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8herveg
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Why does American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:25 pm

Why do American Airlines use PHL as their East Coast hub instead of JFK? I know a lot of it will be because of US Airways had their hub at PHL and AA then took them over, but given JFK has a lot of/more O&D traffic than PHL, would it not make more sense to operate both O&D AND transfer traffic at one airport? As then, surely, more thinner routes could be operated and be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
Last edited by SQ22 on Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:46 pm

Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:49 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


This.

And would you rather compete at super competitive JFK or have a good sized market like PHL to yourself? AA does what it needs to be competitive in NYC, but its no substitute for having PHL to itself.
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Keith2004
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:51 pm

Alot less competition at PHL so they can have higher margins.
 
Ishrion
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:53 pm

8herveg wrote:
but given JFK has a lot of/more O&D traffic than PHL, would it not make more sense to operate both O&D AND transfer traffic at one airport? As then, surely, more thinner routes could be operated and be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.


AA at JFK is now set to use JetBlue as the "transfer traffic" while it focuses on new international routes, such as JFK-SCL/TLV/ATH/BOG/MDE/CLO.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:53 pm

8herveg wrote:
Why do American Airlines use PHL as their East Coast hub instead of JFK? I know a lot of it will be because of US Airways had their hub at PHL and AA then took them over, but given JFK has a lot of/more O&D traffic than PHL, would it not make more sense to operate both O&D AND transfer traffic at one airport? As then, surely, more thinner routes could be operated and be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks


JFK doesn't have the terminal space nor AA the JFK slots to build out an efficient regional hub in NYC. Yes you lose out on some O&D for sure with PHL over JFK. But it is not like PHL is some small metro. It's a top 10 city in the US in terms of business, metro population, O&D traffic etc. So in terms of an alternative with space and without some of the other constraints it's about as good as you can get.
 
AAMDanny
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:55 pm

Also, JFK attracts enough traffic for it not to need to be a hub. Where as PHL serves it purpose as a gateway to the rest of the US and for the local traffic it attracts.

And from a hub perspective experience, transferring at PHL is a million miles better than transferring at JFK.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:55 pm

LAXdude1023 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


This.

And would you rather compete at super competitive JFK or have a good sized market like PHL to yourself? AA does what it needs to be competitive in NYC, but its no substitute for having PHL to itself.


Another good point. It's a similar dynamic to the Midwest where DL has DTW and MSP more or less to itself and AA and UA fight the WN hub, each other, and all sorts of other service in Chicago.
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:58 pm

I don't know if it's still true during Covid/quarantine; however, for a while AA would absolutely flat-out refuse to book a passenger a connecting flight to LHR via JFK, because the entire airplane could be filled with just O&D passengers.

Also, PHL might be a significantly smaller market than JFK; however, to simply abandon PHL entirely ignores the O&D market from that region, which would be filled by another carrier.

PHL works very well on a combination of O&D and connecting traffic; JFK (in AA's eye) is based on ultra-premium NYC-area traffic, with connections possible but not encouraged. I give AA credit for acknowledging where the demand is coming from and channeling it accordingly.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:58 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.
 
Runway765
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:09 pm

Even though PHL is not a small potatoes market, its presence has helped weaken AA's presence in NYC, which is one of their biggest weaknesses now.
 
sagechan
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:16 pm

JFK Pro's - Huge O&D market
JFK Con's (for AA running flights)
- not enough slots to establish a regional hub
- Highly competitive, compresses O&D Yields
- Large number of partner OW airlines to key markets already

PHL's pro's
- Unslotted, AA dominant carrier
- Good sized city, decent O&D
- Higher margins
PHL's cons
- Leakage to NYC for more directs/cheaper

You can through some other stuff into those if you want.

B6 partnership in JFK is more about FF base bringing more local O&D pax onto AA metal than connecting, no way to make an easy, pleasant connecting experience. They'll take what they get on connecting traffic to long-haul has a bonus, and will try to reduce the pains of doing so.
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ContinentalEWR
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:20 pm

AA inherited PHL as a hub when it merged with US in 2013. PHL was US's primary TATL gateway. PHL's catchment area is pretty big (in the top 5) and there is a lot less competition with just LH operating (AF has in the past, as did EI, + BA).

