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N292UX
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Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:04 pm

Welcome to the Minneapolis Aviation Thread for 2021.

Continue discussions from the 2020 thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1438117&hilit=Minneapolis+thread
 
N292UX
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:31 pm

Predictions for 2021:
-DL brings back MSP-PBI, adds more A220 service
-SY adds various new sun destinations, including MSP-SJO
-WN adds MSP-LAX
-NK adds MSP-MSY, seasonal MSP-CUN
-EI announces a return to MSP in 2022
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:40 pm

N292UX wrote:
Predictions for 2021:
-DL brings back MSP-PBI, adds more A220 service
-SY adds various new sun destinations, including MSP-SJO
-WN adds MSP-LAX
-NK adds MSP-MSY, seasonal MSP-CUN
-EI announces a return to MSP in 2022


NK already flies MSP-MSY.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:05 pm

[photoid][/photoid]
N292UX wrote:
Predictions for 2021:
-DL brings back MSP-PBI, adds more A220 service
-SY adds various new sun destinations, including MSP-SJO
-WN adds MSP-LAX
-NK adds MSP-MSY, seasonal MSP-CUN
-EI announces a return to MSP in 2022


DL flies to PBI today already.

I doubt the WN add. They have been sporadically flying MCO and LAS of late but won’t be keeping them past early March. It seems illogical to see WN adding much more in 2021 if they can’t fly to a couple of staple cities.
 
jplatts
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:49 pm

SteveXC500 wrote:
N292UX wrote:
-WN adds MSP-LAX


I doubt the WN add. They have been sporadically flying MCO and LAS of late but won’t be keeping them past early March. It seems illogical to see WN adding much more in 2021 if they can’t fly to a couple of staple cities.


I agree that WN is unlikely to add MSP-LAX nonstop service anytime soon, and WN has also already dropped nonstop service to LAX from a few other Midwest cities such as IND, MKE, and OMA.

WN re-adding MSP-ATL nonstop service might be a possibility with WN having recently made other adds at ATL such as the return of ATL-SDF/OKC nonstop service and the addition of ATL-JAN/LIT/MEM/OMA nonstop service.

B6 adding MSP-LAX nonstop service might be a possibility with the recent adds that B6 has made at LAX such as LAX-AUS/BDL/CHS/MIA/EWR/RDU/RNO/RIC/SLC/SFO/SEA/PBI, with B6 having pulled out of LGB in October 2020, and with B6 now having a focus city at LAX.
 
Iggy500
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:29 am

jplatts wrote:
SteveXC500 wrote:
N292UX wrote:
-WN adds MSP-LAX


I doubt the WN add. They have been sporadically flying MCO and LAS of late but won’t be keeping them past early March. It seems illogical to see WN adding much more in 2021 if they can’t fly to a couple of staple cities.


I agree that WN is unlikely to add MSP-LAX nonstop service anytime soon, and WN has also already dropped nonstop service to LAX from a few other Midwest cities such as IND, MKE, and OMA.

WN re-adding MSP-ATL nonstop service might be a possibility with WN having recently made other adds at ATL such as the return of ATL-SDF/OKC nonstop service and the addition of ATL-JAN/LIT/MEM/OMA nonstop service.

B6 adding MSP-LAX nonstop service might be a possibility with the recent adds that B6 has made at LAX such as LAX-AUS/BDL/CHS/MIA/EWR/RDU/RNO/RIC/SLC/SFO/SEA/PBI, with B6 having pulled out of LGB in October 2020, and with B6 now having a focus city at LAX.


I agree with the idea of WN possibly resuming MSP-ATL. WN has added lots of routes from ATL recently.

As for B6, I would have to guess that they would add MSP-FLL/LAX/MCO. MSP-FLL is pretty much a no-brainer, MSP-LAX could use a little more competition, and MSP-MCO would be possible for B6 since they have recently added MCO-PHL/RDU/SFO.
 
N292UX
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:12 am

Completely forgot about B6. MSP-FLL seems likely, and I'd imagine MSP-LAX isn't too far fetched, either.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:52 am

B6 does terribly with MSP point-of-sale. FLL may be a small possibility but MCO and LAX are a definite no.
 
maxbaby01
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:20 pm

The horrible numbers are in.
2020 PAX 14,851,289
2020 OPS 244,911.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:40 pm

maxbaby01 wrote:
The horrible numbers are in.
2020 PAX 14,851,289
2020 OPS 244,911.


