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ahj2000
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:42 pm

panamair wrote:
ahj2000 wrote:
How has DL done in maintaining routes when they’re low on pax over the past month or so?
I’m on a flight with only about 10 for a 170 this week. The routes in a new timetable for the month of March, so OTC and completion stats aren’t available.
(This’ll be my first delta flight in a VERY long time. We shall see how they do )


I would caution against using the seat map (if that’s what you are doing) to judge loads in advance..these days there is a disproportionate number of people on Basic Economy fares which don’t allow for advance seat assignment..I have been flying a JFK transcon route quite regularly and the number of occupied seats on the seat map invariably increases significantly from a few days in advance to within the check in window.

I was using the available seats under the standby list. Think the seat map might be missing one or two of the economy seats there.
Surprisingly, first has only one open seat
 
Ishrion
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:01 pm

In addition to Durango, DL is also launching flights to Moab, Utah (CNY), from SLC.

https://crankyflier.com/2021/03/01/sout ... n-chicago/
 
Alias1024
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:49 pm

laca773 wrote:
The A220 will be an optimal aircraft to start LAX-BDL
LAX-JAX
Perhaps they can restart LAX-CMH with the same aircraft?
Since LÁTAM & DL will have an expanding JV, how feasible is it for LAX-MIA to come back with a D1 757?
Regarding a new international VFR market, LAX-MLM with a A319 or A220 ?


Something to keep in mind with LAX for the next few years is that DL is going to be very gate constrained. Right now they're down to T2, a few RJ hard stands by the T3 footprint, and 3-4 gates getting usage at TBIT. As international begins to rebound the space at TBIT will get tight and I doubt DL wants to plan much growth at LAX unless they are sure they will have facilities to operate reliably.

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
The pre-COVID fleet size was a bit optimistic, as it likely didn't include any potential retirements to offset the large number of deliveries if all the A220, A321CEO, NEOs has been delivered to the pre-pandemic plan. If demand kept growing at the rate it was in a hot economy it was possible.
Now at YE2020, DL is down to 750 mainline aircraft and planning to slowing grow/rebuild from there. Instead of being near/above 1000 aircraft by YE2020, DL will now likely be around 800. 20% less than pre-pandemic.
---

At the end of 2022, they are still going to be about 100 mainline aircraft smaller than they were at the end of 2019.
Now, some of the newer, replacement aircraft have a lot more versatility
- MD88/90 utilization was relatively low, with a lot of spares to ensure reliability on an aging fleet type
- Newer delivery A220s can be flown all over the domestic US, doing a lot more mid-con & TX stuff that frees up E75 & CR9s to do shorter markets / more segments per day
- A339s are more versatile than B763 (and even A333) can fly TPAC and TATL
- A359s are more versatile too and can be routed ICN-DTW-AMS-DTW-HND for example to limit ~23 hour RON/RADs

Taking all of that into account its really short about 70-80 frames with increased utilization. That really only become a factor during peak summer flying.
We are talking about Summer 2023 at this point, but there are probably some levers than can be pulled depending on how demand recovers.

I think that some of the core hubs will be maybe operate with 1 less departure bank than pre-COVID, but with larger aircraft.


There may also be flexibility to move some of the deferrals back up if demand significantly improves. With the announcement that they are returning all pilots and planning similar levels of flying in 2023 as compared to 2019 they are going to need more frames to hit that target. And probably close to 2000 pilots beyond the ones returning. The long rumored MAX deal could be another wild card, though UA might have helped Boeing's white tail problem significantly today with their order for 25 additional frames.
 
alohashirts
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:14 pm

Ishrion wrote:
In addition to Durango, DL is also launching flights to Moab, Utah (CNY), from SLC.

https://crankyflier.com/2021/03/01/sout ... n-chicago/

This will be welcomed news for people living in Moab and southeastern Utah. DL/OO used to fly this when they had the Brasilia 120’s.
 
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Midwestindy
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Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:40 pm

Prior to the pandemic Delta had plans to expand its focus city presence in BNA & SJC, and retain its focus city in CVG.

Now that no longer appears to be the case, as DL's Glen Hauenstein says the company is moving to a 2 focus city network.

What does this mean for future growth at AUS?

Image

https://twitter.com/ByERussell/status/1 ... 78531?s=20
 
ethernal
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:52 pm

Not surprised about SJC. Silicon Valley/San Jose-based companies are taking a pretty aggressive stance on hybrid workforces and increased remote work. The planeloads of consultants and other professional services providers that used to fill planes coming from all over the country during the week isn't coming back to the Bay Area any time soon.

BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).
 
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c933103
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:57 pm

ethernal wrote:
Not surprised about SJC. Silicon Valley/San Jose-based companies are taking a pretty aggressive stance on hybrid workforces and increased remote work. The planeloads of consultants and other professional services providers that used to fill planes coming from all over the country during the week isn't coming back to the Bay Area any time soon.

BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).

Long term, remote work could increase travel demand to the Silicon Valley, as while remote work freed employees from the office allowing them to work anywhere as they like, every once in a while they might still need to attend the offices or attend events or interact with others physically and in such time air travel will be needed if they moved away from Silicon Valley
 
ethernal
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:01 pm

c933103 wrote:
ethernal wrote:
Not surprised about SJC. Silicon Valley/San Jose-based companies are taking a pretty aggressive stance on hybrid workforces and increased remote work. The planeloads of consultants and other professional services providers that used to fill planes coming from all over the country during the week isn't coming back to the Bay Area any time soon.

BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).

Long term, remote work could increase travel demand to the Silicon Valley, as while remote work freed employees from the office allowing them to work anywhere as they like, every once in a while they might still need to attend the offices or attend events or interact with others physically and in such time air travel will be needed if they moved away from Silicon Valley


I agree with this position and have brought it up on other threads. I think the number of every-week-road-warriors will go down significantly but there will be an increase in 4-8 trips a year type travelers.

I think for Silicon Valley companies - at least in the near term - the trend is pretty clear though. They've accepted remote work in the near term. At some point the pendulum will swing, but I don't think Delta wants to wait around holding the bag in the interim.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:12 pm

This isn't very surprising as DL was overstretched pre-pandemic.

What exactly did they do at SJC, BNA and AUS to make it a focus city? BNA never made sense since it is already a WN stronghold and SJC is literally right next door to SFO.

AUS makes sense, but they haven't added anything outside of hubs yet so idk what the strategy is there?
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:13 pm

ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


Why on earth would BNA be a southeast UA hub when WN already has a large presence? BNA isn't DEN.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:13 pm

CVG has frontier and Allegiant, SJC has Alaska and Southwest, BNA has southwest and Allegiant taking the leisure traffic. DL competing with two other airlines for leisure traffic in those markets probably hurt yields. Business and corporate travel probably wasn’t enough to offset the lower yields from the competition in those cities.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:21 pm

Runway765 wrote:
This isn't very surprising as DL was overstretched pre-pandemic.

What exactly did they do at SJC, BNA and AUS to make it a focus city? BNA never made sense since it is already a WN stronghold and SJC is literally right next door to SFO.

AUS makes sense, but they haven't added anything outside of hubs yet so idk what the strategy is there?

AUS had KLM service to AMS. DL wants to stay in AUS with a Skyteam presense
AUS is the new SJC.
AUS is less likely to see fleeing of knowledge sector employees the way SJC is seeing people fly the super high cost of living of the Bay Area.
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:23 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
This isn't very surprising as DL was overstretched pre-pandemic.

What exactly did they do at SJC, BNA and AUS to make it a focus city? BNA never made sense since it is already a WN stronghold and SJC is literally right next door to SFO.

AUS makes sense, but they haven't added anything outside of hubs yet so idk what the strategy is there?

AUS had KLM service to AMS. DL wants to stay in AUS with a Skyteam presense
AUS is the new SJC.
AUS is less likely to see fleeing of knowledge sector employees the way SJC is seeing people fly the super high cost of living of the Bay Area.
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


I don't think KLM ever had a chance to start AUS and I don't see any indication it is coming back.
 
ethernal
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:28 pm

Runway765 wrote:
ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


Why on earth would BNA be a southeast UA hub when WN already has a large presence? BNA isn't DEN.


Because the Southeast is a hole in United's network (just like TX is a hole in Delta's network). You literally can't reasonably fly United from the core Southeast to the core Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, most of North Carolina, etc - over a fifth of the US population). United doesn't even bother trying to compete on any of those routes because they can't do it economically. Seriously, look for intra-Southeast routes for United. Their flights are long and expensive.

If United wants to tap into this market, there aren't a lot of great choices. RDU is an option but closer to IAD and materially smaller than BNA (albeit with more business traffic). A hub in Florida is not geographically optimal (unless being used as a LATAM gateway like Miami). BNA being a focus city was a relatively cheap way for Delta to further discourage even any consideration of it by United (especially combined with, as you mentioned, the WN presence). The idea that WN alone is enough to prevent entry is silly - Delta has lost money hand over foot starting their SEA (AS hub) and BOS (JetBlue hub) hubs. Of course, those cities have more O&D - but both (especially BOS) added less to Delta's network than a Southeastern hub would for United.