AA at JFK has been a long saga of growth and downsizing only to grow again (and cut again). In short, AA's former parent, pre-US merger, AMR Corporation, resisted filing Chapter 11 in the post-9/11 landscape and that cost it dearly. While DL, NW, UA, CO did, they lowered their operating costs (with a huge and negative impact on employees). AA found itself in with an older fleet, not optimized for profit with 3 class cabins and a route network that while strong, had some significant holes. DL began to focus on JFK and built it out in earnest from 2005 on, although its expanded footprint there really dates back to 1991 when it acquired Pan Am's TATL operation and the Worldport. B6 launched in 2000 and by 2005, was a significant competitor to the Caribbean markets that AA dominated out of JFK until then. B6 had a better on board product and much lower costs. AA spent a fortune building out T8 (never completed to full spec) which was a world class facility but AA's costs were far wider and larger than its next two competitors at JFK (DL and B6). AA under-invested in its intercontinental product for a long time, flying poorly retrofitted 767-300ERs with less than stellar dispatch rates on key TATL markets (CDG, MAD, MXP). Once the merger happened, AA found itself with a huge 400+ daily departure operation 200 miles south in PHL, with much less competition and a lower operating cost, so it further reduced JFK to align its NYC strategy around serving just key business markets at LGA and JFK and leaving the rest to connections. That's the cliff notes version. Now, AA is building up JFK again because of the B6 partnership, which on paper, looks like a more efficient use of slots and allows AA to fill its 777s to Europe and Latin America (and soon Israel) more consistently, given that its feed at JFK has been much reduced since the merger, where JFK was no longer considered a "cornerstone" hub. At its peak, in the 1990s, AA was around 170 daily departures a JFK, which until the 2000s was a major gateway to the Caribbean, secondary to Latin America and Europe, and a major transcon hub. Pre-pandemic, things shifted with 75 daily departures becoming the standard, reduced to a dozen by March/April 2020 due to COVID and now growing back to the 45-50 range. AA also received slot waivers in 2019 due to the runway adjacent to T8 being refurbished and those waivers were extended a few times, which accounts for the 2019 reduction in flying (plus the decision to smartly remove 50 seat ERJs on domestic regional routes out of JFK). AA was booking losses at JFK for a long time but finally turned the corner in 2019 when it went all 777 on all long haul international routes, adding cargo capacity, premium economy, and a competitive and more reliable product and service.

Finally, AA does not have the slots (never did) at JFK to make it a viable hub on the scale of what DL/B6 have or what it has down at PHL. JFK is not, in a non pandemic scenario, a great place for connections, even with AA's terminal there. Operationally it just would not work.
Last edited by ContinentalEWR on Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:25 pm

8herveg wrote:
be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
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sagechan
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:26 pm

ContinentalEWR wrote:
AA inherited PHL as a hub when it merged with US in 2013. PHL was US's primary TATL gateway. PHL's catchment area is pretty big (in the top 5) and there is a lot less competition with just LH operating (AF has in the past, as did EI, + BA).

