Absolutely. I believe the most large scale, transcontinental hub & spoke model was from the Arabs centuries ago when organizing the trade between East & West. Then the Portuguese started " to go point to point", bypassing Arabian trade routes. It's no secret that today UAE has for inspiration the historical trade links they used to dominate. In a similar way we have China trying to re open, the "silk roads" to re create the transport hubs western cities in China used to be.
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mga707
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:34 pm

Chuska wrote:
In remarks 2 and 3 of this thread it states that AA implemented the DFW hub in 1981. That always confuses me as I started with AA in 1979 when ABQ was opened and we had three daily flights to DFW all timed to make multiple eastboound connections, DFW was already quite the hub by that time. I do remember a large expansion of DFW in 1981.


DFW, like DAL until the move to DFW in early 1974, had always been a major station on AA's route system. In 1980-81 AA's then-new CEO Bob Crandall began to aggressively pursue he 'hub and spoke' system at both DFW and ORD, complete with 'banked' flights. At the same time he eliminated a lot of the non-DFW/ORD flights that had been part of AA's system in the regulated era, including the flights from LGA to upstate New York points (SYR, ROC, BUF), and others. An AA timetable cover from the era (1981, if memory serves) illustrates the strategy perfectly: 'Dallas/Ft. Worth' and 'Chicago' are shown as sun-like circles on the cover, with 'spokes' radiating from each circle.
 
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:59 pm

mga707 wrote:

DFW, like DAL until the move to DFW in early 1974, had always been a major station on AA's route system.


Yup - even before DFW opened in 1974, American was running what could be considered a hub operation at Love Field. It wasn't nearly as sophisticated as the heavily banked operations we know and love today, but there were a few waves of arrivals from the east coast/midwest (JFK, IAD, PHL, PIT, CLE, SDF, BNA etc) in the morning that all remained on the ground for an hour or two exchanging passengers, then those planes would continue on to LAX, SAN, SFO, PHX, TUS, ELP. The operation repeated in reverse in the afternoon.

As a few others have said, Braniff had a connecting complex at Love Field as well. Much of it was set up around the arrival and departure of the 747 from Honolulu each day, but it was also meant to funnel traffic from Houston, Austin and San Antonio across the Plains states (DEN, MCI, MSP, ORD) and out to the east coast (JFK, IAD). A bit of a 'proto-hub' by today's standards.
 
Dmoney
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:57 pm

Amsterdam and the Spice trade when the VOC broke the Venetian monopoly on the European spice trade. VOC ships landed in DAM, cargos split to factories, then on the Hanseatic trade cities and back with trade goods for the outbound legs to the East. But it all went through Amsterdam.
 
seat1a
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:06 pm

vetjetatl wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html


SJU-MSY ! I remember flying that route as a kid. May have been 1979-1981 time frame. What a weird route.


Didn't they have a route to Caracas or Maracaibo, too, or was that Braniff?
 
mga707
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:33 am

seat1a wrote:
vetjetatl wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Neither the UP nor the KLM maps show hub and spoke: they have a few branches off a central line. (If you want to call St Louis a rail hub, fine.) Those are little better than two milk runs by KL. This Delta route map of 1955 shows an overlay of multiple milk runs - it was the era of the CAB with extended runs aggregating traffic, not hubs.

This 1970 DL system map shows hub and spoke (although nothing like the dozen 100+ destination hubs the U.S. has today). Observe the route count out of Chicago and Miami. http://www.departedflights.com/DL121570.html


SJU-MSY ! I remember flying that route as a kid. May have been 1979-1981 time frame. What a weird route.


Didn't they have a route to Caracas or Maracaibo, too, or was that Braniff?


Yes. Caracas for many years and Maracaibo for a few as well, along with San Juan and Jamaica (Kingston and/or Montego Bay). Delta's original Caribbean routes from MSY are a heritage inherited from their first merger partner, Chicago and Southern Airways, which Delta acquired way back in 1953. C&S started flying to Havana in 1947, Jamaica and Caracas in '48, and San Juan in '53, right before the merger. Obviously Havana was dropped a year or two after Castro took over, just as National and Pan Am also suspended their Cuban services at that same time.
 
citationjet
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:47 am

Chuska wrote:
I do remember a large expansion of DFW in 1981.