Don't act surprised though. We all knew what it was going to end up being.
 
BAINY3
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:40 pm

maxbaby01 wrote:
The horrible numbers are in.
2020 PAX 14,851,289
2020 OPS 244,911.


Interesting to look at the domestic destination figures. The data I'm looking at are November 2019-October 2020, so only about ⅔ of them reflect the pandemic market, but even with that PHX has moved up to #3, DEN has moved up to #1, while ORD has dropped down to #4 and MDW fell out of the top ten (therefore I'm unsure if ORD+MDW combined would still be number one or not but usually it is). You can definitely see the more outdoorsy destinations holding on better than the business-type destinations. Even though Chicago also normally has tons of tourism, Chicago has had a lot of restrictions in general and a lot of Chicago tourism revolves around indoor activities. Will be interesting once we can see March 2020-February 2021 figures to get a full picture of it.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:59 pm

14.8 million is better than I expected.
 
CRJ200flyer
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Re: Minneapolis Aviation Thread - 2021

Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:24 am

Minneapolis Center has been down for COVID cleaning. Widespread delays.
 
Runway765
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Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:11 pm

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

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:18 pm

DTW is a big reason. DL isn't going to cannibalize DTW to build MSP, so both end up serving different purposes.

And then there is ORD/MDW lurking nearby too. Not necessarily directly affecting DL, but it does have much higher O&D, 3 airlines hubbed there and therefore is a siphon on the catchment area.
Last edited by Antarius on Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UALFAson
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:18 pm

I'm not sure I agree with your position that it's in a "great geographical position." Unless you're flying to or from the upper Great Plains or Pacific NW, MSP is either a little out of the way (say, the Northeast U.S. to SoCal) or waaaay out of the way (East Coast to Midwest or East Coast/Midwest to Florida). DL's current hubs of DTW, ATL, (and I'll throw in CVG) and before that NW's hubs of DTW and MEM were/are much better suited for those types of connections.
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mjba257
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:20 pm

You answered your own question by mentioning DTW. DL splits their midwestern ops between MSP and DTW. Unlike UA and AA which consolidate in ORD. If DTW wasn't in the picture, MSP would be much busier
 
Thenoflyzone
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:24 pm

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).
Last edited by Thenoflyzone on Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bigb
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:26 pm

Well a couple things, geography isn’t great for where the population is at. DFW has a few things going for it, 1) it’s O/D market with the metroplex is much bigger. 2) DFW is better positioned to serve East/West transcontinental flow, South/North flow for TX/LA,OK,NM. It serves the regional markets of the midwest well and Texas and boarding states. Most of the population of the US is concentrated on the coasts, Southeast, and Sun Belt states.

While MSP has a decent O/D to tap into, it’s regional markets consists of a lot of fly over territory where people really don’t travel to. It’s out of the way for most of your Midwest connections unless you are coming from somewhere North. I am not knocking MSP, buts location doesn’t help much and it’s O/D and Delta dominance is what keeps that airport in moving along.
 
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sunking737
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:31 pm

Some of us like MSP not too big and not small any more
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IADCA
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:54 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?


The upper Midwest is a lot less densely populated than many other areas of the country. Other than as a transcon scissor hub and the local O&D (which is good, not great; it's outside the top 15 MSAs by population), there's not much to recommend MSP as a hub. If NW's merger partner had been UA or AA, MSP would have gotten de-hubbed faster than someone in CLE or STL could fart (thanks, Chicago!). From that view, it seems they're doing pretty darn well. I'm not saying that to be insulting, but people need to have a dose of perspective as to where their local areas sit in the grand scheme.
Last edited by IADCA on Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:58 pm

Most people want to fly non-stop. Now Alaska can fly from SEA to just about every domestic location with a 737. North of MSP is Canada which MSP is well positioned for, but it is difficult for US airlines to do Canada (should be improved). So Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are well positioned to use MSP as a hub, but are low population.

A lot of former hubs are becoming mostly O&D, as long as there is enough traffic to fill the plane to that destination. Another factor is that NWA and later DL have dominated MSP, difficult for other airlines to try and hub there themselves without getting into a price war.
 
keithvh2001
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:59 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).