AA at JFK has been a long saga of growth and downsizing only to grow again (and cut again). In short, AA's former parent, pre-US merger, AMR Corporation, resisted filing Chapter 11 in the post-9/11 landscape and that cost it dearly. While DL, NW, UA, CO did, they lowered their operating costs (with a huge and negative impact on employees). AA found itself in with an older fleet, not optimized for profit with 3 class cabins and a route network that while strong, had some significant holes. DL began to focus on JFK and built it out in earnest from 2005 on, although its expanded footprint there really dates back to 1991 when it acquired Pan Am's TATL operation and the Worldport. B6 launched in 2000 and by 2005, was a significant competitor to the Caribbean markets that AA dominated out of JFK until then. B6 had a better on board product and much lower costs. AA spent a fortune building out T8 (never completed to full spec) which was a world class facility but AA's costs were far wider and larger than its next two competitors at JFK (DL and B6). AA under-invested in its intercontinental product for a long time, flying poorly retrofitted 767-300ERs with less than stellar dispatch rates on key TATL markets (CDG, MAD, MXP). Once the merger happened, AA found itself with a huge 400+ daily departure operation 200 miles south in PHL, with much less competition and a lower operating cost, so it further reduced JFK to align its NYC strategy around serving just key business markets at LGA and JFK and leaving the rest to connections. That's the cliff notes version. Now, AA is building up JFK again because of the B6 partnership, which on paper, looks like a more efficient use of slots and allows AA to fill its 777s to Europe and Latin America (and soon Israel) more consistently, given that its feed at JFK has been much reduced since the merger, where JFK was no longer considered a "cornerstone" hub. At its peak, in the 1990s, AA was around 170 daily departures a JFK, which until the 2000s was a major gateway to the Caribbean, secondary to Latin America and Europe, and a major transcon hub. Pre-pandemic, things shifted with 75 daily departures becoming the standard, reduced to a dozen by March/April 2020 due to COVID and now growing back to the 45-50 range. AA also received slot waivers in 2019 due to the runway adjacent to T8 being refurbished and those waivers were extended a few times, which accounts for the 2019 reduction in flying (plus the decision to smartly remove 50 seat ERJs on domestic regional routes out of JFK). AA was booking losses at JFK for a long time but finally turned the corner in 2019 when it went all 777 on all long haul international routes, adding cargo capacity, premium economy, and a competitive and more reliable product and service.


Excellent summary
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USPIT10L
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:33 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


PHL had more transatlantic flights than PIT long before the pulldown. US only served LGW, CDG and FRA nonstop from PIT. While the transcon and domestic feed switched to PHL, PIT was never the primary international gateway. Originally, US planned on using BOS and PHL as primary and secondary gateways.
Last edited by USPIT10L on Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:50 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


The PIT people have got to let this go; it has been 17 years! The era of hubs in secondary cities has long been over. Anyway, PHL was the primary TATL hub even when PIT still was around as it is a larger, wealthier metro area, a shorter flight to Europe and lacked significant competition.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:03 pm

Phl o&d numbers are really not good. It's half the size of places like boston, atlanta and denver domestically. Definitely not a top 10 market.
 
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LH748
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:09 pm

JFK is much more constraint and much more competitive than you'd like a hub to be. With a lot of O&D traffic for New York it just doesn't make much sense to hand out seats to connecting passengers. I've only ever flown to JFK once on the nonstop DL107 service from FRA and that was when I was staying in NYC. Everytime I've looked up DL flights to the US they only offered transit in ATL, DTW, AMS or CDG. The seats to JFK seem to be far too valuable for the nonstop passengers. I assume it's the same for AA which makes PHL and als CLT great eastern hubs for transit passengers while they can focus on JFK for passengers that look for nonstop service to Europe.
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Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:15 pm

USPIT10L wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


PHL had more transatlantic flights than PIT long before the pulldown. US only served LGW, CDG and FRA nonstop from PIT. While the transcon and domestic feed switched to PHL, PIT was never the primary international gateway. Originally, US planned on using BOS and PHL as primary and secondary gateways.


For what it’s worth, that’s comparable to what CLT had in the early to mid-00s. FRA and LGW ran pretty much all the time. CDG operated at least on and off, maybe seasonally at times. CLT did have LH to MUC; I can’t recall exactly when it started.
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PHLspecial
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:25 pm

tphuang wrote:
Phl o&d numbers are really not good. It's half the size of places like boston, atlanta and denver domestically. Definitely not a top 10 market.

Time to insert "Is PHL going to be dehubbed" jokes.

Serious talk now PHL definitely punches wayyyy below its weight to due leakage to NYC, lack of big business, and being the poorest large city in the U.S. All that said PHL is not a small city and is growing at a small 2% each year. AA will need to use PHL as a second hub for flights that don't connect to NYC for passengers that are flying TATL. PHL will be a TATL that hub primary connects to secondary European and African cities mainly using the A321XLRs.

Domestically PHL loves FL, so they are doing good on that front, CLT can handle the rest of the traffic. O&D might be bad nationwide but for Florida and leisure routes, its doing great!
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:29 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


This.