That coincided with Braniff’s financial difficulties in 1981, and eventual bankruptcy and shutdown on May 12, 1982.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773,788.
 
seat1a
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:10 pm

mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
vetjetatl wrote:

SJU-MSY ! I remember flying that route as a kid. May have been 1979-1981 time frame. What a weird route.


Didn't they have a route to Caracas or Maracaibo, too, or was that Braniff?


Yes. Caracas for many years and Maracaibo for a few as well, along with San Juan and Jamaica (Kingston and/or Montego Bay). Delta's original Caribbean routes from MSY are a heritage inherited from their first merger partner, Chicago and Southern Airways, which Delta acquired way back in 1953. C&S started flying to Havana in 1947, Jamaica and Caracas in '48, and San Juan in '53, right before the merger. Obviously Havana was dropped a year or two after Castro took over, just as National and Pan Am also suspended their Cuban services at that same time.


Great history, thank you for this. Would you know if Braniff carried over it's stylish lounges at Love Field to the DFW complex? Thanks.
 
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rj968
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:33 pm

lightsaber wrote:
According to Wikipedia, Delta started in 1955. FedEx's tremendous success with their hub and spoke system in the 1970s had everyone ready to employ the model.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoke%E ... n_paradigm


A 1940 post card from the Atlanta airport gives an idea of what they thought a hub was in those days. (their quotes).
Atlanta Municipal Airport Altanta, GA. The “Hub of Southeastern Aviation” - Where planes arrive every thirty minutes – and serving seven points of the compass.
Nice picture of a Delta DC-2 and a couple Eastern DC-3’s in front of the terminal building/tower.
 
mga707
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:33 pm

seat1a wrote:
mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:

Didn't they have a route to Caracas or Maracaibo, too, or was that Braniff?


Yes. Caracas for many years and Maracaibo for a few as well, along with San Juan and Jamaica (Kingston and/or Montego Bay). Delta's original Caribbean routes from MSY are a heritage inherited from their first merger partner, Chicago and Southern Airways, which Delta acquired way back in 1953. C&S started flying to Havana in 1947, Jamaica and Caracas in '48, and San Juan in '53, right before the merger. Obviously Havana was dropped a year or two after Castro took over, just as National and Pan Am also suspended their Cuban services at that same time.


Great history, thank you for this. Would you know if Braniff carried over it's stylish lounges at Love Field to the DFW complex? Thanks.


Sorry, do not know the answer to your question. Minor correction to my above reply, and a bit of additional information: Should read 'Chicago and Southern Air Lines', not 'Airways'. Merger date was May 1, 1953. C&S fleet on that date consisted of DC-3. DC-4, and L-649/749 aircraft. These former C&S Constellations were the only ones Delta operated, as they were a loyal Douglas customer (DC-3/4/6) at that time, along with Convair 340s. For about 2 years following the merger all delta aircraft carried 'Delta C&S' titles.
 
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rj968
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:59 pm

mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
mga707 wrote:

Yes. Caracas for many years and Maracaibo for a few as well, along with San Juan and Jamaica (Kingston and/or Montego Bay). Delta's original Caribbean routes from MSY are a heritage inherited from their first merger partner, Chicago and Southern Airways, which Delta acquired way back in 1953. C&S started flying to Havana in 1947, Jamaica and Caracas in '48, and San Juan in '53, right before the merger. Obviously Havana was dropped a year or two after Castro took over, just as National and Pan Am also suspended their Cuban services at that same time.


Great history, thank you for this. Would you know if Braniff carried over it's stylish lounges at Love Field to the DFW complex? Thanks.


Sorry, do not know the answer to your question. Minor correction to my above reply, and a bit of additional information: Should read 'Chicago and Southern Air Lines', not 'Airways'. Merger date was May 1, 1953. C&S fleet on that date consisted of DC-3. DC-4, and L-649/749 aircraft. These former C&S Constellations were the only ones Delta operated, as they were a loyal Douglas customer (DC-3/4/6) at that time, along with Convair 340s. For about 2 years following the merger all delta aircraft carried 'Delta C&S' titles.


I caught the “Airways” but wasn’t going to make a correction since I figure there’s only about four people in the world that would remember that and the other two are in nursing homes!
I would like to make another correction though. First, the C&S DC-4’s were gone before the merger, replaced by the Connies. Second, Delta flew Connies twice.

