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JRL3289
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:52 am

I think the biggest reason MSP hasn't seen massive growth as a connecting hub has to do with the efficiencies gained at ORD with the runway reconfiguration. I used to be a NW/DL-only flyer because even though connecting via MSP (or DTW) was either out of the way or somehow more inconvenient, it beat AA/UA's questionable operational reliability at ORD. In recent years that advantage (of both MSP and DTW) has dwindled as ORD's airfield was modernized. The combination at ORD of more efficient facilities with a dramatically larger O/D market means AA/UA can push more connecting flows via ORD more effectively than DL can via MSP.
 
stlgph
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:53 am

maps4ltd wrote:
MSP is a bit out of the way for most Midwestern connections, as others have mentioned, given its geographic location in the north of the country. That said, I have seen people flying STL-MSP-DEN, STL-MSP-LAX, and even STL-MSP-MDW.


Yes, but it still hasn't historically entirely stopped people from doing MSP connections.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:16 am

JRL3289 wrote:
I think the biggest reason MSP hasn't seen massive growth as a connecting hub has to do with the efficiencies gained at ORD with the runway reconfiguration. I used to be a NW/DL-only flyer because even though connecting via MSP (or DTW) was either out of the way or somehow more inconvenient, it beat AA/UA's questionable operational reliability at ORD. In recent years that advantage (of both MSP and DTW) has dwindled as ORD's airfield was modernized. The combination at ORD of more efficient facilities with a dramatically larger O/D market means AA/UA can push more connecting flows via ORD more effectively than DL can via MSP.


This I agree with to some extent, and once Terminal 2 at ORD is rebuilt as a dual international/domestic terminal, the advantage of the DTW layout will evaporate.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:40 am

SESGDL wrote:
N649DL wrote:
BAINY3 wrote:
I'd almost compare it to DEN instead. The markets are of similar size but DEN has really exploded in recent years and is a triple hub, while MSP is still basically just Delta-land with some SY thrown in. Technically the MSP metro area is larger than DEN's, but MSP has pretty consistently remained in the 30M-40M range pre-COVID, while DEN has grown from about 35M twenty years ago to nearly 70M in 2019. I could see DEN being larger because of added connectivity (since it isn't so far north, it can handle more connecting flows than MSP could, as MSP mostly just handles east-west connections; anything north-south is gonna mostly be O&D). But DEN is now approaching twice as many passengers as MSP, which amazes me since DEN isn't exactly a mega-city like Chicago and Dallas or even Atlanta.


DEN is over served and most of the state growth seems to be a bit of a fad. Lot's of people come and go from living out there (take it from me, I was one of them.) Eventually things should soften out a bit and airlines will have to adjust (although they probably already have due to COVID). I will agree that DEN is a place that is more popular to flock to over MSP. You don't see people moving to Minnesota in droves, if anything it's the reverse.

MSP's bread and butter seems to be the fact there are a ton of Fortune 500 companies (as well as many other large business verticals) up there requiring a lot of business travel. It also seems like a lot of O&D is that many of the locals like to escape via air travel during the winter months (which I'm convinced is why Sun Country can even exist.)

But it's true that both really aren't all that large US cities with a ton of airline service. Both are a fraction of the size of say DFW and yet how much bigger is that airport over DEN relative to the metro area's size?


DEN doesn't have a ton of service? In 2019 it had just under 6M fewer passengers than DFW, a megahub in a city that's over three times the size of Denver. DEN is not even close to "a fraction of the size of DFW," if anything I could see DEN overtaking DFW in the coming years if DEN's recent growth continues.

Jeremy


Uh, no that wasn't my point. DEN has a ton of service and no, the metro area will *never* get close to the size of DFW. My point was that DEN is a large airport (which is probably close to the size of DFW) but for a midsize metro area is lucky to have the service it gets. Part of it is connecting no doubt, but otherwise? Com'on, UAL dragged it's feet to even get DEN-LHR back on the map within the last few years. It's a "Beta" Metro Area, not even close to approaching "Alpha" status. Minneapolis same boat (more or less). They both just don't have the status of being true Global International Cities compared to Los Angeles, Washington, NYC, San Francisco, or even Dallas, Miami, Boston, Houston, Miami etc. They're small metro areas by comparison with a good amount of O&D travel and connectivity.

So yeah, MSP is also pretty lucky to have what it gets as well: And try going to live in Denver if you haven't already. It's freaking small (and small minded) by comparison to the coasts. The airport looks and feels like it should be somewhere in Nebraska and once you hit the suburbs it feels totally "Cowtowned."

If anything, Chicago needs to watch out because apparently Houston is getting close to overtaking it in terms of population as a metro area. Likely because it's well known for its "Baba Booey" corruption and it's full of crime these days.
 
SESGDL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:11 am

N649DL wrote:
SESGDL wrote:
N649DL wrote:

DEN is over served and most of the state growth seems to be a bit of a fad. Lot's of people come and go from living out there (take it from me, I was one of them.) Eventually things should soften out a bit and airlines will have to adjust (although they probably already have due to COVID). I will agree that DEN is a place that is more popular to flock to over MSP. You don't see people moving to Minnesota in droves, if anything it's the reverse.