And would you rather compete at super competitive JFK or have a good sized market like PHL to yourself? AA does what it needs to be competitive in NYC, but its no substitute for having PHL to itself.


Another good point. It's a similar dynamic to the Midwest where DL has DTW and MSP more or less to itself and AA and UA fight the WN hub, each other, and all sorts of other service in Chicago.


It really isn't, because PHL isn't a particularly large O&D market. It's DTW-sized in domestic, a little smaller than MSP or SAN, and measurably less than even half the size of JFK.

For all of AA 'having PHL all itself,' DOT data show it isn't a high fare market. PHL sees a fare premium of +6%; +12% for JFK, +14% for EWR, +14% for DCA, and +17% for IAD per 4Q19 reports. (For those who think DL-dominated hubs are high fare hubs: ATL +9%, MSP +1%, DTW +9%, SLC +5%.)

But, yes, AA's hurdles to acquire the terminal facilities and usefully timed slots to operate 417 flights a day* at JFK would be very high, indeed.

* see FSDan's work on summer 2019 flights by hub: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1420609
 
Detroit313
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:34 pm

Because PHL can connect anyone from all over the US to Europe. It is a great hub that makes money.

JFK is for airlines that lack an East coast gateway to Europe like Delta or AA before the merger with US Airways.

Any airline would prefer their own gateway to Europe instead of JFK. When you don't have that option, you focus on JFK.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:36 pm

OP,

because they don't want to lose money. JFK as a small hub was a money loser, it would be a large money loser as a big hub. Not to mention all the other legit reasons mentioned already. NYC and LA for that matter are places people want to go and Business especially want to go so airlines must have a prescience, but they also have no hubs because it would not work.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:52 pm

Have you ever been to JFK? It's got to be one of the worst transfer hubs in the world. It doesn't have airside connections between terminals. That means having to go through security again if you're connecting to a flight in a different terminal. Considering that security screenings have been required coming up in 50 years, it's quite unacceptable. The whole airport was designed in a different era just after WWII. Until the terminals get rebuilt in a more efficient layout with modern design criteria, it makes no sense to use JFK as a transfer hub. There is plenty of O&D in the NYC metro area to justify flights to and from JFK without connection opportunities.
 
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:52 pm

USPIT10L wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


PHL had more transatlantic flights than PIT long before the pulldown. US only served LGW, CDG and FRA nonstop from PIT. While the transcon and domestic feed switched to PHL, PIT was never the primary international gateway. Originally, US planned on using BOS and PHL as primary and secondary gateways.


US Airways inherited 6 B762ER's from their Piedmont merger in 1989 and these planes were originally concentrated at CLT. US Air (before they became "Airways") bought 6 more B762ER's in 1990 and 1991 to add TATL flights to PIT and PHL. This accounts for the dozen long-haul, wide bodied planes that operated US Airways' TATL routes from 1989 until 2006. Eventually, US Airways converted 15 of their B752 fleet to ETOPS capability in 2006 primarily to grow the PHL international hub. The first of 24 A330's didn't appear in US Airways' fleet until 2006, 2 years after the closure of the PIT hub, but coinciding with US Airways continuing to expand PHL as an international hub.

https://www.planespotters.net/airline/US-Airways
 
Antarius
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:57 pm

Detroit313 wrote:
Because PHL can connect anyone from all over the US to Europe. It is a great hub that makes money.


Yep. People forget that the main goal is to make money.

The most successful airline of the last decade has its major hubs in ATL, DTW, MSP, SLC. No one else is fighting them for these airports and they've built out huge operations. While DL does compete in some like JFK, BOS and SEA with others, one of their defining features is having a fortress hub.

For AA, DFW, PHL and CLT aren't "sexy", but they can be extremely efficient.
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Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:57 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:

This.

And would you rather compete at super competitive JFK or have a good sized market like PHL to yourself? AA does what it needs to be competitive in NYC, but its no substitute for having PHL to itself.


Another good point. It's a similar dynamic to the Midwest where DL has DTW and MSP more or less to itself and AA and UA fight the WN hub, each other, and all sorts of other service in Chicago.


It really isn't, because PHL isn't a particularly large O&D market. It's DTW-sized in domestic, a little smaller than MSP or SAN, and measurably less than even half the size of JFK.