Right. MSP has always seemed plenty busy when I've been there. 131 gates and DL fills the majority of them when they have one of their flight banks.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:17 pm

Northwest Airlines is gone. Northwest did put a lot of money into DTW as it realized DTW was a very good location to feed passengers from the east cost areas along with the eastern part of mid America and avoid the congestion. Both DTW and MSP are close enough to ORD which is another airport that can be diminished. Delta is NOT going to let MSP go away as it serves Delta well. Delta does not want AA or UAL to start making MSP a northern hub and will defend MSP like a rabbid dog. MSP is not a Des Des Moines, Iowa. MSP is like SLC to Delta and Delta will fight to keep both of them. Delta is also going to expand SEA to push its reach further into Asia. :old:
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BAINY3
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:41 pm

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

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:42 pm

Back in the day before Delta, Northwest would run a flight almost every hour out of Green Bay. I think it was odd hours went east to DTW and evens went west to MSP. It was great. After Detroit built the new Terminal, I prefered to go there as it was much easier to change planes. MSP was a Pain sometimes if you come in on a regional in the A/B Gates and are going out on a Wide Body in E/G. Lots of Walking and smaller gate areas. Does have a nice shopping and food court area inside security.
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:54 pm

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.


Denver also caters to a lot of leisure traffic going to the Rocky Mountains for winter and summer sports.
 
B752OS
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:01 pm

Lack of tourism in Minnesota. Also, while there are a good number of Fortune 500 companies with their HQ in the area, a lot of these companies are in industries that don't travel as much as others.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:02 pm

IADCA 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?


The upper Midwest is a lot less densely populated than many other areas of the country. Other than as a transcon scissor hub and the local O&D (which is good, not great; it's outside the top 15 MSAs by population), there's not much to recommend MSP as a hub. If NW's merger partner had been UA or AA, MSP would have gotten de-hubbed faster than someone in CLE or STL could fart (thanks, Chicago!). From that view, it seems they're doing pretty darn well. I'm not saying that to be insulting, but people need to have a dose of perspective as to where their local areas sit in the grand scheme.


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

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:08 pm

B752OS wrote:
Lack of tourism in Minnesota. Also, while there are a good number of Fortune 500 companies with their HQ in the area, a lot of these companies are in industries that don't travel as much as others.


There’s a lot of recreation in Minnesota because of all the Lakes. Maybe not to the extent of Colorado, but it’s there.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:11 pm

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 much better positioned to capture east-west traffic than MSP is. It's not too far out of the way as a connection point for most city pairs on opposite sides of the country and is close enough to most destinations in the middle of the to serve as a viable transit hub. Similarly sized markets for certain, but DEN wins in terms of location. It also doesn't have the proximity of a relatively nearby hub for the same anchor tenant to contend with.
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TW870
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:15 pm

MSP isn't a larger hub because what I would call the floating connecting hub model stopped working in the 1990s. After deregulation, some airlines established large hubs that relied primarily on connecting traffic and that were able to take advantage of economies of scale and a large aircraft gauge. PIT, CVG, and STL are the best examples of these hubs. The metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for each of those hubs was so small that the operation was like a floating hub that could have been anywhere. As the LCCs got deeper pockets and better schedules by the end of the 1990s, the floating connecting hubs became much more vulnerable to price competition. If you were flying, for example, PVD-XXX-SAN, why not jump on an LCC for a lower price than pay TWA to fly you PVD-STL-SAN or USAir to fly you PVD-PIT-SAN. After the 9/11 recession, all of those hubs collapsed. During consolidation, the legacies retooled to more tightly match capacity to the underlying MSAs and to the corporate contracts located in each of those MSAs. ORD, DFW, IAH, and ATL can have giant operations because they 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th biggest MSAs respectively. But as the 16th biggest MSA, MSP is just not going to have 700 Delta flights a day. If it did, it would be a floating connecting hub and vulnerable to having connecting traffic poached by lower cost operators in other cities.

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.
 
BAINY3
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:16 pm

Runway765 wrote:
IADCA 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?


The upper Midwest is a lot less densely populated than many other areas of the country. Other than as a transcon scissor hub and the local O&D (which is good, not great; it's outside the top 15 MSAs by population), there's not much to recommend MSP as a hub. If NW's merger partner had been UA or AA, MSP would have gotten de-hubbed faster than someone in CLE or STL could fart (thanks, Chicago!). From that view, it seems they're doing pretty darn well. I'm not saying that to be insulting, but people need to have a dose of perspective as to where their local areas sit in the grand scheme.


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?