MSP's bread and butter seems to be the fact there are a ton of Fortune 500 companies (as well as many other large business verticals) up there requiring a lot of business travel. It also seems like a lot of O&D is that many of the locals like to escape via air travel during the winter months (which I'm convinced is why Sun Country can even exist.)

But it's true that both really aren't all that large US cities with a ton of airline service. Both are a fraction of the size of say DFW and yet how much bigger is that airport over DEN relative to the metro area's size?


DEN doesn't have a ton of service? In 2019 it had just under 6M fewer passengers than DFW, a megahub in a city that's over three times the size of Denver. DEN is not even close to "a fraction of the size of DFW," if anything I could see DEN overtaking DFW in the coming years if DEN's recent growth continues.

Jeremy


Uh, no that wasn't my point. DEN has a ton of service and no, the metro area will *never* get close to the size of DFW. My point was that DEN is a large airport (which is probably close to the size of DFW) but for a midsize metro area is lucky to have the service it gets. Part of it is connecting no doubt, but otherwise? Com'on, UAL dragged it's feet to even get DEN-LHR back on the map within the last few years. It's a "Beta" Metro Area, not even close to approaching "Alpha" status. Minneapolis same boat (more or less). They both just don't have the status of being true Global International Cities compared to Los Angeles, Washington, NYC, San Francisco, or even Dallas, Miami, Boston, Houston, Miami etc. They're small metro areas by comparison with a good amount of O&D travel and connectivity.

So yeah, MSP is also pretty lucky to have what it gets as well: And try going to live in Denver if you haven't already. It's freaking small (and small minded) by comparison to the coasts. The airport looks and feels like it should be somewhere in Nebraska and once you hit the suburbs it feels totally "Cowtowned."

If anything, Chicago needs to watch out because apparently Houston is getting close to overtaking it in terms of population as a metro area. Likely because it's well known for its "Baba Booey" corruption and it's full of crime these days.


I never said Denver will grow larger than Dallas, I said DEN may overtake DFW, something I stand by given recent trends.

Jeremy
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:12 am

N649DL wrote:
SESGDL wrote:
N649DL wrote:

DEN is over served and most of the state growth seems to be a bit of a fad. Lot's of people come and go from living out there (take it from me, I was one of them.) Eventually things should soften out a bit and airlines will have to adjust (although they probably already have due to COVID). I will agree that DEN is a place that is more popular to flock to over MSP. You don't see people moving to Minnesota in droves, if anything it's the reverse.

MSP's bread and butter seems to be the fact there are a ton of Fortune 500 companies (as well as many other large business verticals) up there requiring a lot of business travel. It also seems like a lot of O&D is that many of the locals like to escape via air travel during the winter months (which I'm convinced is why Sun Country can even exist.)

But it's true that both really aren't all that large US cities with a ton of airline service. Both are a fraction of the size of say DFW and yet how much bigger is that airport over DEN relative to the metro area's size?


DEN doesn't have a ton of service? In 2019 it had just under 6M fewer passengers than DFW, a megahub in a city that's over three times the size of Denver. DEN is not even close to "a fraction of the size of DFW," if anything I could see DEN overtaking DFW in the coming years if DEN's recent growth continues.

Jeremy


Uh, no that wasn't my point. DEN has a ton of service and no, the metro area will *never* get close to the size of DFW. My point was that DEN is a large airport (which is probably close to the size of DFW) but for a midsize metro area is lucky to have the service it gets. Part of it is connecting no doubt, but otherwise? Com'on, UAL dragged it's feet to even get DEN-LHR back on the map within the last few years. It's a "Beta" Metro Area, not even close to approaching "Alpha" status. Minneapolis same boat (more or less). They both just don't have the status of being true Global International Cities compared to Los Angeles, Washington, NYC, San Francisco, or even Dallas, Miami, Boston, Houston, Miami etc. They're small metro areas by comparison with a good amount of O&D travel and connectivity.

So yeah, MSP is also pretty lucky to have what it gets as well: And try going to live in Denver if you haven't already. It's freaking small (and small minded) by comparison to the coasts. The airport looks and feels like it should be somewhere in Nebraska and once you hit the suburbs it feels totally "Cowtowned."

If anything, Chicago needs to watch out because apparently Houston is getting close to overtaking it in terms of population as a metro area. Likely because it's well known for its "Baba Booey" corruption and it's full of crime these days.


A little mad are we? You must be one of those costal elites that looks down on any city in the interior of the US.

I can tell you one thing, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. Those cities are total dumpster fires right now.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:19 am

SESGDL wrote:
N649DL wrote:
SESGDL wrote:

DEN doesn't have a ton of service? In 2019 it had just under 6M fewer passengers than DFW, a megahub in a city that's over three times the size of Denver. DEN is not even close to "a fraction of the size of DFW," if anything I could see DEN overtaking DFW in the coming years if DEN's recent growth continues.

Jeremy


Uh, no that wasn't my point. DEN has a ton of service and no, the metro area will *never* get close to the size of DFW. My point was that DEN is a large airport (which is probably close to the size of DFW) but for a midsize metro area is lucky to have the service it gets. Part of it is connecting no doubt, but otherwise? Com'on, UAL dragged it's feet to even get DEN-LHR back on the map within the last few years. It's a "Beta" Metro Area, not even close to approaching "Alpha" status. Minneapolis same boat (more or less). They both just don't have the status of being true Global International Cities compared to Los Angeles, Washington, NYC, San Francisco, or even Dallas, Miami, Boston, Houston, Miami etc. They're small metro areas by comparison with a good amount of O&D travel and connectivity.

