Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Drafran
Topic Author
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:55 pm

When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:40 pm

I was wondering this morning: of all the US domestic hubs since deregulation, what was the biggest that went from glory days to the end of a spoke? STL? CVG? CLE? In terms of aircraft movement rather than capacity.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 11512
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:49 pm

In terms of movements and including regional operators it is probably CVG or STL. CVG had more movements at its peak, but I believe DL is still much larger at CVG today than AA at STL. After that probably PIT. CLE was always much smaller than the others mentioned even at CO’s peak.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1212
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:57 pm

To my mind, there are three: STL, CVG, and PIT. All three of these spent many years as a hub for an airline, unlike places like CLE, BNA, and RDU, which although an attempt to open a hub was made, the logistics simply didn't lend themselves to a long-term operation.

Borrowed from Wikipedia (I know, I know, but at least a start):

STL: Image

PIT: Image

CVG: Image

I get that you are looking for aircraft movement rather than capacity, but to me, the two are completely intertwined, as great amounts of the traffic that USED to be at these airports is no longer there - these airports are now relying almost solely on O&D passengers rather than vast quantities of connections, so I would assume the numbers would correlate.

Of the three biggest, my guess would be that STL has the biggest capacity drop.
 
RJNUT
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:08 pm

i agree with PSA. esp. STL and PIT. i remember frustrating ATC delays constantly into STL back in the 80's
 
Noise
Posts: 2473
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 1999 7:38 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:11 pm

It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closes the hub there.
Last edited by Noise on Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
STT757
Posts: 14283
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:19 pm

The top three would be CVG, PIT, STL.

The next tier would be DFW (DL), DEN (CO), CLE (UA), MEM (DL), RDU (AA), BNA (AA), SJC (AA), MCO (DL), GSO (CO), BWI (US), DAY (US), SYR (US), MCI (EA, US), IND (US), BOS (US, AA).
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
User avatar
STT757
Posts: 14283
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:20 pm

Noise wrote:
It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


I've always felt PHX would make a better AS hub than AA.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
OneX123
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:08 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:24 pm

Noise wrote:
It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 11512
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:30 pm

PHX has a massive WN operation. Even if AA was to dehub PHX its drop would be nowhere near dramatic as airports like CVG/STL/PIT.
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 6305
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:34 pm

STT757 wrote:
The top three would be CVG, PIT, STL.

The next tier would be DFW (DL), DEN (CO), CLE (UA), MEM (DL), RDU (AA), BNA (AA), SJC (AA), MCO (DL), GSO (CO), BWI (US), DAY (US), SYR (US), MCI (EA, US), IND (US), BOS (US, AA).



How about TWA at JFK? That was painful to watch from the Tri state area
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 6305
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:36 pm

OneX123 wrote:
Noise wrote:
It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.



PHX is one of the fastest growing areas in the US. The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving

AA isn’t going anywhere at PHX
 
User avatar
STT757
Posts: 14283
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:37 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
STT757 wrote:
The top three would be CVG, PIT, STL.

The next tier would be DFW (DL), DEN (CO), CLE (UA), MEM (DL), RDU (AA), BNA (AA), SJC (AA), MCO (DL), GSO (CO), BWI (US), DAY (US), SYR (US), MCI (EA, US), IND (US), BOS (US, AA).



How about TWA at JFK? That was painful to watch from the Tri state area


True, but it exists in some form with AA even though AA today is shell of it's own operation from 2000. Let alone what TWA was.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1870
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:43 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
All three of these spent many years as a hub for an airline, unlike places like CLE, BNA, and RDU, which although an attempt to open a hub was made, the logistics simply didn't lend themselves to a long-term operation.
CO absolutely ran a hub in CLE for around 20 years. It wasn't as big as many, but it was absolutely a hub.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 25768
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:58 pm

Drafran wrote:
I was wondering this morning: of all the US domestic hubs since deregulation, what was the biggest that went from glory days to the end of a spoke? STL? CVG? CLE? In terms of aircraft movement rather than capacity.

I think most people living in those places would not view it as glory days. Sure, it's nice to have more choices of places to fly, but hubs command higher prices and are more crowded, and often ask taxpayers to fund huge expansions that often times don't work out (ref: PIT).

More aircraft with the right size and range are making hub bypass the way to go, IMO.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
TWFlyGuy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
Drafran wrote:
I was wondering this morning: of all the US domestic hubs since deregulation, what was the biggest that went from glory days to the end of a spoke? STL? CVG? CLE? In terms of aircraft movement rather than capacity.

I think most people living in those places would not view it as glory days. Sure, it's nice to have more choices of places to fly, but hubs command higher prices and are more crowded, and often ask taxpayers to fund huge expansions that often times don't work out (ref: PIT).

More aircraft with the right size and range are making hub bypass the way to go, IMO.