For all of AA 'having PHL all itself,' DOT data show it isn't a high fare market. PHL sees a fare premium of +6%; +12% for JFK, +14% for EWR, +14% for DCA, and +17% for IAD per 4Q19 reports. (For those who think DL-dominated hubs are high fare hubs: ATL +9%, MSP +1%, DTW +9%, SLC +5%.)

But, yes, AA's hurdles to acquire the terminal facilities and usefully timed slots to operate 417 flights a day* at JFK would be very high, indeed.

* see FSDan's work on summer 2019 flights by hub: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1420609


I hear you, but the question on fares isn’t “what premium does PHL get in the status quo” but rather “how does the premium that PHL earns compare with what a hypothetical JFK hub would earn,” and that answer seems certain to be larger because that much new service in NYC would depress NYC yields.

All that said, as we’ve already pointed out and agreed the facilities constraints make this an academic discussion.
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USPIT10L
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:59 pm

US took deliveries of A330-200s starting in 1998. The A330-300s were delivered beginning in 2006, as you mentioned. The 330-200s were originally used on routes like PITCDG, PITFRA and CLTCDG.
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SESGDL
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:14 pm

USPIT10L wrote:
US took deliveries of A330-200s starting in 1998. The A330-300s were delivered beginning in 2006, as you mentioned. The 330-200s were originally used on routes like PITCDG, PITFRA and CLTCDG.


You have that flipped. The -300s came first.

Jeremy
 
EBiafore99
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:15 pm

Antarius wrote:
Detroit313 wrote:
Because PHL can connect anyone from all over the US to Europe. It is a great hub that makes money.


Yep. People forget that the main goal is to make money.

The most successful airline of the last decade has its major hubs in ATL, DTW, MSP, SLC. No one else is fighting them for these airports and they've built out huge operations. While DL does compete in some like JFK, BOS and SEA with others, one of their defining features is having a fortress hub.

For AA, DFW, PHL and CLT aren't "sexy", but they can be extremely efficient.


Bingo.
 
USPIT10L
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:19 pm

SESGDL wrote:
USPIT10L wrote:
US took deliveries of A330-200s starting in 1998. The A330-300s were delivered beginning in 2006, as you mentioned. The 330-200s were originally used on routes like PITCDG, PITFRA and CLTCDG.


You have that flipped. The -300s came first.

Jeremy


Thanks.
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jscottwomack
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:36 pm

johns624 wrote:
8herveg wrote:
be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
99% of passengers don't care where they change planes.


Exactly. The 99% are shopping price. A-Netters are the 1% and shop a flight based on airline, aircraft and how many extra stops/connections that we can cram in.
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ChrisPBacon
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:17 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


There are no slot controls at PHL. Gate space at JFK wasn’t an issue because AA owns T8, which still had room to double in size. US dumped PIT because of costs. Successful? Hardly. PIT relied on connecting traffic to fill airplanes. Pre-COVID PHL was roughly 60% local traffic. Local traffic is higher yielding. CLT had massive advantages over PIT. CLT still relies on connecting traffic, but local traffic is growing as Charlotte metro does. Plus CLTs PPE costs are literally a fraction of PITs.

AA pulled back because the B6/DL growth lowered yields and AA wasn’t structured to compete. Now with B6 providing connecting traffic at a cost AA couldn’t, JFK makes sense again. I don’t see B6 lasting 5 years without getting acquired by AA (probably as part of a pre-packaged CH11 filing). PHL will never be the hub it was pre-COVID. PHL will still but a large city for AA, but it will focus on high yield local traffic. The low yield connections that can’t move to B6 (or CLT) will be what stays. But I see PHL going from 60% local to 75%, and dropping from pre-COVID peak of around 420 flights/day to maxing out at 250-300/day.
 
DFW17L
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:21 pm

jscottwomack wrote:
johns624 wrote:
8herveg wrote:
be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
99% of passengers don't care where they change planes.


Exactly. The 99% are shopping price. A-Netters are the 1% and shop a flight based on airline, aircraft and how many extra stops/connections that we can cram in.