The following two paragraphs are from the Delta Heritage Museum.
http://www.deltamuseum.org/exhibits/del ... stellation
Delta acquired its first Connies—five Model 649As and one Model 749A—from the merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines, effective May 1, 1953. Delta converted the Model 649As to Model 749As, and by June 1954, had leased or sold all the former C&S Connies.

Delta Flies Models -49 & -149
In 1956, Delta purchased four early Connies from Pan Am to quickly launch new service from the southern U.S. to New York City. All were built as Model 49, but two had been upgraded to Model 149. These Connies were withdrawn from Delta service by July 1958, and sold to American Flyers in April 1960.

An interesting (at least to me!) side note on the C&S Connies. Two of them N86524 and 525 flew for four airlines in the Delta family. Delivered new to C&S, merged to Delta C&S, leased/sold to Pacific Northern then merged into Western. Finally, being retired in December 1968. I flew on one in June 1968 to King Salmon AK. I have 1/144 scale models of the first three, and am working on a Western L749 at the moment.

RJ968
 
mga707
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:07 am

rj968 wrote:
mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:

Great history, thank you for this. Would you know if Braniff carried over it's stylish lounges at Love Field to the DFW complex? Thanks.


Sorry, do not know the answer to your question. Minor correction to my above reply, and a bit of additional information: Should read 'Chicago and Southern Air Lines', not 'Airways'. Merger date was May 1, 1953. C&S fleet on that date consisted of DC-3. DC-4, and L-649/749 aircraft. These former C&S Constellations were the only ones Delta operated, as they were a loyal Douglas customer (DC-3/4/6) at that time, along with Convair 340s. For about 2 years following the merger all delta aircraft carried 'Delta C&S' titles.


I caught the “Airways” but wasn’t going to make a correction since I figure there’s only about four people in the world that would remember that and the other two are in nursing homes!
I would like to make another correction though. First, the C&S DC-4’s were gone before the merger, replaced by the Connies. Second, Delta flew Connies twice.

The following two paragraphs are from the Delta Heritage Museum.
http://www.deltamuseum.org/exhibits/del ... stellation
Delta acquired its first Connies—five Model 649As and one Model 749A—from the merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines, effective May 1, 1953. Delta converted the Model 649As to Model 749As, and by June 1954, had leased or sold all the former C&S Connies.

Delta Flies Models -49 & -149
In 1956, Delta purchased four early Connies from Pan Am to quickly launch new service from the southern U.S. to New York City. All were built as Model 49, but two had been upgraded to Model 149. These Connies were withdrawn from Delta service by July 1958, and sold to American Flyers in April 1960.

An interesting (at least to me!) side note on the C&S Connies. Two of them N86524 and 525 flew for four airlines in the Delta family. Delivered new to C&S, merged to Delta C&S, leased/sold to Pacific Northern then merged into Western. Finally, being retired in December 1968. I flew on one in June 1968 to King Salmon AK. I have 1/144 scale models of the first three, and am working on a Western L749 at the moment.

RJ968


Corrections noted. Thank you.
 
Sokes
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:24 am

OKCDCA wrote:
It’s interesting to read the references to railroads here.... The thought, for almost 115 years, was drive as much traffic into major yard facilities from smaller outlying yards, reclassify the traffic and send it out to the smaller yards on new trains. That theory has now been thrown out the window by the major freight roads because suddenly the hubs (hump yards) are too expensive to operate and more efficiencies can be gained running traffic point to point. And the cost savings are proving to be incredible.

Skip this post if not interested in rail freight hubs.

If you speak about a train load of imported coal that has to go from the harbor to the power plant, you are right. But I doubt such traffic was sent via a hub earlier.
So how to run rail freight traffic from a 100.000 inhabitants city to a 50.000 inhabitants city 800 km apart in point to point? Wait two weeks for a train to form? Or do you speak of trucks?
Starts and stops for a plane are rather expensive. Starts and stops for trains aren't. Therefore four abreast planes can make sense even though there is huge economy of scale going to six abreast. But for container transport on trains nothing beats a hub. North America has more than 8 times the freight tonnes kilometers than Europe. China is similar. I speak about short distances Germany. There are two types of freight trains, one for containers and one for whole wagons.