Obviously with COVID, all the network carriers are going to retrench and there is zero chance of any disruptive, high-risk expansion plans (creating a new Southeastern hub would 100% fall into that category). So defensive position is not needed.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:32 pm

True, yes KLM was to start in May 2020, never did. I guarantee Skyteam wants a piece of the TATL demand out of AUS.
I bet they will try again probably in 2022 / 2023 timeframe once borders and travel opens.
This route seems to be the type of market that has a good business demand but more important a nice leisure component since you have a lot of young, upwardly mobile, with a high propensity to travel both on outbound from AUS and Europeans wanting to travel to AUS.
 
micstatic
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:32 pm

Like Denver, Nashville is booming right now. I believe the metro population of Nashville is 2m and denver is 3m. Then like the previous post. United is weak in the southeast.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:35 pm

ethernal wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


Why on earth would BNA be a southeast UA hub when WN already has a large presence? BNA isn't DEN.


Because the Southeast is a hole in United's network (just like TX is a hole in Delta's network). You literally can't reasonably fly United from the core Southeast to the core Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, most of North Carolina, etc - over a fifth of the US population). United doesn't even bother trying to compete on any of those routes because they can't do it economically. Seriously, look for intra-Southeast routes for United. Their flights are long and expensive.

If United wants to tap into this market, there aren't a lot of great choices. RDU is an option but closer to IAD and materially smaller than BNA (albeit with more business traffic). A hub in Florida is not geographically optimal (unless being used as a LATAM gateway like Miami). BNA being a focus city was a relatively cheap way for Delta to further discourage even any consideration of it by United (especially combined with, as you mentioned, the WN presence). The idea that WN alone is enough to prevent entry is silly - Delta has lost money hand over foot starting their SEA (AS hub) and BOS (JetBlue hub) hubs. Of course, those cities have more O&D - but both (especially BOS) added less to Delta's network than a Southeastern hub would for United.

Obviously with COVID, all the network carriers are going to retrench and there is zero chance of any disruptive, high-risk expansion plans (creating a new Southeastern hub would 100% fall into that category). So defensive position is not needed.


DL was never a discouraging factor for UA opening a hub in BNA. Yes, BNA on paper would be the ideal place for a southeast UA hub, but WN has been and is the only deter to that.

Yes, UA would benefit from having a SE hub, but it is fine as it is.
Last edited by Runway765 on Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:37 pm

micstatic wrote:
Like Denver, Nashville is booming right now. I believe the metro population of Nashville is 2m and denver is 3m. Then like the previous post. United is weak in the southeast.


Yes, but DEN is more geographically isolated and has a ton more O&D, thus, it is better positioned for two hubs. BNA is indeed booming and is in a good geographic position for a hub, but the O&D can't support both a UA hub and a large WN station.
 
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flymco753
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:38 pm

I wonder what the stance is on MIA though. If they want to run a fluid operation with LATAM, they'll need to insource ramp workers.
 
ethernal
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:42 pm

Runway765 wrote:
ethernal wrote:
Runway765 wrote:

Why on earth would BNA be a southeast UA hub when WN already has a large presence? BNA isn't DEN.


Because the Southeast is a hole in United's network (just like TX is a hole in Delta's network). You literally can't reasonably fly United from the core Southeast to the core Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, most of North Carolina, etc - over a fifth of the US population). United doesn't even bother trying to compete on any of those routes because they can't do it economically. Seriously, look for intra-Southeast routes for United. Their flights are long and expensive.

If United wants to tap into this market, there aren't a lot of great choices. RDU is an option but closer to IAD and materially smaller than BNA (albeit with more business traffic). A hub in Florida is not geographically optimal (unless being used as a LATAM gateway like Miami). BNA being a focus city was a relatively cheap way for Delta to further discourage even any consideration of it by United (especially combined with, as you mentioned, the WN presence). The idea that WN alone is enough to prevent entry is silly - Delta has lost money hand over foot starting their SEA (AS hub) and BOS (JetBlue hub) hubs. Of course, those cities have more O&D - but both (especially BOS) added less to Delta's network than a Southeastern hub would for United.

Obviously with COVID, all the network carriers are going to retrench and there is zero chance of any disruptive, high-risk expansion plans (creating a new Southeastern hub would 100% fall into that category). So defensive position is not needed.


DL was never a discouraging factor for UA opening a hub in BNA. Yes, BNA on paper would be the ideal place for a southeast UA hub, but WN is a has been and is the only deter to that.