Add to that, we’re FF segment hogs.
 
Nicknuzzii
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:34 pm

ChrisPBacon wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


There are no slot controls at PHL. Gate space at JFK wasn’t an issue because AA owns T8, which still had room to double in size. US dumped PIT because of costs. Successful? Hardly. PIT relied on connecting traffic to fill airplanes. Pre-COVID PHL was roughly 60% local traffic. Local traffic is higher yielding. CLT had massive advantages over PIT. CLT still relies on connecting traffic, but local traffic is growing as Charlotte metro does. Plus CLTs PPE costs are literally a fraction of PITs.

AA pulled back because the B6/DL growth lowered yields and AA wasn’t structured to compete. Now with B6 providing connecting traffic at a cost AA couldn’t, JFK makes sense again. I don’t see B6 lasting 5 years without getting acquired by AA (probably as part of a pre-packaged CH11 filing). PHL will never be the hub it was pre-COVID. PHL will still but a large city for AA, but it will focus on high yield local traffic. The low yield connections that can’t move to B6 (or CLT) will be what stays. But I see PHL going from 60% local to 75%, and dropping from pre-COVID peak of around 420 flights/day to maxing out at 250-300/day.


That is essentially saying that their May schedule is what PHL will be forever. That is just not true. PHL relied heavily on it’s TATL flights and those are not ready to come back yet. Once they do, PHL will be back above 350 flights a day.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:39 pm

Two main reasons: 1) Way less competition in PHL (including no competing DL hub there or UA hub across the river at EWR), and 2) Way more domestic feed in PHL than JFK (many people don't want to transit to LGA).
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:41 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


You could argue the a decent chunk of NE Maryland too.

Also, If PIT was a "successful" operation AA wouldn't have left it after the merger, let's not kid ourselves here.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:44 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Where at JFK would AA put a PHL-sized terminal? And how would they get the requisite slots for that sort of operation? Given the constraints at JFK, the choice wasn't really a choice at all.


The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


You could argue the a decent chunk of NE Maryland too.

Also, If PIT was a "successful" operation AA wouldn't have left it after the merger, let's not kid ourselves here.


US drew down PIT nearly a decade before the merger, in fact before the HP/US merger.
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AmericanAir88
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:47 pm

Terminal 8 has a huge amount of potential. When AA was at its peak there, it was great flying out of it. AA can come back.
 
izbtmnhd
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:31 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


You could argue the a decent chunk of NE Maryland too.

Also, If PIT was a "successful" operation AA wouldn't have left it after the merger, let's not kid ourselves here.


US drew down PIT nearly a decade before the merger, in fact before the HP/US merger.


I know this and that was my bad, I had just finished reading the article and my mind was on AA and how it would fit it would have survived to the AA/US merger. Thanks for pointing out the error.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:42 pm

jscottwomack wrote:
johns624 wrote:
8herveg wrote:
be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
99% of passengers don't care where they change planes.


Exactly. The 99% are shopping price. A-Netters are the 1% and shop a flight based on airline, aircraft and how many extra stops/connections that we can cram in.

I suspect the 99% number was selected to make a point rather than being any kind of actual valid statistic. While I agree that most people do focus on price, more experienced flyers definitely have favorites and a short list of airports to avoid as long as the fare is close. I know of many people that won't connect in snowy places during winter to reduce risk. I raise this only because someone seeing this should not think the number is factual and continue to repeat it.
 
deltairlines
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:04 pm

jscottwomack wrote:
johns624 wrote:
8herveg wrote:
be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks
99% of passengers don't care where they change planes.


Exactly. The 99% are shopping price. A-Netters are the 1% and shop a flight based on airline, aircraft and how many extra stops/connections that we can cram in.


I wouldn't quite call it 99%. Price is indeed a key component, but the average passenger that has some knowledge will consider airline and layover city - for example, I'd guess most people that have been on a plane a few times would choose to connect in Atlanta or Charlotte to go to Europe in the winter over New York/Newark/Philadelphia - the odds of bad weather impacting ATL/CLT are a lot less than PHL/NYC. People also will often pay more for a nonstop flight over a connection - the old time is money axiom.