Wagons first:
Image
source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ablaufberg

In Germany there are 10 such hubs.
E.g. Halle-Nord:
There was a hub before. In 2012 it was decided to reconstruct it. Capacity is 120 goods wagon/ hour or 2400/ day. The trains form on 36 tracks. Each is 700 m long. 180 million Euro was invested. It was completed 2018.
With 100 employees it runs at 1/3 capacity as of Feb 19.
Germany's biggest such hub is in Maschen. It used to have a capacity up to 11.000 wagons/ day, even though it never crossed 8400 wagons/ day. It was rebuild a few years ago. Now it has a capacity of 4000 wagons/ day and employs 700 people.
Six to eight wagons/ employee and day is not famous. A bit less than one man hour / wagon. Somebody has to manually separate the wagons including break connections.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nz-n49pIFQ
Observe that there are few containers. Most receivers of these goods need to have rail tracks.


Containers:
Image
source: https://www1.deutschebahn.com/ecm2-duss ... tId=713986

For inter modal transport rail-road in Germany there are private companies and there is a (mostly) railway owned company DUSS. They have 24 terminals with 59 gantry cranes and 10 reach stackers. 570 employees handle 2,2 mio container / year with 70 Mio Euro turnover.
I believe it refers to 1,1 mio containers handled twice (loading and unloading). Or a train sent from a harbor is sent to one of the 24 terminals in which case one container requires one handling. The handling at the harbor is not done by DUSS.
Anyway that's around 10,6 container handlings/ employee day. Let's say half man hour/ container. It's considerable more productive than rolling wagons down a slope. One can switch to road. But containers themselves are heavy.


Trucks are private. They have a lobby in politics. Trains are mostly government owned. They have no important lobby.
If one container handling takes half employee hour from the hub operator and probably (including extra way) another one to two truck driver hours, inter modal transport road - rail - road requires something like three to five man hours.
So from which distance is it useful?
If a business has own rail connection anything beyond 400 km may become possible. I made that up. It may depend more on weight than on distance. E.g. transporting potato chips in containers is less attractive than cement in containers. Long ago I heard stories that potatoes from Germany are transported for peeling with trucks more than 1000 km and then send back. While rail can't replace trucks, there is unused potential. But not if rail tracks don't have free capacity.

In Germany rail capacity is so limited that only part of the containers can be transported from harbors to inland locations via rail. Dedicated freight tracks from big container harbors are required. Freight which normally takes a route 50 km away would re-route to this dedicated track. Therefore one dedicated freight route can release capacity on several routes.That refers to places with dense railway networks. In Germany two freight routes have 250 to 300 freight trains/ direction day. Even though they are also used by a few regional passenger trains. And then there are mixed traffic routes with 150 - 200 freight trains/ direction day.

India is building dedicated freight corridors at the moment. Maybe in a few years German politicians want to go to India to see how it's done?
Or Germany can use old routes. With electronic control centers this mixed traffic route could increase capacity from 215 to 388 trains/ direction day:
Image
source: https://www.derwesten.de/thema/betuwe/k ... 02473.html

The origin of hub and spoke? I don't know.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Miamiairport
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:31 pm

In the US back in the 60s and 70s I think tag flights were fairly popular. IIRC DL had a flight that left MIA, flew just 30 miles or so to FLL and then onto ATL I believe. The New York Air flight that went down in the Potomac was scheduled to fly from DCA to TPA and then onto FLL. Needless to say the desire for high load factors killed tag flights. With the airlines possibly looking at a collapse in bookings over the next couple of years have to wonder if tag flights might become popular again, at least in the short term. I would think it would be cheaper for AA to run one a/c on MIA/TPA/DFW then 2 a/c from MIA and TPA.
 
seat1a
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:01 pm

Miamiairport wrote:
In the US back in the 60s and 70s I think tag flights were fairly popular. IIRC DL had a flight that left MIA, flew just 30 miles or so to FLL and then onto ATL I believe. The New York Air flight that went down in the Potomac was scheduled to fly from DCA to TPA and then onto FLL. Needless to say the desire for high load factors killed tag flights. With the airlines possibly looking at a collapse in bookings over the next couple of years have to wonder if tag flights might become popular again, at least in the short term. I would think it would be cheaper for AA to run one a/c on MIA/TPA/DFW then 2 a/c from MIA and TPA.