Yes, UA would benefit from having a SE hub, but it is fine as it is.


Are you on United's network planning team? It's funny that AUS makes sense for Delta to expand into as a focus city despite a relatively strong Southwest presence (34% market share) and much higher AA/UA loyalty in Texas (30%+ market share) due to DFW and IAH but somehow BNA would be crazy for United despite the Southeast being an even bigger hole in their network.

I'm not saying United ever had serious plans to do it. But you'd be foolish to think that it was not sitting as an option in their network strategy options decks they produce every year.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:48 pm

ethernal wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
ethernal wrote:

Because the Southeast is a hole in United's network (just like TX is a hole in Delta's network). You literally can't reasonably fly United from the core Southeast to the core Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, most of North Carolina, etc - over a fifth of the US population). United doesn't even bother trying to compete on any of those routes because they can't do it economically. Seriously, look for intra-Southeast routes for United. Their flights are long and expensive.

If United wants to tap into this market, there aren't a lot of great choices. RDU is an option but closer to IAD and materially smaller than BNA (albeit with more business traffic). A hub in Florida is not geographically optimal (unless being used as a LATAM gateway like Miami). BNA being a focus city was a relatively cheap way for Delta to further discourage even any consideration of it by United (especially combined with, as you mentioned, the WN presence). The idea that WN alone is enough to prevent entry is silly - Delta has lost money hand over foot starting their SEA (AS hub) and BOS (JetBlue hub) hubs. Of course, those cities have more O&D - but both (especially BOS) added less to Delta's network than a Southeastern hub would for United.

Obviously with COVID, all the network carriers are going to retrench and there is zero chance of any disruptive, high-risk expansion plans (creating a new Southeastern hub would 100% fall into that category). So defensive position is not needed.


DL was never a discouraging factor for UA opening a hub in BNA. Yes, BNA on paper would be the ideal place for a southeast UA hub, but WN is a has been and is the only deter to that.

Yes, UA would benefit from having a SE hub, but it is fine as it is.


Are you on United's network planning team? It's funny that AUS makes sense for Delta to expand into as a focus city despite a relatively strong Southwest presence (34% market share) and much higher AA/UA loyalty in Texas (30%+ market share) due to DFW and IAH but somehow BNA would be crazy for United despite the Southeast being an even bigger hole in their network.

I'm not saying United ever had serious plans to do it. But you'd be foolish to think that it was not sitting as an option in their network strategy options decks they produce every year.


AUS is much more fragmented than BNA, thus, there is a better opening for DL to capture more market share. Even so, I am not convinced DL will have success in AUS unless they commit to building it into a small hub.

Maybe they've considered it, but I doubt UA seriously considered BNA as a SE hub. There is plenty of land to the east of 2R/20L at BNA where they could put a whole new terminal with 70-100 gates. Nothing is stopping them if they want to take the plunge, but good luck.
 
micstatic
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:51 pm

you don't seem to understand that airlines make these moves strategically. Like what will nashville look like in 10+ years. It's hard to ignore its growth rate combined with united's huge weakness in the southwest. Regarding Delta in Austin. Have you seen the skyclub that recently opened? They appear (atleast pre-covid) to be awfully serious there.
 
drdisque
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:00 pm

So maybe I missed it, but does this mean that BOS is a hub and is therefore not getting cut?

Selfishly, my wife used the DL ORD-BOS flight heavily pre-pandemic and want it to come back when she's ready to travel by air again.
 
Runway765
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:07 pm

micstatic wrote:
you don't seem to understand that airlines make these moves strategically. Like what will nashville look like in 10+ years. It's hard to ignore its growth rate combined with united's huge weakness in the southwest. Regarding Delta in Austin. Have you seen the skyclub that recently opened? They appear (atleast pre-covid) to be awfully serious there.


Even in 10+ years with all of the growth, Nashville will not be big enough for two airline hubs. I would welcome a UA attempt to build a SE hub at BNA, but you realize they would literally have to build a whole new terminal with 80-100 gates in order to get the scale they need to compete with ATL and CLT? Not going to happen. WN, if they are smart, will open a crew domicile at BNA in the coming years and expand their daily flights to 200-300, but that is all BNA is likely to see hub wise.

As for AUS, DL is not likely to see success if they start point to point flying as most of the destinations they'd serve already have 2, 3 and even 4 carriers on them. If they want to have success, they'll need to actually hub the airport and start flowing connections to feed their flights and I don't see that happening either.
 
ethernal
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:07 pm

drdisque wrote:
So maybe I missed it, but does this mean that BOS is a hub and is therefore not getting cut?