People will pay more for an airline IF they are a frequent flyer and want miles/status.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:10 pm

tphuang wrote:
Phl o&d numbers are really not good. It's half the size of places like boston, atlanta and denver domestically. Definitely not a top 10 market.


PHL has the opposite problem of DEN. DEN O&D is inflated because it is near nothing so everyone traveling has to fly while PHL O&D is depressed because it is less than 100 miles away from both NYC and the DMV - cities that are usually top 5 markets from just about every other airport.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:47 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Phl o&d numbers are really not good. It's half the size of places like boston, atlanta and denver domestically. Definitely not a top 10 market.


PHL has the opposite problem of DEN. DEN O&D is inflated because it is near nothing so everyone traveling has to fly while PHL O&D is depressed because it is less than 100 miles away from both NYC and the DMV - cities that are usually top 5 markets from just about every other airport.

Doesn't help that fares are more expensive at PHL than EWR or JFK for that matter.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:05 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:

You could argue the a decent chunk of NE Maryland too.

Also, If PIT was a "successful" operation AA wouldn't have left it after the merger, let's not kid ourselves here.


US drew down PIT nearly a decade before the merger, in fact before the HP/US merger.


I know this and that was my bad, I had just finished reading the article and my mind was on AA and how it would fit it would have survived to the AA/US merger. Thanks for pointing out the error.


Hey, if that’s the biggest mistake you made today that’s a pretty good day in my book.
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ContinentalEWR
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:14 pm

USPIT10L wrote:
US took deliveries of A330-200s starting in 1998. The A330-300s were delivered beginning in 2006, as you mentioned. The 330-200s were originally used on routes like PITCDG, PITFRA and CLTCDG.


No. US began taking deliveries of the A330-300 in 2000. The A330-200s were delivered from 2009 onward. In 1998, all US had for wide body aircraft were 11 or 12 767-200ERs.
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:15 pm

AmericanAir88 wrote:
Terminal 8 has a huge amount of potential. When AA was at its peak there, it was great flying out of it. AA can come back.


It is being expanded with 5 or 6 more gates and the retail spaces are to be overhauled. It will also have BA premium lounges. It is a great terminal already with or without the traffic, for JFK.
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:18 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
izbtmnhd wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

The rise of the PHL International hub for AA was linked to the demise of the former US Airways international hub in PIT. Here's an interesting article discussing the way US Airways hit Pittsburg hard by leaving the (successful) PIT hub that was specifically designed for their operations:

https://www.timesonline.com/article/201 ... /310119954

And as you mention, PHL had gates and slots available for AA's international hub, but JFK didn't. That and PHL has a large catchment area that extends deep into New Jersey, all of eastern Pennsylvania and most of Delaware to draw their O&D traffic.


You could argue the a decent chunk of NE Maryland too.

Also, If PIT was a "successful" operation AA wouldn't have left it after the merger, let's not kid ourselves here.


US drew down PIT nearly a decade before the merger, in fact before the HP/US merger.


US de-hubbed PIT in 2004, I think, in phases. The HP/US merger came in late 2004. By then, US was on the brink of liquidation (Chapter 7). Without the HP merger, it likely would not have survived.
 
rutankrd
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Re: Why do American Airlines use PHL as their main East Coast hub instead of JFK?

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:22 pm

8herveg wrote:
Why do American Airlines use PHL as their East Coast hub instead of JFK? I know a lot of it will be because of US Airways had their hub at PHL and AA then took them over, but given JFK has a lot of/more O&D traffic than PHL, would it not make more sense to operate both O&D AND transfer traffic at one airport? As then, surely, more thinner routes could be operated and be more viable since more people would want to travel to New York than Philadelphia.

Thanks


Simply AA has bugger all domestic service from Kennedy as most of the New York domestics go into La Guardia !
Even internationally AA prime market the heavy business global routes that are heavily up front biased and primarily New York centric.

Non Americans either forget or simply under estimate La Guardia’s importance domestically.

The concept of moving international connections into/out of the US domestic market via Philadelphia is financially sound in many ways, lower costs including the usually lower margins on connecting tickets over point to point fares and indeed fewer delays.

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