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chunhimlai
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State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:02 pm

https://paxex.aero/2020/08/alaska-pushe ... enger-hub/

Alaska gov ask DOT to allow foreign airlines to transfer pax and cargo in Alaskan airports (most likely ANC)

Personally i dont think it works since the O&D demand is too low
 
VSMUT
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:58 pm

How far can a 737MAX-9 or A321neo reach from Anchorage? A321XLR? A lower-cost option between Northeast Asia and North America?
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:22 pm

The ANC airport is already a free trade zone. They can move cargo around freely.
 
andrew1996
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:28 pm

They were targeting UA/SQ to serve SIN-USA via Anchorage when UA launched cargo only to SIN via HKG.
 
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PA727
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:47 pm

I don't know that this necessarily works from a true "hubbing" standpoint, but the article is interesting nonetheless. The opportunity that might exist here could be for an airline(s) willing to borrow from the Icelandair model. From the way the article reads, it's more a question of extending the cargo exemptions/benefits to passenger service and would not require any additional approvals for any airline to use. (U.S. and foreign airlines equally.)

Maybe 2-3 day layovers as a no-cost option make certain routes/markets more viable, if it at the same time you can offer a connections as well at a discounted price. Sounds like an attempt by Alaska to perhaps grow tourism/airport traffic incrementally when the tourism industry begins to recover.

I certainly don't know enough about how the cargo system works based on one article to determine if it would provide an unfair advantage for the state and airport. It doesn't really explain the advantages for cargo operations, so I'm not sure what would apply for passengers. The DOT will decide in that case. But on the surface, as an idea to potentially make Alaska more attractive to tourists in the future? Sounds like a good idea to at least try. Anything proactive that can be done to be more accessible whenever travel recovery begins is probably worth looking into.
 
Ishrion
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:52 pm

VSMUT wrote:
How far can a 737MAX-9 or A321neo reach from Anchorage? A321XLR? A lower-cost option between Northeast Asia and North America?


The A321XLR's advertised range of 4,700nmi out of ANC can reach nearly all of China, all of North America, and pretty much all of Europe except for Greece and below.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:52 pm

PA727 wrote:
I don't know that this necessarily works from a true "hubbing" standpoint, but the article is interesting nonetheless. The opportunity that might exist here could be for an airline(s) willing to borrow from the Icelandair model. From the way the article reads, it's more a question of extending the cargo exemptions/benefits to passenger service and would not require any additional approvals for any airline to use. (U.S. and foreign airlines equally.)

Maybe 2-3 day layovers as a no-cost option make certain routes/markets more viable, if it at the same time you can offer a connections as well at a discounted price. Sounds like an attempt by Alaska to perhaps grow tourism/airport traffic incrementally when the tourism industry begins to recover.

I certainly don't know enough about how the cargo system works based on one article to determine if it would provide an unfair advantage for the state and airport. It doesn't really explain the advantages for cargo operations, so I'm not sure what would apply for passengers. The DOT will decide in that case. But on the surface, as an idea to potentially make Alaska more attractive to tourists in the future? Sounds like a good idea to at least try. Anything proactive that can be done to be more accessible whenever travel recovery begins is probably worth looking into.

They’ve been trying to get Asia service forever. And it never happens.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:38 pm

I suspect some responsible parties of the State of Alaska talked to Alaska Air Group and were told, 'Yeh, we're not going to Asia.' Whether you think the State is floating a balloon to force ALK's hand is a different question. I doubt it, frankly. Forcing the hand of a vendor on which you're so reliant is very risky business.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:50 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
I suspect some responsible parties of the State of Alaska talked to Alaska Air Group and were told, 'Yeh, we're not going to Asia.' Whether you think the State is floating a balloon to force ALK's hand is a different question. I doubt it, frankly. Forcing the hand of a vendor on which you're so reliant is very risky business.

This has nothing to Do with Alaska airlines. They’ve been courting Asian carriers for years.
 
luckyone
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:52 pm

PA727 wrote:
Maybe 2-3 day layovers as a no-cost option make certain routes/markets more viable, if it at the same time you can offer a connections as well at a discounted price. Sounds like an attempt by Alaska to perhaps grow tourism/airport traffic incrementally when the tourism industry begins to recover.