Selfishly, my wife used the DL ORD-BOS flight heavily pre-pandemic and want it to come back when she's ready to travel by air again.


Yes, Delta officially graduated it from "focus city" status to "hub" status back in July 2019.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:09 pm

micstatic wrote:
Like Denver, Nashville is booming right now. I believe the metro population of Nashville is 2m and denver is 3m. Then like the previous post. United is weak in the southeast.


BNA is soooo not Denver. DEN ranks 6th in domestic O&D; BNA ranks 30th at about 1/3 DEN's count. AUS is bigger, as are PDX and SLC.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:12 pm

ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


I'm having trouble understanding how this announcement is anything more than semantic for BNA. All of DL's pre-pandemic growth at BNA was to other hubs and focus cities and there weren't other obvious holes for domestic growth besides arguably MIA (in part to feed LATAM). It's clear that DL and Skyteam are willing and able to fly TATL to cities not denominated "focus cities," so I don't think this announcement changes the odds of BNA-CDG/AMS either.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:13 pm

Focus cities require business traffic. The choices made make sense.

Lightsaber
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:30 pm

No surprises here at all. AUS and RDU are growth markets even with muted to non existent business travel and only a very slow crawl toward a ramp up. It seems nothing really works for DL at CVG and SJC has always been tough to make work like a focus city/hub even though it sits in a desirable market. BNA is a WN juggertnaut which pressures yields.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:17 pm

Weren't the BNA, AUS, and SJC "focus cities" more "we want to be the airline of choice in these 2020s darling markets" than "we're going to throw a bunch of P2P service in"?
 
ScottB
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:19 pm

Runway765 wrote:
Maybe they've considered it, but I doubt UA seriously considered BNA as a SE hub. There is plenty of land to the east of 2R/20L at BNA where they could put a whole new terminal with 70-100 gates. Nothing is stopping them if they want to take the plunge, but good luck.


You've pretty much identified one of the key problems with UA opening a hub at BNA. I don't think they'd need 70-100 gates, but they'd probably need at least 25-30 to offer a network competitive with WN, and there just isn't room to expand the current terminal to that extent. UA would have to commit hundreds of millions of dollars, if not a billion-plus, to get a new terminal built, and they'd have to be willing to spend at least a decade losing money in the Southeast against DL and AA (and WN). Don't forget that both DL and AA have relatively low airport costs at ATL & CLT.

ethernal wrote:
Because the Southeast is a hole in United's network (just like TX is a hole in Delta's network). You literally can't reasonably fly United from the core Southeast to the core Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, most of North Carolina, etc - over a fifth of the US population). United doesn't even bother trying to compete on any of those routes because they can't do it economically. Seriously, look for intra-Southeast routes for United. Their flights are long and expensive.


You can't be everything to everyone. Competing with DL and AA for connecting traffic in the Southeast is a recipe for losing money for years. Yes, BNA could be a profitable hub decades down the road if business travel returns and robust growth in Nashville continues and air travel remains a viable mode of transportation and... I just don't see it happening.

Runway765 wrote:
What exactly did they do at SJC, BNA and AUS to make it a focus city? BNA never made sense since it is already a WN stronghold and SJC is literally right next door to SFO.

AUS makes sense, but they haven't added anything outside of hubs yet so idk what the strategy is there?


I think we just haven't yet seen a DL network expansion at AUS as part of the focus city strategy. DL had maybe 3 gates at AUS before the recent terminal expansion was completed in 2019? And then the pandemic hit in 2020. The first stage of the strategy would have been to connect AUS to all of the hubs apart from LGA; they didn't historically serve LAX, BOS, or SEA from AUS. The next step would be to add key O&D markets for local travelers.
 
Runway765
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:39 pm

ScottB wrote:
You've pretty much identified one of the key problems with UA opening a hub at BNA. I don't think they'd need 70-100 gates, but they'd probably need at least 25-30 to offer a network competitive with WN, and there just isn't room to expand the current terminal to that extent. UA would have to commit hundreds of millions of dollars, if not a billion-plus, to get a new terminal built, and they'd have to be willing to spend at least a decade losing money in the Southeast against DL and AA (and WN). Don't forget that both DL and AA have relatively low airport costs at ATL & CLT.


I forgot about CPE, thanks for bringing that up. The cost of a new terminal would send that number through the roof, putting them at an automatic disadvantage to ATL/CLT. I said 70-100 gates because they'd need that many to run enough flights to match the scale of ATL/CLT, which would be the point of a SE hub. The overall idea is ludicrous at the present time.