So yeah, MSP is also pretty lucky to have what it gets as well: And try going to live in Denver if you haven't already. It's freaking small (and small minded) by comparison to the coasts. The airport looks and feels like it should be somewhere in Nebraska and once you hit the suburbs it feels totally "Cowtowned."

If anything, Chicago needs to watch out because apparently Houston is getting close to overtaking it in terms of population as a metro area. Likely because it's well known for its "Baba Booey" corruption and it's full of crime these days.


I never said Denver will grow larger than Dallas, I said DEN may overtake DFW, something I stand by given recent trends.

Jeremy


And it will once travel recovers. DEN is more domestic oriented and that will come back faster. Plus, it has 3 hubs in UA, WN and F9 compared to just AA at DFW.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:50 am

Runway765 wrote:
I always thought that MSP has never reached its full potential as a hub. Given the relatively strong Twin Cities economy, among the strongest in the midwest, and the great geographical position of MSP (being in the dead center of the northern part of the US), it seems MSP could be a bigger operation for DL than it historically has been. Perhaps a slightly smaller, northern version of DFW. I get DTW is also in the picture, but it seems MSP is a cheaper facility with a stronger surrounding economy and decent O&D. I don't believe that the operation has ever gotten much bigger than it was pre-covid (450 flights or so), why is this?



I used to live in Minneapolis and flew a lot for business. MSP basically is well positioned geographically to funnel passengers to the Dakotas, Montana, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The problem is, other than the Pacific Northwest not a lot of people want to go to the Dakotas or Montana. ORD and DTW are honestly better positioned to route passengers to most of the rest of the Western US. DL will not abandon MSP, but they will not cannibalize DTW or SLC either. MSP has pretty much stayed the same since the late 1990's with probably a few less flights to Asia and Europe. It is what it is. A solid but unspectacular hub.
 
evank516
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:31 am

stlgph wrote:
maps4ltd wrote:
MSP is a bit out of the way for most Midwestern connections, as others have mentioned, given its geographic location in the north of the country. That said, I have seen people flying STL-MSP-DEN, STL-MSP-LAX, and even STL-MSP-MDW.


Yes, but it still hasn't historically entirely stopped people from doing MSP connections.


I’ve done JFK/LGA-MSP-MCI plenty of times. It’s not really too too out of the way. Yes, DTW is a bit more direct but MSP is just the better airport. In fact I’ve even done JFK-MSP-MSN before. Not by choice but it was better than going via ATL when going via DTW was twice the price.
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:08 pm

I think back in 2005 NW was running about 600 flights a day at MSP. Many cities like DSM CID MSN GRB DLH FSD etc had about 8 flights a day to the MSP hub. Heck I even took a NW flight from MSP to PNS. Since the DL merger things were obviously scaled back to what we see today since the combined airline had an expanded hub system to work with.
 
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c933103
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:13 pm

Runway765 wrote:
I always thought that MSP has never reached its full potential as a hub. Given the relatively strong Twin Cities economy, among the strongest in the midwest, and the great geographical position of MSP (being in the dead center of the northern part of the US), it seems MSP could be a bigger operation for DL than it historically has been. Perhaps a slightly smaller, northern version of DFW. I get DTW is also in the picture, but it seems MSP is a cheaper facility with a stronger surrounding economy and decent O&D. I don't believe that the operation has ever gotten much bigger than it was pre-covid (450 flights or so), why is this?

1. Chicago is still more significant than MSP
2. If you look at the population distribution of the US, barring the West Coast, MSP is actually near the Northwestern corner of where people mainly inhabit. There are Canada to the North but both Toronto and Quebec are West of MSP, while Vancouver is on the West Coast. Toward the.west there are Pacific and Asia but hubs along the West coasts are already fulfilling their purposes, and locally in the Midwest part of the US, Chicago having more demand and connection is also acting as a connection hub for such sort of traffic.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:13 pm

DFW, ATL are CLT are the mega-hub outliers: just look at their fraction of connecting passengers as mentioned in post #26. MSP isn't an outlier (low), or even below average, among the DOT's top 30.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:27 pm

c933103 wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
I always thought that MSP has never reached its full potential as a hub. Given the relatively strong Twin Cities economy, among the strongest in the midwest, and the great geographical position of MSP (being in the dead center of the northern part of the US), it seems MSP could be a bigger operation for DL than it historically has been. Perhaps a slightly smaller, northern version of DFW. I get DTW is also in the picture, but it seems MSP is a cheaper facility with a stronger surrounding economy and decent O&D. I don't believe that the operation has ever gotten much bigger than it was pre-covid (450 flights or so), why is this?

1. Chicago is still more significant than MSP
2. If you look at the population distribution of the US, barring the West Coast, MSP is actually near the Northwestern corner of where people mainly inhabit. There are Canada to the North but both Toronto and Quebec are West of MSP, while Vancouver is on the West Coast. Toward the.west there are Pacific and Asia but hubs along the West coasts are already fulfilling their purposes, and locally in the Midwest part of the US, Chicago having more demand and connection is also acting as a connection hub for such sort of traffic.