A challenge I see to an Icelandair/EK stopover model is there actually isn't that much to do around Anchorage that would make that attractive as opposed to Iceland where the Golden Triangle is a little less than two hour's drive from Keflavik, and the (overrated but popular) Blue Lagoon is a short bus ride away. There are some gorgeous hiking trails just east of the airport, but a lot of what you want to see in Alaska is quite a ways away from Anchorage, and you can easily spend half a day getting there (Denali, Kenai, etc). Perhaps they can market the Portage Glacier or Glacier View heavily and run more tour buses in those directions, but the problem remains those attractions are isolated and there isn't much lumped together that would make it easy to market as a convenient stop over in Anchorage. And then there's the fact that Anchorage itself as a town can be rather seedy, particularly where a lot of the hotels are. I went into the Wal-Mart Midtown in Achorage exactly once, and it was bad even by Wal-Mart standards--not to say that should be a reason not to try to build a stop over hub, but Midtown will be where a lot of the people end up staying.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:02 pm

luckyone wrote:
PA727 wrote:
Maybe 2-3 day layovers as a no-cost option make certain routes/markets more viable, if it at the same time you can offer a connections as well at a discounted price. Sounds like an attempt by Alaska to perhaps grow tourism/airport traffic incrementally when the tourism industry begins to recover.

A challenge I see to an Icelandair/EK stopover model is there actually isn't that much to do around Anchorage that would make that attractive as opposed to Iceland where the Golden Triangle is a little less than two hour's drive from Keflavik, and the (overrated but popular) Blue Lagoon is a short bus ride away. There are some gorgeous hiking trails just east of the airport, but a lot of what you want to see in Alaska is quite a ways away from Anchorage, and you can easily spend half a day getting there (Denali, Kenai, etc). Perhaps they can market the Portage Glacier or Glacier View heavily and run more tour buses in those directions, but the problem remains those attractions are isolated and there isn't much lumped together that would make it easy to market as a convenient stop over in Anchorage. And then there's the fact that Anchorage itself as a town can be rather seedy, particularly where a lot of the hotels are. I went into the Wal-Mart Midtown in Achorage exactly once, and it was bad even by Wal-Mart standards--not to say that should be a reason not to try to build a stop over hub, but Midtown will be where a lot of the people end up staying.

In a normal summer anchorage hotels are at 100% capacity and they keep building more and more. You could connect to short flights to kenai homer (when ravn restarts) Fairbanks, kodiak.

There’s plenty of hotels downtown. Idk what u are even taking about m8
 
airzona11
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:04 pm

The model would be DXB. The price would have to be a driver to compete with P2P and the large hubs on either side of the Pacific.

KEF is in an inconsequential hub, it doesn't have the infrastructure to be anything else.
 
EMB170
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:36 pm

I too heard this and was wondering if they're hoping they can get one or more of the Asian LCCs like T'way, Peach, Jin, Air Asia, Bamboo, Jetstar, Jeju, etc. to use ANC as a scissor hub.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:01 pm

Can AS start ANC to PEK with their 739 ERs?
 
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seabosdca
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:06 pm

I'm very skeptical that one-hop TPAC itineraries using A321XLRs or A321neos will make any sense in an environment where there are abundant A330s and 789s available to support nonstop services. ANC itself is not a large enough O&D destination to support A321 flights to Asia. If the A321XLR could fly TPAC routes directly the way that it can do TATL, the picture would be different, but an ANC passenger transit capability would still be unnecessary.
 
djpearman
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:08 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Can AS start ANC to PEK with their 739 ERs?

ANC to PEK is 3950 miles, the 737-900ER's range is 2950 miles - I doubt it. The 737 MAX 8's range is 3550 miles, so it wouldn't manage either.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:24 pm

seabosdca wrote:
I'm very skeptical that one-hop TPAC itineraries using A321XLRs or A321neos will make any sense in an environment where there are abundant A330s and 789s available to support nonstop services. ANC itself is not a large enough O&D destination to support A321 flights to Asia. If the A321XLR could fly TPAC routes directly the way that it can do TATL, the picture would be different, but an ANC passenger transit capability would still be unnecessary.

If ANC had more O&D, you would see A321xLRs across the Pacific. In this recovery, the low O&D hubs will have it tough as the price competition will be brutal.

Lightsaber
 
santi319
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:55 pm

Have a low cost like NK or F9 run ANC-USA/Canada to Japan/Korea/North China for $120 RT and it will work.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:59 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
Personally i dont think it works since the O&D demand is too low


Exactly. KEF works as a transatlantic hub because Iceland is a *very* popular destination in its own right for Americans (and of course, Europeans). Even there, Wow Air's reckless expansion that seemingly catered almost exclusively to connecting traffic (if my BCN-KEF-LAX trip on them in 2018 was any indication) was a colossal failure. ANC seems to have trouble supporting even its own country's LCC and ULCC carriers (B6 and F9 spring to mind), let alone any kind of scheduled service to Asia. The last Asian carrier to serve ANC may very well have been CX, which operated a HKG-ANC-YYZ service until Toronto could be served nonstop. While that airline kept fifth freedom YVR-JFK flights going years after the advent of nonstop HKG-JFK, they certainly didn't bother to keep service to ANC any longer than was absolutely necessary...