ScottB wrote:
I think we just haven't yet seen a DL network expansion at AUS as part of the focus city strategy. DL had maybe 3 gates at AUS before the recent terminal expansion was completed in 2019? And then the pandemic hit in 2020. The first stage of the strategy would have been to connect AUS to all of the hubs apart from LGA; they didn't historically serve LAX, BOS, or SEA from AUS. The next step would be to add key O&D markets for local travelers.


Again, considering the major competition on virtually every major route out of AUS, I struggle to see how DL would be successful without connecting traffic to back up the flights. Unless they are willing to commit the resources into making AUS its 10th hub (and there is no need to do so), it seems kind of pointless expanding beyond a large spoke with a nice Sky Club.
Last edited by Runway765 on Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:39 pm

Runway765 wrote:
ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


Why on earth would BNA be a southeast UA hub when WN already has a large presence? BNA isn't DEN.


Yes, WN is big at BNA but UA brings network (way more U.S. destinations, intercontinental services, alliances...) and product benefits: F, Y+, seat assignments! The idea that WN's presence in a city (or airport) means nothing for anybody else just doesn't hold up.
 
alohashirts
Posts: 163
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:54 pm

With CVG losing focus city status I wonder if we’ll just see DL do flights to the hubs and maybe one or two other cities...ATL/SLC/DTW/MSP/LGA/JFK/BOS/LAX/SEA and maybe MCO/RDU/TPA. Not an official focus city but I would like to see DL add more flights to LAS.
 
umichman
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:04 pm

CVG still has EWR/LAS/DEN/DCA/RSW/FLL/MCO/TPA flights and DFW/RDU/BWI/PHL/SEA/SFO/CDG are currently scheduled to restart in May (although some/all of these may get pushed back further). I think people are making too many assumptions that simply because DL no longer calls it a "focus city" it will be reduced to nothing but a stub.
 
FLYKTPA
Posts: 601
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:16 pm

umichman wrote:
CVG still has EWR/LAS/DEN/DCA/RSW/FLL/MCO/TPA flights and DFW/RDU/BWI/PHL/SEA/SFO/CDG are currently scheduled to restart in May (although some/all of these may get pushed back further). I think people are making too many assumptions that simply because DL no longer calls it a "focus city" it will be reduced to nothing but a stub.


It definitely won’t be a stub, probably just the hubs, focus cites (AUS & RDU) plus big Florida markets (MCO, TPA, RSW and maybe FLL or MIA).

Of course this is assuming losing the focus city designation means goodbye to the CRJ business routes. So ORD, PHL, DCA, DFW, EWR etc. Will be interesting to see.

Wonder if the CDG flight sticks around?
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:18 pm

The mythical UA SE hub at BNA or TPA comes up about every 6 months on an internal Q&A town hall session with employees. United has consistently, and very clearly, stated that they have no desire to establish a SE hub. It would require a huge investment of airplanes, real estate, and decades of money-losing flying to gain market share in an already saturated area of the country.
 
Nicknuzzii
Posts: 1994
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:29 pm

FLYKTPA wrote:
umichman wrote:
CVG still has EWR/LAS/DEN/DCA/RSW/FLL/MCO/TPA flights and DFW/RDU/BWI/PHL/SEA/SFO/CDG are currently scheduled to restart in May (although some/all of these may get pushed back further). I think people are making too many assumptions that simply because DL no longer calls it a "focus city" it will be reduced to nothing but a stub.


It definitely won’t be a stub, probably just the hubs, focus cites (AUS & RDU) plus big Florida markets (MCO, TPA, RSW and maybe FLL or MIA).

Of course this is assuming losing the focus city designation means goodbye to the CRJ business routes. So ORD, PHL, DCA, DFW, EWR etc. Will be interesting to see.

Wonder if the CDG flight sticks around?


I think it’s interesting they resumed EWR-CVG back in October. This route is pretty much all business.
 
Runway765
Posts: 421
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:29 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
The mythical UA SE hub at BNA or TPA comes up about every 6 months on an internal Q&A town hall session with employees. United has consistently, and very clearly, stated that they have no desire to establish a SE hub. It would require a huge investment of airplanes, real estate, and decades of money-losing flying to gain market share in an already saturated area of the country.


Just curious, did someone actually specifically suggest BNA/TPA as a SE hub or was the question regarding a SE hub in general?
 