YYZ and YUL are east of MSP. U.S. airlines can't connect domestic Canadian passengers anyway.

MSP is well positioned to connect PNW to YYZ and east, and NE to the prairie provinces, B.C. and YT.
 
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c933103
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:56 pm

Aliqiout wrote:
c933103 wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
I always thought that MSP has never reached its full potential as a hub. Given the relatively strong Twin Cities economy, among the strongest in the midwest, and the great geographical position of MSP (being in the dead center of the northern part of the US), it seems MSP could be a bigger operation for DL than it historically has been. Perhaps a slightly smaller, northern version of DFW. I get DTW is also in the picture, but it seems MSP is a cheaper facility with a stronger surrounding economy and decent O&D. I don't believe that the operation has ever gotten much bigger than it was pre-covid (450 flights or so), why is this?

1. Chicago is still more significant than MSP
2. If you look at the population distribution of the US, barring the West Coast, MSP is actually near the Northwestern corner of where people mainly inhabit. There are Canada to the North but both Toronto and Quebec are West of MSP, while Vancouver is on the West Coast. Toward the.west there are Pacific and Asia but hubs along the West coasts are already fulfilling their purposes, and locally in the Midwest part of the US, Chicago having more demand and connection is also acting as a connection hub for such sort of traffic.

YYZ and YUL are east of MSP. U.S. airlines can't connect domestic Canadian passengers anyway.

MSP is well positioned to connect PNW to YYZ and east, and NE to the prairie provinces, B.C. and YT.

Those passengers can also connect via Chicago or Toronto instead although I have no idea how much of those passengers currently connect via those airports
 
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NCAD95
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:16 pm

I think the question is what more could we expect at MSP. It already has 2 hub carriers one fully vested in the market while to other is the number 2 hub in a U33 carriers network that holds strong with it current capacity and flights it operates out of MSP. MSP carries 5 European carriers AF, DE, EI, FI, and KL along with DL. Delta has expanded international offerings at MSP year over year with adding a 4th flight to AMS on certain days, ICN, MEX and was talking about PVG before the roof feel in. The thing about CLT and ATL is they carry a huge amount of Northeast traffic to Florida and the Caribbean. ORD handles the Northern East West traffic while DFW carries the Southern East West traffic. MSP just lies to far north to be and effective connecting point for massive East West traffic. But for a city it's size it has a pretty good amount of traffic and commitment from it's carriers that hub there which I see as good things for MSP going forward. It's airport management is also very proactive in creating new opportunities for the market as well which is a big plus.
 
ScottB
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:57 pm

TW870 wrote:
The counter examples are obviously DEN and CLT, which both support much more traffic than the underlying MSA would probably generate. In DEN's case, geography really helps in that it has a giant hinterland and is in the dead center of the western half of the U.S., and CLT because the unusually strong local banking industry pushes yields up for AA.


The key for CLT is not the local banking industry, although that helps. CLT is a hub because it is the second-best hub location in a populous region with dozens of small and mid-size cities which aren't large enough to support comprehensive networks of direct flights. The local hub carrier -- first PI, then US, then AA -- has spent 40 years building it into a connecting hub and to a large degree that has bolstered the regional economy. I think it can be argued the banking industry would not have stayed in Charlotte absent that hub. Further, the City of Charlotte has done a good job of keeping costs at the airport low, which helps keep the airport viable as a connecting hub.

SLC is similar to CLT. The local catchment is small compared to other hub markets, but it's the next-best connecting option for a pretty vast region of isolated small cities.

IADCA wrote:
Runway765 wrote:

I agree about UA, but do you really think AA would’ve kept their ORD hub as opposed to taking MSP/DTW if they had merged with NW?


Yes. Chicago's three times the size of the Twin Cities area and better located for connections. I get the competition with UA and WN, but yeah.


Metro size and location for connections are irrelevant here. Who do you think has generated more profit from its Midwest hub(s) over the past decade -- AA or DL? Look at AA's approach to NYC vs. PHL and the answer is obvious.
 
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NCAD95
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:05 pm

ScottB wrote:
TW870 wrote:
The counter examples are obviously DEN and CLT, which both support much more traffic than the underlying MSA would probably generate. In DEN's case, geography really helps in that it has a giant hinterland and is in the dead center of the western half of the U.S., and CLT because the unusually strong local banking industry pushes yields up for AA.


The key for CLT is not the local banking industry, although that helps. CLT is a hub because it is the second-best hub location in a populous region with dozens of small and mid-size cities which aren't large enough to support comprehensive networks of direct flights. The local hub carrier -- first PI, then US, then AA -- has spent 40 years building it into a connecting hub and to a large degree that has bolstered the regional economy. I think it can be argued the banking industry would not have stayed in Charlotte absent that hub. Further, the City of Charlotte has done a good job of keeping costs at the airport low, which helps keep the airport viable as a connecting hub.

SLC is similar to CLT. The local catchment is small compared to other hub markets, but it's the next-best connecting option for a pretty vast region of isolated small cities.

IADCA wrote:
Runway765 wrote:

I agree about UA, but do you really think AA would’ve kept their ORD hub as opposed to taking MSP/DTW if they had merged with NW?