Let's see if any kind of regularly scheduled service between Alaska and Asia can be established. Only then we can start thinking about a viable transpacific hub!
 
as739x
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:40 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Can AS start ANC to PEK with their 739 ERs?


Not a chance. China is a lot farther from AK then you think. The 739ER won't make Sapporo,japan. Japan is the only destinations within range of most newer narrow bodies and thats still running tight. ANC-NRT is about 300 miles under the 737-8 maximum range and as we know thats still air range posted.
 
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Polot
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:45 pm

santi319 wrote:
Have a low cost like NK or F9 run ANC-USA/Canada to Japan/Korea/North China for $120 RT and it will work.

Well, except for their balance sheet as it is unlikely $120 RT fares will cover the costs.
 
SurlyBonds
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:46 pm

1. The Icelandair scissor hub model only makes sense for a US carrier, with rights to fly pax from ANC to the Lower 48. Otherwise, an Asian carrier is stuck connecting pax between northeast Asia and Europe, or possibly between northeast Asia and Mexico. (I'm assuming here that the Asian carrier would not have cabotage rights.) There is not enough demand for that, especially business demand.

2. HNL makes much more sense for this model than ANC, because HNL would capture most every route than ANC would, but in addition would capture traffic between Europe and Oceania, Asia and South America, Oceania and South America, and southeast Asia and the mainland US. (Hawaii is also a more attractive stopover destination.)
 
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seabosdca
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:25 pm

Whenever people get excited about ANC because it's geographically convenient for aircraft, they tend to forget that the entire Anchorage metro area has fewer people in it than the city proper of Tulsa, Oklahoma. People in Alaska travel more than the average bear, but there just isn't the population to support any real O&D.
 
32andBelow
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:00 am

SurlyBonds wrote:
1. The Icelandair scissor hub model only makes sense for a US carrier, with rights to fly pax from ANC to the Lower 48. Otherwise, an Asian carrier is stuck connecting pax between northeast Asia and Europe, or possibly between northeast Asia and Mexico. (I'm assuming here that the Asian carrier would not have cabotage rights.) There is not enough demand for that, especially business demand.

2. HNL makes much more sense for this model than ANC, because HNL would capture most every route than ANC would, but in addition would capture traffic between Europe and Oceania, Asia and South America, Oceania and South America, and southeast Asia and the mainland US. (Hawaii is also a more attractive stopover destination.)

HNL is way out of the way and ANC is right in the way
 
USAirALB
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:05 am

SurfandSnow wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
Personally i dont think it works since the O&D demand is too low


Exactly. KEF works as a transatlantic hub because Iceland is a *very* popular destination in its own right for Americans (and of course, Europeans). Even there, Wow Air's reckless expansion that seemingly catered almost exclusively to connecting traffic (if my BCN-KEF-LAX trip on them in 2018 was any indication) was a colossal failure. ANC seems to have trouble supporting even its own country's LCC and ULCC carriers (B6 and F9 spring to mind), let alone any kind of scheduled service to Asia. The last Asian carrier to serve ANC may very well have been CX, which operated a HKG-ANC-YYZ service until Toronto could be served nonstop. While that airline kept fifth freedom YVR-JFK flights going years after the advent of nonstop HKG-JFK, they certainly didn't bother to keep service to ANC any longer than was absolutely necessary...

Let's see if any kind of regularly scheduled service between Alaska and Asia can be established. Only then we can start thinking about a viable transpacific hub!

In it's last years of operation, I don't think CX had traffic rights on HKG-ANC and it was simply a tech stop. No pax got off.

The last Asian carrier to serve ANC with scheduled service was CI which ended in 2011.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Alaska want to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:22 am

32andBelow wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
I suspect some responsible parties of the State of Alaska talked to Alaska Air Group and were told, 'Yeh, we're not going to Asia.' Whether you think the State is floating a balloon to force ALK's hand is a different question. I doubt it, frankly. Forcing the hand of a vendor on which you're so reliant is very risky business.

This has nothing to Do with Alaska airlines. They’ve been courting Asian carriers for years.


The only carrier that can sensibly hub (meaning to fly to a bunch of destinations) to Asia from ANC is Alaska, so if Alaska isn't willing to do this it makes no sense at all.
 