ScottB
Posts: 7595
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:33 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Yes, WN is big at BNA but UA brings network (way more U.S. destinations, intercontinental services, alliances...) and product benefits: F, Y+, seat assignments! The idea that WN's presence in a city (or airport) means nothing for anybody else just doesn't hold up.


A large WN presence in a city or airport doesn't completely preclude a legacy carrier hub, but it does significantly raise the bar for success. HP/US/AA has long struggled to compete with WN at PHX in spite of the benefits you cite. The key problem is that WN enforces fare discipline in large O&D markets and they're the ones setting the market price for the 80-90% of passengers who aren't paying for F or Y+. Pre-Covid, fares on AA for DFW-MEM were significantly lower than DFW-BTR, DFW-JAN, or DFW-SHV largely because WN flies DAL-MEM but not to BTR, JAN, or SHV.

Unless the legacy carrier can leverage a large enough network of cities not served non-stop by WN (and thus charge higher fares in these markets) they will struggle with the higher cost structure which comes along with being a legacy carrier. Trying to build a legacy hub at an airport where WN is the largest carrier (and has significant passenger loyalty) is a really good way to lose money.
 
Runway765
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:33 pm

FLYKTPA wrote:
umichman wrote:
CVG still has EWR/LAS/DEN/DCA/RSW/FLL/MCO/TPA flights and DFW/RDU/BWI/PHL/SEA/SFO/CDG are currently scheduled to restart in May (although some/all of these may get pushed back further). I think people are making too many assumptions that simply because DL no longer calls it a "focus city" it will be reduced to nothing but a stub.


It definitely won’t be a stub, probably just the hubs, focus cites (AUS & RDU) plus big Florida markets (MCO, TPA, RSW and maybe FLL or MIA).

Of course this is assuming losing the focus city designation means goodbye to the CRJ business routes. So ORD, PHL, DCA, DFW, EWR etc. Will be interesting to see.

Wonder if the CDG flight sticks around?


With the 763's being retired, I think CDG goes along with the rest of the non-hub/focus city TATL.

I except DL to cut the remaining business routes any time now, especially CVG-ORD so they can free up space for DL to do ORD-LAX.
 
jbs2886
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:41 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


Texas's "open for business" hasn't been so hot the past month - between significant power failures and now completely ending COVID protections despite guidance to the contrary.
 
Vctony
Posts: 721
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:02 pm

jbs2886 wrote:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


Texas's "open for business" hasn't been so hot the past month - between significant power failures and now completely ending COVID protections despite guidance to the contrary.


Most people I know on all sides of the political spectrum are pretty disappointed with how Texas is handling things over the past month or so. I’m virus what affect the past month will have on future growth in Texas.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6553
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:08 pm

Vctony wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


Texas's "open for business" hasn't been so hot the past month - between significant power failures and now completely ending COVID protections despite guidance to the contrary.


Most people I know on all sides of the political spectrum are pretty disappointed with how Texas is handling things over the past month or so. I’m virus what affect the past month will have on future growth in Texas.


It depends on how the state reacts. If they winterize everything, it wont affect anything. If they drag their feet, it could jeopardize growth.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:17 pm

jbs2886 wrote:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


Texas's "open for business" hasn't been so hot the past month - between significant power failures and now completely ending COVID protections despite guidance to the contrary.


Their job attraction during COVID speaks for itself......

Cubsrule wrote:
ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


I'm having trouble understanding how this announcement is anything more than semantic for BNA. All of DL's pre-pandemic growth at BNA was to other hubs and focus cities and there weren't other obvious holes for domestic growth besides arguably MIA (in part to feed LATAM). It's clear that DL and Skyteam are willing and able to fly TATL to cities not denominated "focus cities," so I don't think this announcement changes the odds of BNA-CDG/AMS either.


I don't see DL/KLM/AF flying BNA-Europe soon, DL was the airline to do it, and their aircraft of choice (B763) for such a route are due for retirement.

Furthermore, TATL yields from major east coast hubs will be higher post-covid, meaning more TATL capacity will be directed there rather than focus cities or spokes.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15374
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:36 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
ethernal wrote:
BNA does surprise me, although one could argue BNA was a defensive focus city position more than anything - to avoid United from entering it as a Southeast hub (and WN gaining more of a foothold there).


I'm having trouble understanding how this announcement is anything more than semantic for BNA. All of DL's pre-pandemic growth at BNA was to other hubs and focus cities and there weren't other obvious holes for domestic growth besides arguably MIA (in part to feed LATAM). It's clear that DL and Skyteam are willing and able to fly TATL to cities not denominated "focus cities," so I don't think this announcement changes the odds of BNA-CDG/AMS either.