Yes. Chicago's three times the size of the Twin Cities area and better located for connections. I get the competition with UA and WN, but yeah.


Metro size and location for connections are irrelevant here. Who do you think has generated more profit from its Midwest hub(s) over the past decade -- AA or DL? Look at AA's approach to NYC vs. PHL and the answer is obvious.


This is exactly why if DL ever picked up and dehubbed DTW or MSP AA would swiftly move in and take over without giving ORD a second thought.
 
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sjones1975
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:21 pm

Thenoflyzone wrote:
What, 40 million passengers isn’t enough? What more do you want. MSP is well served already for a city of 4 million.

Look at other cities of 4 million people in North America for comparison (CLE, YUL).


I agree with your point that MSP is well served for a metro area of 4M. But CLE isn't a good comparison. Cleveland metro area (MSA) population is barely half that at 2,050,000. Cleveland Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is 3.59M, but that's a much broader area than just Cleveland and its suburbs.
 
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NCAD95
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:01 pm

sjones1975 wrote:
Thenoflyzone wrote:
What, 40 million passengers isn’t enough? What more do you want. MSP is well served already for a city of 4 million.

Look at other cities of 4 million people in North America for comparison (CLE, YUL).


I agree with your point that MSP is well served for a metro area of 4M. But CLE isn't a good comparison. Cleveland metro area (MSA) population is barely half that at 2,050,000. Cleveland Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is 3.59M, but that's a much broader area than just Cleveland and its suburbs.


I think well served is a relevant term. While CLT is a huge fortress hub it is by no means well served. It has maybe more flights to more destinations but it's diversity as far as the market goes is underserved compared to other cities of it's size. I think diversity in the market is how we should gage whether a city is well served or not. What percentage of the market is being controlled or served by one carrier and how is that negatively effecting the market.
 
luckyone
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:45 pm

sjones1975 wrote:
Thenoflyzone wrote:
What, 40 million passengers isn’t enough? What more do you want. MSP is well served already for a city of 4 million.

Look at other cities of 4 million people in North America for comparison (CLE, YUL).


I agree with your point that MSP is well served for a metro area of 4M. But CLE isn't a good comparison. Cleveland metro area (MSA) population is barely half that at 2,050,000. Cleveland Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is 3.59M, but that's a much broader area than just Cleveland and its suburbs.

I also agree that CLE is not the best comparison. Economic issues aside, the CLE metro area also has easy access to multiple well-served airports if the service out of CLE isn't optimal. DTW, CMH, PIT are all two-ish hours drive from downtown Cleveland, and if one is traveling from one of the suburban regions it can be less. If you live in Cleveland, it's not a big deal to take a flight out of PIT, CMH, or DTW. I know many people who've done that and I've done it in favor of a nonstop, simpler international connection, or a better reward redemption--when one factors in connecting time it's a wash. That is not the case for MSP.
 
blockski
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:00 pm

NCAD95 wrote:
sjones1975 wrote:
Thenoflyzone wrote:
What, 40 million passengers isn’t enough? What more do you want. MSP is well served already for a city of 4 million.

Look at other cities of 4 million people in North America for comparison (CLE, YUL).


I agree with your point that MSP is well served for a metro area of 4M. But CLE isn't a good comparison. Cleveland metro area (MSA) population is barely half that at 2,050,000. Cleveland Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is 3.59M, but that's a much broader area than just Cleveland and its suburbs.


I think well served is a relevant term. While CLT is a huge fortress hub it is by no means well served. It has maybe more flights to more destinations but it's diversity as far as the market goes is underserved compared to other cities of it's size. I think diversity in the market is how we should gage whether a city is well served or not. What percentage of the market is being controlled or served by one carrier and how is that negatively effecting the market.


What possible definition could you have for an airport being 'well-served' that doesn't include the number of flights and destinations?

If you want to say CLT isn't competitively served, that's fine. But it's extraordinarily well-served for a city of that size. That's the whole benefit of living and working in a hub city: you might not get great deals on airfare, but you have an enormous array of non-stop flights to choose from, all thanks to the wide variety of connecting passengers.
 
Vctony
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:07 pm

PHX is another airport that punches under its weight passenger wise.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:15 pm

Thank you all for the fair points. I think this thread has run it's course now.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:50 pm

Runway765 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
SESGDL wrote:

DEN doesn't have a ton of service? In 2019 it had just under 6M fewer passengers than DFW, a megahub in a city that's over three times the size of Denver. DEN is not even close to "a fraction of the size of DFW," if anything I could see DEN overtaking DFW in the coming years if DEN's recent growth continues.

Jeremy


Uh, no that wasn't my point. DEN has a ton of service and no, the metro area will *never* get close to the size of DFW. My point was that DEN is a large airport (which is probably close to the size of DFW) but for a midsize metro area is lucky to have the service it gets. Part of it is connecting no doubt, but otherwise? Com'on, UAL dragged it's feet to even get DEN-LHR back on the map within the last few years. It's a "Beta" Metro Area, not even close to approaching "Alpha" status. Minneapolis same boat (more or less). They both just don't have the status of being true Global International Cities compared to Los Angeles, Washington, NYC, San Francisco, or even Dallas, Miami, Boston, Houston, Miami etc. They're small metro areas by comparison with a good amount of O&D travel and connectivity.