I could see them keeping aspects of all three. Just see what they've done with DCA, PHL, LGA, JFK, and BOS. PHL has the fortress hub with strong yields, DCA also does to an extent (competes with IAD/BWI in that sense but there's high demand to use DCA, so good yields there as well), while LGA, JFK, and BOS have very strong O&D markets (like Chicago). Now, they didn't keep STL, but they tried (it took them ten years to fully dehub it and that was in the wake of the recession), and STL's local market just wasn't as strong as it would be in MSP or DTW (more corporate travel and bigger markets compared to STL).
 
Runway765
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:21 pm

BAINY3 wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
IADCA wrote:

The upper Midwest is a lot less densely populated than many other areas of the country. Other than as a transcon scissor hub and the local O&D (which is good, not great; it's outside the top 15 MSAs by population), there's not much to recommend MSP as a hub. If NW's merger partner had been UA or AA, MSP would have gotten de-hubbed faster than someone in CLE or STL could fart (thanks, Chicago!). From that view, it seems they're doing pretty darn well. I'm not saying that to be insulting, but people need to have a dose of perspective as to where their local areas sit in the grand scheme.


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?

I could see them keeping aspects of all three. Just see what they've done with DCA, PHL, LGA, JFK, and BOS. PHL has the fortress hub with strong yields, DCA also does to an extent (competes with IAD/BWI in that sense but there's high demand to use DCA, so good yields there as well), while LGA, JFK, and BOS have very strong O&D markets (like Chicago). Now, they didn't keep STL, but they tried (it took them ten years to fully dehub it and that was in the wake of the recession), and STL's local market just wasn't as strong as it would be in MSP or DTW (more corporate travel and bigger markets compared to STL).


BOS isn’t a hub for AA.

If they ran all 3 (DTW, ORD, MSP), there’d be so much duplication and they’d be competing with themselves for connecting traffic. I doubt that would’ve worked.
 
BAINY3
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:24 pm

Runway765 wrote:
BAINY3 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?

I could see them keeping aspects of all three. Just see what they've done with DCA, PHL, LGA, JFK, and BOS. PHL has the fortress hub with strong yields, DCA also does to an extent (competes with IAD/BWI in that sense but there's high demand to use DCA, so good yields there as well), while LGA, JFK, and BOS have very strong O&D markets (like Chicago). Now, they didn't keep STL, but they tried (it took them ten years to fully dehub it and that was in the wake of the recession), and STL's local market just wasn't as strong as it would be in MSP or DTW (more corporate travel and bigger markets compared to STL).


BOS isn’t a hub for AA.

If they ran all 3 (DTW, ORD, MSP), there’d be so much duplication and they’d be competing with themselves for connecting traffic. I doubt that would’ve worked.

I didn't say it was. You could argue that LGA/JFK are barely even hubs for AA anymore, but their operations at all three are still larger than just "flights to the hubs."
 
IADCA
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:31 pm

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.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:35 pm

It's the 16th largest CSA, bigger than Denver but smaller than Seattle-Tacoma. RITA BTS data put MSP at #12 for domestic passengers for 12 months ending 11/2020. It was #18 in domestic O&D for 12 months ending 12/2019, showing that it gets a little boost from connecting traffic. It sounds right-sized to me. Other than a flight count the OP didn't provide an argument with any objective data.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:45 pm

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?
 
DEN1895
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:51 pm

TW870 wrote:
MSP isn't a larger hub because what I would call the floating connecting hub model stopped working in the 1990s. After deregulation, some airlines established large hubs that relied primarily on connecting traffic and that were able to take advantage of economies of scale and a large aircraft gauge. PIT, CVG, and STL are the best examples of these hubs. The metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for each of those hubs was so small that the operation was like a floating hub that could have been anywhere. As the LCCs got deeper pockets and better schedules by the end of the 1990s, the floating connecting hubs became much more vulnerable to price competition. If you were flying, for example, PVD-XXX-SAN, why not jump on an LCC for a lower price than pay TWA to fly you PVD-STL-SAN or USAir to fly you PVD-PIT-SAN. After the 9/11 recession, all of those hubs collapsed. During consolidation, the legacies retooled to more tightly match capacity to the underlying MSAs and to the corporate contracts located in each of those MSAs. ORD, DFW, IAH, and ATL can have giant operations because they 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th biggest MSAs respectively. But as the 16th biggest MSA, MSP is just not going to have 700 Delta flights a day. If it did, it would be a floating connecting hub and vulnerable to having connecting traffic poached by lower cost operators in other cities.

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.