IADCA
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:27 am

SurlyBonds wrote:
1. The Icelandair scissor hub model only makes sense for a US carrier, with rights to fly pax from ANC to the Lower 48. Otherwise, an Asian carrier is stuck connecting pax between northeast Asia and Europe, or possibly between northeast Asia and Mexico. (I'm assuming here that the Asian carrier would not have cabotage rights.) There is not enough demand for that, especially business demand.


It would indeed need to be a US carrier, but I'm not sure the demand really is that small. One thing FI does well is connections between secondary cities on both sides (or a secondary city on one end that lacks nonstops to primary cities on the other end such that FI is competing only against one-stop options). FI manages to fairly effectively aggregate traffic flows that are too thin for most other carriers to bother with.

The ability to serve Canada would also open up some more demand, although the need to transit US immigration and accompanying visa requirements would put a huge dent in that, especially for Chinese nationals.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:42 am

In a Covid environment, if humans could only afford 1 Trans-Pac hub location, ANC might be a good cost-minimum location for that.

I don't think it's quite that dire. By late 2021 Trans-Pac should return somewhat to normal, at lower volume than 2019.
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:06 am

CI and NW did ANC to Asia both passenger and cargo. CI to TPE of course and NW to NRT. if I recall NW was seasonal to NRT for a couple years
 
roadrunner165
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:11 am

I’m not surprised the State is seeking passenger service. The infrastructure is there already in the North Terminal. Which at this point has basically been taken over as office space by airport operators and government agencies. I wonder if the State has other motives — maybe the building needs upgrades and they can unlock some federal dollars if it had regular service, even if it wasn’t sustainable long term.
 
Sokes
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:39 am

For that hub to work a lot of transpacific traffic is required. I believe widebodies to Asia, both wide and narrowbodies to the US would be required.
At which time would the hub get busy?

Which plane is offering more cargo than passenger capacity?
Maybe an Anchorage airline could make use of all the A380s nobody wants?

From an environmental point of view there is a contradiction:
Stops in the middle require least fuel. But turbine research efforts require long distance traffic. Though a tax on aviation fuel could solve the second problem.

What about Tokio or Seattle?
 
AaronPGH
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:48 am

Flights prices to Asia were already incredibly cheap, even nonstop from the eastern US. I never paid more than $700 round trip on UA the last three years I was flying via TPE, twice a year. WOW and Icelandair got traction because of high summer pricing to Europe. I'm not really sure what the point would be in flying via ANC on a discount carrier to save $100 bucks max.

Maybe COVID will change all that on the other side of this thing, who knows.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:34 am

I suspect that leisure demand to Asia will be down for years. ANC is already set up well to be a cargo hub to bridge Asia and the Americas. Passenger traffic? Highly unlikely. Anchorage has little to offer the leisure traveler as an incentive for a stop over the way Reykjavik does, particularly in winter. Cruise traffic is seasonal and it won't be back to pre-COVID19 levels for years. This sounds like a way to grab taxpayer money to redevelop the airport in some way. Alaska is beautiful, unique, and in the era of social distancing, a viable alternative for tourism, but a hub around ANC is just unlikely.
 
Toinou
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Re: State of Alaska wants to build a pax hub

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:43 pm

I don't really believe in that kind of project, especially now.

But I don't agree more with some arguments used here.

SurfandSnow wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
Personally i dont think it works since the O&D demand is too low


Exactly. KEF works as a transatlantic hub because Iceland is a *very* popular destination in its own right for Americans (and of course, Europeans).

In fact, KEF developed as a small transatlantic hub many years (even decades) before Iceland became a touristic destination. One could even argue that this helped to build Icelandic tourism with people initially doing stopovers (and connecting traffic allowing to open markets that would be impossible based on O/D).
To some extant, Dubai is similar, with the airport driving the overall development.

airzona11 wrote:
The model would be DXB. The price would have to be a driver to compete with P2P and the large hubs on either side of the Pacific.

KEF is in an inconsequential hub, it doesn't have the infrastructure to be anything else.

I strongly disagree, at least for a potential beginning. KEF carved itself a niche market and that is what may (very hypothetically) allow a hub to develop in ANC. One of the strength of DXB of its ability to connect medium to small destinations with a single connection. To achieve that you need a very large network, which you can't have at the beginning. KEF does a bit of that but developed with people doing rather "normal" trips (ie between fairly important destinations) but wishing to find a cheap price, even if it needed the inconvenience of a connection in a not-so-sexy place.

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