So yeah, MSP is also pretty lucky to have what it gets as well: And try going to live in Denver if you haven't already. It's freaking small (and small minded) by comparison to the coasts. The airport looks and feels like it should be somewhere in Nebraska and once you hit the suburbs it feels totally "Cowtowned."

If anything, Chicago needs to watch out because apparently Houston is getting close to overtaking it in terms of population as a metro area. Likely because it's well known for its "Baba Booey" corruption and it's full of crime these days.


A little mad are we? You must be one of those costal elites that looks down on any city in the interior of the US.

I can tell you one thing, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. Those cities are total dumpster fires right now.


That's funny because I live in Redondo Beach (part of L.A.) and it's getting back to business as usual right now as the pier is open. And I used to live in Austin as well, so I really don't identify with being a coastal elite. If anything, Denver has just hijacked by weirdos, snobs, homeless people and panhandlers combined with smug insular locals to really hold up for me. There's a difference as DEN just seems to be getting filled up with straight up White Trash.

Vctony wrote:
PHX is another airport that punches under its weight passenger wise.


Another weird case study. Lot's of snowbirds in PHX but it's population I believe is now larger than PHL (the 5th largest city in America?) Yeah, I'd say it's punching below it's weight class for sure. Still waiting on AA to add PHX-NRT.
 
N766UA
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:21 am

MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.
 
BAINY3
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:25 am

N766UA wrote:
MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.

Traffic jams at MSP are rare, and they also frequently use 17 for departures during a south flow (specifically they will use 17 & 12L for departures, and 12L & 12R for arrivals), which is plenty of capacity for the traffic they have.
 
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austinrc
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:31 am

Runway765 wrote:
Thank you all for the fair points. I think this thread has run it's course now.


Trying to end a thread on airliners.net? Ha! Good luck with that!
 
N649DL
Posts: 1185
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:47 am

austinrc wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
Thank you all for the fair points. I think this thread has run it's course now.


Trying to end a thread on airliners.net? Ha! Good luck with that!


(*Cracks Open a Beer*) Let's keep it going lol....
 
Lootess
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:02 am

CLT is the 2nd largest banking center in the US, more so now that BB&T + SunTrust decided to land there where Bank of America has always been. Those flights to LGA print money.

MSP has UMB bank, but definitely some big hitter corps like 3M and Best Buy.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:13 am

N766UA wrote:
MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.


This is a excellent point as well. Since they chose to stay put 25-30 years ago rather than investing in a new airport facility outside of town, it has hampered their ability to meaningfully grow. With the reconstruction of SLC and LGA, MSP is easily the worst facility in the DL network.
 
nomorerjs
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:35 am

Location, location, location!

If Canadian traffic was similar to Mexican traffic, MSP would be like DFW / IAH to Mexico. Just different markets.
 
IADCA
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:10 am

ScottB wrote:
TW870 wrote:
The counter examples are obviously DEN and CLT, which both support much more traffic than the underlying MSA would probably generate. In DEN's case, geography really helps in that it has a giant hinterland and is in the dead center of the western half of the U.S., and CLT because the unusually strong local banking industry pushes yields up for AA.


The key for CLT is not the local banking industry, although that helps. CLT is a hub because it is the second-best hub location in a populous region with dozens of small and mid-size cities which aren't large enough to support comprehensive networks of direct flights. The local hub carrier -- first PI, then US, then AA -- has spent 40 years building it into a connecting hub and to a large degree that has bolstered the regional economy. I think it can be argued the banking industry would not have stayed in Charlotte absent that hub. Further, the City of Charlotte has done a good job of keeping costs at the airport low, which helps keep the airport viable as a connecting hub.

SLC is similar to CLT. The local catchment is small compared to other hub markets, but it's the next-best connecting option for a pretty vast region of isolated small cities.

IADCA wrote:
Runway765 wrote:

I agree about UA, but do you really think AA would’ve kept their ORD hub as opposed to taking MSP/DTW if they had merged with NW?


Yes. Chicago's three times the size of the Twin Cities area and better located for connections. I get the competition with UA and WN, but yeah.


Metro size and location for connections are irrelevant here. Who do you think has generated more profit from its Midwest hub(s) over the past decade -- AA or DL? Look at AA's approach to NYC vs. PHL and the answer is obvious.


I'm not saying what AA should have done. I'm saying what they likely would have done given their pattern of decision-making around the time those mergers were occurring. What today's AA - the one that US management took over - has done is irrelevant to a discussion of what the prior AA management would have done absent that merger.
 
SESGDL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:09 am

N766UA wrote:
MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.


This is false. Pre-covid, MSP’s most common layout was using 17 for departures and a mix of arrivals and departures off the 12s. Even without using 17, MSP in 2019 was moving nearly 100,000 fewer flights annually than it did at peak in 2005, prior to the addition of 17/35. MSP could easily handle a lot more flights with its current setup.

Jeremy
 
rta
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:34 am

MSP is a great metro area, but I think the location is pretty bad. It just seems so far out of the way unless you’re traveling within the surrounding states.
 
ScottB
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:08 pm

IADCA wrote:
I'm not saying what AA should have done. I'm saying what they likely would have done given their pattern of decision-making around the time those mergers were occurring. What today's AA - the one that US management took over - has done is irrelevant to a discussion of what the prior AA management would have done absent that merger.