I don't see DL/KLM/AF flying BNA-Europe soon, DL was the airline to do it, and their aircraft of choice (B763) for such a route are due for retirement.

Furthermore, TATL yields from major east coast hubs will be higher post-covid, meaning more TATL capacity will be directed there rather than focus cities or spokes.


I don't disagree with any of that. I just don't think that the "focus city" label has any effect on the analysis.
 
ethernal
Posts: 504
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:44 pm

Runway765 wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
The mythical UA SE hub at BNA or TPA comes up about every 6 months on an internal Q&A town hall session with employees. United has consistently, and very clearly, stated that they have no desire to establish a SE hub. It would require a huge investment of airplanes, real estate, and decades of money-losing flying to gain market share in an already saturated area of the country.


Just curious, did someone actually specifically suggest BNA/TPA as a SE hub or was the question regarding a SE hub in general?


It wouldn't matter either way if they did. No airline is going to tease a decision like that until they are well along the way of planning and execution. And United never reached the point of seriously considering it. And to be clear, the UA approach would start the same way as Delta is starting with Austin. They'd call it a focus city (or call it nothing at all) and make sure it is well connected to existing hubs. They'd start flying BNA-FRA and maybe much later on start flying BNA-HND. And then they'd start trialing a few large P2P routes. And once they'd tested the market they might invest in new gates and a broader expansion. It's the same playbook Delta did with Boston and is trying to replicate at Austin (RDU won't follow the same playbook given the duplication to the ATL hub and lacks the O&D of Boston).

It's all moot now. The US3 are in retrenchment right now with brutally wounded balance sheets with no desire to enter into a long war of attrition so it's not even a topic of discussion. In an alternative timeline without COVID, it would be a more interesting discussion for an airline that is probably getting a 10 year post-merger itch. They'd gotten their house in order - fleet is consistent, ops are better, the airline was quite profitable. At some point airlines get the itch to start experimenting.
 
umichman
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:42 am

Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:00 pm

FLYKTPA wrote:
umichman wrote:
CVG still has EWR/LAS/DEN/DCA/RSW/FLL/MCO/TPA flights and DFW/RDU/BWI/PHL/SEA/SFO/CDG are currently scheduled to restart in May (although some/all of these may get pushed back further). I think people are making too many assumptions that simply because DL no longer calls it a "focus city" it will be reduced to nothing but a stub.


It definitely won’t be a stub, probably just the hubs, focus cites (AUS & RDU) plus big Florida markets (MCO, TPA, RSW and maybe FLL or MIA).

Of course this is assuming losing the focus city designation means goodbye to the CRJ business routes. So ORD, PHL, DCA, DFW, EWR etc. Will be interesting to see.

Wonder if the CDG flight sticks around?


I hadn't considered the impact of DL's commitment to retiring all the CRJ-200's. I suspect some of these routes could support larger RJ's, but I suppose the ultimate impact could be that many of these routes go away when the CRJ-200's go.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 14327
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Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:04 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
I don't see DL/KLM/AF flying BNA-Europe soon, DL was the airline to do it, and their aircraft of choice (B763) for such a route are due for retirement.

They're not all due for retirement for nearly another half decade... a route can easily grow to another aircraft type within that frame.
Not saying necessarily will, but can and have; so it's definitely not preclusive.


Midwestindy wrote:
Furthermore, TATL yields from major east coast hubs will be higher post-covid, meaning more TATL capacity will be directed there rather than focus cities or spokes.

Based on what?

One of the reasons airlines started to defragment into the secondary and (especially the) tertiary markets is because they're were often higher YIELD, just not necessarily higher revenue, especially from a network perspective.

For example, think back to that BA TATL yield chart that got leaked about two years or so ago:
JFK and LAX were among the lowest yielding N.American gateways they served. ORD was below MSY and BNA. SAN was the two highest in their system, followed closely by AUS (though, these data were for LHR only, and not network), but point remains.
Last edited by LAX772LR on Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
jbs2886
Posts: 3505
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:07 pm

Re: Delta to cut focus city network down to RDU & AUS

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:05 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Texas is doubling down on being "open for business" and welcoming everyone fleeing everywhere else.


Texas's "open for business" hasn't been so hot the past month - between significant power failures and now completely ending COVID protections despite guidance to the contrary.


Their job attraction during COVID speaks for itself......


I was specifically talking about events of the last month. How they did over the past year is a totally different point.

I think DL's AUS focus city is a great idea, and will give them strength in that region that is needed. I'm just separately curious what impact, if any, recent events will have on business decisions.
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