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%.
 
mattyb123
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:55 pm

gunsontheroof 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 much better positioned to capture east-west traffic than MSP is. It's not too far out of the way as a connection point for most city pairs on opposite sides of the country and is close enough to most destinations in the middle of the to serve as a viable transit hub. Similarly sized markets for certain, but DEN wins in terms of location. It also doesn't have the proximity of a relatively nearby hub for the same anchor tenant to contend with.


All correct, but DEN has SLC to contend with. That being said, competing with Chicago, Detroit, and others is a whole different animal.
 
SESGDL
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:55 pm

B752OS wrote:
Lack of tourism in Minnesota. Also, while there are a good number of Fortune 500 companies with their HQ in the area, a lot of these companies are in industries that don't travel as much as others.


MSP punches well above its weight for its population. There's not a lack of anything. In fact, MSP is a much larger operation than its city size indicates, similar to most hubs. I disagree with the whole post's assertion, I think MSP does extremely well for its market size.

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

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:03 am

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
 
BAINY3
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:04 am

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.
 
mattyb123
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:07 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
It's the 16th largest CSA, bigger than Denver but smaller than Seattle-Tacoma. RITA BTS data put MSP at #12 for domestic passengers for 12 months ending 11/2020. It was #18 in domestic O&D for 12 months ending 12/2019, showing that it gets a little boost from connecting traffic. It sounds right-sized to me. Other than a flight count the OP didn't provide an argument with any objective data.



Where did you find that data for MSP at #12? Is that origin and destination airport info?
 
B752OS
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:26 am

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. Closest cities are Kansas City, 8 plus hours away, Salt Lake City, almost 8 hours away and Albuquerque, 6 and a half hours away. So this helps pull in people who are several hours away by car. Look at say Chicago for example. In less than these distances you'd hit Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Detroit among some other airports with at least a modest level of air service.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:34 am

I feel like MSP has actually been doing really well for a metro in its size range. Yeah, maybe not quite as good as SEA, especially on the int'l front, but definitely way better than SAN (both are similar sized metros), in addition to other examples listed in other posts. Two destinations in Asia plus five in Europe (not to mention all the "sun" destinations like LIR, MBJ, and PUJ) is a pretty good "portfolio" that can really only be matched (or exceeded) by two other Midwest cities (Chicago and Detroit). While I could see another destination each in Asia and Europe in the next few years (and probably a few more domestic cities...come on FAT!), MSP is definitely living up to its potential and really doing quite well for a city of its size and location.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:37 am

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.
All opinions expressed herein are mine and do not represent the views of Cape Air
 
AmericanAir88
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:39 am

It has its busy moments. MSP is huge for regional connections and general linkings between coasts for DL. In normal times, most gates were full (except that weird B concourse). The airport is laid out kind of awkwardly, but Delta can pull some high flight numbers out of it. MSP also seemed to have smooth operations for airlines like NK and WN. I agree with the above about its location to ORD and DTW.

Another factor is Sun Country. Terminal 2 is basically its own airport and SY can add to the busy factor. Wish the airline expanded much more.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:51 am

SESGDL wrote:
B752OS wrote:
Lack of tourism in Minnesota. Also, while there are a good number of Fortune 500 companies with their HQ in the area, a lot of these companies are in industries that don't travel as much as others.


MSP punches well above its weight for its population. There's not a lack of anything. In fact, MSP is a much larger operation than its city size indicates, similar to most hubs. I disagree with the whole post's assertion, I think MSP does extremely well for its market size.

Jeremy


Agreed. It's more like, what has been the secret of MSP's success. The answer is a healthy local O&D and also a geographic niche as a hub, a catchment area of 4-5 states, all with high incomes (ND is #1 by some accounts). MSP has also worked as a decent Europe and Asia consolidator. It has some geographic advantages and has been able to profit from them.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why isn't MSP a busier airport (in normal times)?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:46 am

mattyb123 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
It's the 16th largest CSA, bigger than Denver but smaller than Seattle-Tacoma. RITA BTS data put MSP at #12 for domestic passengers for 12 months ending 11/2020. It was #18 in domestic O&D for 12 months ending 12/2019, showing that it gets a little boost from connecting traffic. It sounds right-sized to me. Other than a flight count the OP didn't provide an argument with any objective data.



Where did you find that data for MSP at #12? Is that origin and destination airport info?


#12 is arriving (or departing!) passenger count, not O&D, for the 12 months ending 11/20 (and 12/2019, for that matter) from RITA BTS airport data. Pick MSP in the airport selection box: https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp

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