I assume you're talking about the decision to abandon the hub at STL acquired via the TWA asset purchase, but that's still an apples-to-oranges comparison. TWA was bankrupt! That was partly due to the predatory Karabu agreement, but it was also partly due to WN's large operation at STL.

Obviously AA and NW didn't merge, but there would have been no reason for anyone to merge with NW without intending to retain at least one of DTW or MSP. The MEM hub had little value. AA has played second-fiddle in Chicago for decades. It's far more valuable to control DTW and MSP than to be second-place in Chicago.
 
IADCA
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:41 pm

ScottB wrote:
IADCA wrote:
I'm not saying what AA should have done. I'm saying what they likely would have done given their pattern of decision-making around the time those mergers were occurring. What today's AA - the one that US management took over - has done is irrelevant to a discussion of what the prior AA management would have done absent that merger.


I assume you're talking about the decision to abandon the hub at STL acquired via the TWA asset purchase, but that's still an apples-to-oranges comparison. TWA was bankrupt! That was partly due to the predatory Karabu agreement, but it was also partly due to WN's large operation at STL.

Obviously AA and NW didn't merge, but there would have been no reason for anyone to merge with NW without intending to retain at least one of DTW or MSP. The MEM hub had little value. AA has played second-fiddle in Chicago for decades. It's far more valuable to control DTW and MSP than to be second-place in Chicago.


I'm talking particularly about the Cornerstone strategy. Your point about "why would they" is well-taken, however, and it's of course a big part of why the merger musical chairs worked out the way it did.
 
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knope2001
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:33 pm

The population dot map illustrates some of the MSP limits. MSP is the white blob nearest to the top-center position.

Image

Simply put, lots of people live to the east and south of MSP but to the west and north the population thins out very, very quickly. Even though they are only a few hundred miles to the southeast CHI and DTW have geographically-reasonable connections to far bigger population centers.

One way to split the lower 48 into four areas illustrates this further:

East Half -- North
143 million
East Half -- South
99 million
West Half - Three Pacific Coast States
51 million
West Half -- Interior
35 million

The exact numbers vary a bit based on quibbling exactly boundaries, but they paint the picture. MSP is at the far corner of the most densely-populated sector and abuts the mostly lightly-populated one.

Regarding why Dallas and for that matter Houston are as successful as they are in spite of being near the edge of the East->South sector, there are a few reasons:
--Larger population base
--Texas itself, especially SAT and AUS, provider major feed which MSP does not have
--Limited competition for the east-west flow -- MEM was about it, while MSP competes with two big hubs in ORD, DTW,, plus WN de facto hub in MDW and STL
--The southwest (best aligned with DFW connections) is far more populated than the northwest (best aligned with MSP connections)
--The Mexican market well-served through Texas is much larger than the Canadian Prairie markets well-served through MSP
 
airbazar
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:09 pm

B752OS wrote:
BAINY3 wrote:
DEN1895 wrote:

I would actually say CLT is the only real example of this, DEN is ranked 5th in the country for O&D traffic, MSP is 18th, and CLT is 30th. One thing that could be compared is the percentage of connecting traffic, DEN is at 36%, MSP is at 39% and CLT is last again at 70% connecting traffic. Only 3 airports in the top 30 have less than 50% O&D traffic and they are: DFW 43% O&D, ATL 38%, and CLT at 30%.

Wow, DEN being #5 in O&D is amazing considering the metro area population is #17 or #19 depending on the definition. I suppose not being a reasonable driving distance to most places is a big factor as well that hasn't been mentioned yet. Lots of people in Minnesota will put up with an 8-10 hour drive to get to a lot of other Midwestern cities. But the only large cities within an 8-hour drive of Denver are Albuquerque and Salt Lake City.


Denver is very isolated.


Isolation is relevant but people need money to fly. Ultimately I think CO has an economy that favors higher salaries and travel, more than MN. They also have a hand full of sizable universities from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs all within driving distance of DEN. Leisure traffic is huge in Denver too. Both from locals and visitors. I've never heard of anyone flying to Minnesota to go on vacation, ever :) And from what I've noticed MN locals love to drive too. This past Summer in Yellowstone the most common out of state license plate seemed to be Minnesota. Minneapolis is just far enough away to be isolated but not so much that you can't drive somewhere in half a day and that surely detracts from air travel.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:11 pm

c933103 wrote:
Aliqiout wrote:
c933103 wrote:
1. Chicago is still more significant than MSP
2. If you look at the population distribution of the US, barring the West Coast, MSP is actually near the Northwestern corner of where people mainly inhabit. There are Canada to the North but both Toronto and Quebec are West of MSP, while Vancouver is on the West Coast. Toward the.west there are Pacific and Asia but hubs along the West coasts are already fulfilling their purposes, and locally in the Midwest part of the US, Chicago having more demand and connection is also acting as a connection hub for such sort of traffic.

YYZ and YUL are east of MSP. U.S. airlines can't connect domestic Canadian passengers anyway.

MSP is well positioned to connect PNW to YYZ and east, and NE to the prairie provinces, B.C. and YT.