New York Air flight?
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:57 pm

Been reading this thread for a couple of days. In the regulated period in the US, sure, some airlines had larger operations at certain cities and were hubs or proto-hubs for the airline in question. Growing up as an airline brat in the 70's I tended to think of larger cities as multi-airline hubs. I grew up near Peoria, Illinois so my "hubs" were ORD and sometimes STL. Plenty of flights to both and from there you could jump on TW/AA/UA/EA etc...to get to your far-flung destination. Not much different today except airlines try to keep everything in house as there are fewer players with much larger networks. Sure, back then airlines tried to keep as much online as possible but they co-operated and interlined to get you from GRR to DFW or wherever.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
Dominion301
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:45 pm

seat1a wrote:
Miamiairport wrote:
In the US back in the 60s and 70s I think tag flights were fairly popular. IIRC DL had a flight that left MIA, flew just 30 miles or so to FLL and then onto ATL I believe. The New York Air flight that went down in the Potomac was scheduled to fly from DCA to TPA and then onto FLL. Needless to say the desire for high load factors killed tag flights. With the airlines possibly looking at a collapse in bookings over the next couple of years have to wonder if tag flights might become popular again, at least in the short term. I would think it would be cheaper for AA to run one a/c on MIA/TPA/DFW then 2 a/c from MIA and TPA.


New York Air flight?


I think the poster is thinking of the Air Florida 737 crash.
 
BealineV953
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:52 pm

PacoMartin wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Railroads and steamships established what would be called 'hub and spoke' today. In the 1850's, the White Star Line and Cunard lines (among others) started regular trans Atlantic service. Well at each end, relatively low percentages were origin and destination. Passengers had traveled from Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc to board at NYC. Similarly, the main train lines passed thru say Chicago, but secondary market was by other trains, etc..


In the book, Aviation and the Role of Government By Harry W. Lawrence, the author says Delta began hub and spoke in the 1940s at the request of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) formed in 1938 to bring service to small outlying communities.

I suspect that it wasn't until the early 1980s that banking flights became more common. I suppose it is a matter of semantics if you want to divide a simple transfer to an organized schedule to optimize transfers.


I vote for Delta at Atlanta, not for its network in the 1940s, but for they way it led the industry in 1980.

Delta took advantage of Deregulation (24st October 1978) and the opening of the ‘Midfield’ Terminal at Atlanta on 21st September 1980 to completely re-engineer its network.

Many airlines operated ‘hubs’. The perceived wisdom was that resources like gates and ramp workers should be used efficiently, and be kept occupied all day. Departures and arrivals would be spread evenly through the day. You’d see planes arrive at a gate soon after a departure had gone, so that gates were occupied for most of the time.

Deregulation had enabled Delta to begin service in many new markets. The huge new terminal enabled Delta to then optimise its schedule to enable short connections. Delta took hubbing to a whole new level. Flights departed and arrived in very distinct waves or banks. At a point in time every single gate would be occupied. Then there would be a departure wave, and in a few minutes every gate would be empty. It would be some time before the next arrival wave began. I remember seeing pictures of every gate occupied, and then something like 15 minutes later every gate empty. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. It was very impressive.

Frequent, short, easy connections meant that connecting through Atlanta could be competitive with infrequent direct services. Deregulation had allowed Delta to pull off many ‘Essential Service’ point to point routes, and by offering connections through Atlanta a presence in many of these markets could be maintained.

It may have looked as though gates and other resources were under-utilised. However, the aircraft capacity was used very efficiently, with point to point loads being topped up with connecting traffic, pushing up load factors significantly.
Ever since childhood, when I lived within sight of London Airport, I have seldom seen a plane go by and not wished I was on it.”
With apologies to Paul Theroux - ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’
 
Miamiairport
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Re: QUESTION: The origins of hub-and-spoke

Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:07 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
Been reading this thread for a couple of days. In the regulated period in the US, sure, some airlines had larger operations at certain cities and were hubs or proto-hubs for the airline in question. Growing up as an airline brat in the 70's I tended to think of larger cities as multi-airline hubs. I grew up near Peoria, Illinois so my "hubs" were ORD and sometimes STL. Plenty of flights to both and from there you could jump on TW/AA/UA/EA etc...to get to your far-flung destination. Not much different today except airlines try to keep everything in house as there are fewer players with much larger networks. Sure, back then airlines tried to keep as much online as possible but they co-operated and interlined to get you from GRR to DFW or wherever.


Also people used travel agents which could put together multi airline bookings.

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