Those passengers can also connect via Chicago or Toronto instead although I have no idea how much of those passengers currently connect via those airports

Yes they can.
 
Elementalism
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:09 am

Runway765 wrote:
N766UA wrote:
MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.


This is a excellent point as well. Since they chose to stay put 25-30 years ago rather than investing in a new airport facility outside of town, it has hampered their ability to meaningfully grow. With the reconstruction of SLC and LGA, MSP is easily the worst facility in the DL network.


They added 17/35, though only takeoff to the south. And rebuilt Terminal 2. For the size of the area and the traffic demand. What would a new airport bring to the table? I remember the discussion 25-30 years ago about locations for a new airport. They were way out of the area. MSP is 9 miles from downtowm Minneapolis and 11 miles from downtown St. Paul. The modernization program they went with served the area better than sticking the airport out in Hastings or Buffalo. Which are 30+ miles from downtown and lacked the infrastructure to reach the airport.
 
Elementalism
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:20 am

I'm not sold ORD is detracting from MSP as much as DTW. ORD is competition if flying American or United. If flying Delta then it will be MSP or DTW in the upper midwest. If DTW or MSP ceased to be a hub for Delta, the one that survived would see a major boom in traffic imo. For the most part it seems they split the traffic for the upper midwest at about 400-450 flights a day for each airport pre-covid.
 
kavok
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:32 pm

Elementalism wrote:
I'm not sold ORD is detracting from MSP as much as DTW. ORD is competition if flying American or United. If flying Delta then it will be MSP or DTW in the upper midwest. If DTW or MSP ceased to be a hub for Delta, the one that survived would see a major boom in traffic imo. For the most part it seems they split the traffic for the upper midwest at about 400-450 flights a day for each airport pre-covid.


There are both advantages and disadvantages to having a split Midwestern hub model (MSP + DTW). One advantage DL has, that often gets overlooked, is that the split model makes the DL network more appealing to many Midwesterners outside of Chicago.

There are a lot of midsized markets in the Midwest that are far too small to have significant flights across the country, and yet are large enough to collectively still draw meaningful business travel. And for a Midwesterner who lives in one of those markets, DL often offers the best routing options without backtracking. If you live in a market east of Chicago, and are flying to the East Coast, it requires more backtracking to go through ORD over DTW. Conversely if you reside in a market west of Chicago and want to fly west, MSP likely may offer less backtracking than ORD.

So because of this, to many non-Chicago based Midwesterners, the DL network offers the better connectivity routings by having MSP in the west and DTW in the east.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:42 pm

The size limited the growth of MSP and they should build the new airport supposed in 90s
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:52 pm

MSP is a nice connecting experience. Just don't try anything under an hour as the airport is pretty spread out. But I'll gladly take that over the madhouse shoulder to shoulder experience of hubs like ATL, ORD, and CLT.
 
SESGDL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:16 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
The size limited the growth of MSP and they should build the new airport supposed in 90s


Totally false. Runway capacity and gates were underused even in 2019, far below peak operations back in 2005. MSP’s operation could grow significantly and still easily accommodate everything.

Jeremy
 
MLIAA
Posts: 300
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:02 pm

We keep pointing out that MSP is in the NW corner of the population-dense eastern half of the country.

Why did DL prioritize DTW for Asia traffic over MSP? MSP seems to be in a much better location for Asia connections from anywhere other than SEA for DL. If this were the case, MSP could be a secondary Asia gateway and DTW could be the true east-west flow hub, which it is better geographically anyway.
 
Elementalism
Posts: 664
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:27 pm

SESGDL wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
The size limited the growth of MSP and they should build the new airport supposed in 90s


Totally false. Runway capacity and gates were underused even in 2019, far below peak operations back in 2005. MSP’s operation could grow significantly and still easily accommodate everything.

Jeremy


Agreed, adding in 17/35 really helped with congestion. At peak hours they can run three runways for takeoffs to the south if needed. Not sure if that has ever happened.
 
Elementalism
Posts: 664
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:41 pm

MLIAA wrote:
We keep pointing out that MSP is in the NW corner of the population-dense eastern half of the country.

Why did DL prioritize DTW for Asia traffic over MSP? MSP seems to be in a much better location for Asia connections from anywhere other than SEA for DL. If this were the case, MSP could be a secondary Asia gateway and DTW could be the true east-west flow hub, which it is better geographically anyway.


I'd guess

1. East cost traffic, saves them roughly an hour getting to the hub.
2. DTW built an international concourse 15 years ago? Maybe less than that? MSP converted terminal 2(used to be international terminal) for airlines not named Northwest\Delta. Their Delta designated international concourse is within G concourse and has limitations.

MSP would have to build out a dedicated international terminal\Concourse for Delta to make it more attractive imo.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:44 pm

N766UA wrote:
MSP stinks at moving traffic, too. They only have 2 runways in use at any given time, and they run takeoffs and landings on both simultaneously. It’s inefficient at best. Plus that walk from A to F is absolutely the stupidest, most asinine thing, especially if the tram is out.



Why do you think MN consistently leads as a very healthy state? All that good walking!
 
744SPX
Posts: 613
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:18 pm

I grew up in Minneapolis in the late 70's and 80's and believe you me, it was plenty busy then with Northwest and Republic. The merger had a huge effect.

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