Great point except for STL...with the sizable WN operation there TW had limited pricing power like other hubs have generally. Part of the reason for their demise.
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:13 pm

RJNUT wrote:
i agree with PSA. esp. STL and PIT. i remember frustrating ATC delays constantly into STL back in the 80's


As a STL resident, I think the most dramatic decline was CVG. In the early 2000s, they had 500-600 departures a day.
Next flights:
Who knows? :/
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:14 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
OneX123 wrote:
Noise wrote:
It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.



PHX is one of the fastest growing areas in the US. The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving


...with the exception of RDU/BNA (and perhaps some other former hubs, IND?). FTFY. :D
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 25768
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:18 pm

maps4ltd wrote:
RJNUT wrote:
i agree with PSA. esp. STL and PIT. i remember frustrating ATC delays constantly into STL back in the 80's

As a STL resident, I think the most dramatic decline was CVG. In the early 2000s, they had 500-600 departures a day.

CVG to me seems to be the poster child for the inland hub that died as soon as narrow bodies had enough range to not need inland hubs. I remember waiting for plane changes in CVG and saying to myself, "What am I doing here?". There was no reason at all for me to be in Northeast Kentucky except for the hub, whereas I had enough social and business contacts in PIT and STL to justify a trip.
Last edited by Revelation on Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9301
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:18 pm

Revelation wrote:
and often ask taxpayers to fund huge expansions that often times don't work out (ref: PIT).


That's a bit of fiction as applied to U.S. airports which don't - generally - rely on taxpayer funds but instead on federal airport improvement grants, PFCs (passenger-paid, not taxpayers), and leases. Airports are substantially self-funded. Can you point to a big U.S. airport that, in the last few decades, got a many $ million city/county grant, or defaulted on bonds and stuck taxpayers with the tab?

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
T
I get that you are looking for aircraft movement rather than capacity, but to me, the two are completely intertwined...


Intertwined, yes, but it's not a linear relationship. A vast number of CVG's 600 DL/DL Connection flights a day were 50-seat CRJ-50s and CRJ-100s, when DL accounted for 92% of CVG passenger volume. Delta and the Delta Connection operate 599 flights a day, out of about 660 by all carriers. Delta will reduce its 128 flights Cincinnati flights to 94, and Delta Connection flights will be cut from 471 to 348...


viewtopic.php?t=350719

It's easy to find more recent examples, too. See FSDan's work for summer 2019 that looks at flight count and calc avg gauge by hub.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1420609
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 25768
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:29 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
and often ask taxpayers to fund huge expansions that often times don't work out (ref: PIT).

That's a bit of fiction as applied to U.S. airports which don't - generally - rely on taxpayer funds but instead on federal airport improvement grants, PFCs (passenger-paid, not taxpayers), and leases. Airports are substantially self-funded. Can you point to a big U.S. airport that, in the last few decades, got a many $ million city/county grant, or defaulted on bonds and stuck taxpayers with the tab?

"Don't work out" != "stuck with the tab", but PIT comes close to that standard:

The airport underwent a massive $1 billion rebuilding and expansion which was completed in 1992 and became a major hub for US Airways. The new airport was one of the most innovative in the world, dubbed the "airport of the future" by the New York Times,[7] and helped to pioneer modern airport design with its X-shape to reduce distance between gates, underground tram to transport passengers around the airport, and array of shopping options, all of which were cutting-edge at the time.[8][9] Traffic peaked at 20 million passengers in the late 1990s, but US Airways, which was facing bankruptcy, abandoned it as a hub in 2004, eliminating thousands of jobs and nearly bankrupting the airport itself, which was built largely to suit US Airways' needs.[10][11]

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburg ... _hub_years

PIT is owned by Allegheny County Airport Authority (i.e the taxpayers), and:

The authority holds over $500 million in debt from construction of the Pittsburgh International Airport.[1]

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny ... _Authority
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:45 pm

CLE is still paying off the 750 million dollar runway and land purchase made on behest of CO/UA. STL a billion for a runway, PIT just about the whole airport, CVG never needed all it's runways either. Airlines "played" cities such as PIT, CLE, CVG, STL with the hope that they would become the next CLT. When their business plans changed and they walked, the cities (or counties) were stuck with the tab.
    300 319 320 321 707 717 720 727 72S 737 73S 734 735 73G 738 739 747 757 762 ARJ B11 C212 CRJ CR2 CR7 CR9 CV5 D8S DC9 D9S D94 D95 D10 DH8 DTO EMB EM2 E135 E145 E190 FH7 F28 F100 FTRIMTR HRN L10 L15 M80 M90 SF3 SWM YS11
     
    User avatar
    STT757
    Posts: 14283
    Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:51 pm

    Revelation wrote:
    MIflyer12 wrote:
    Revelation wrote:
    and often ask taxpayers to fund huge expansions that often times don't work out (ref: PIT).

    That's a bit of fiction as applied to U.S. airports which don't - generally - rely on taxpayer funds but instead on federal airport improvement grants, PFCs (passenger-paid, not taxpayers), and leases. Airports are substantially self-funded. Can you point to a big U.S. airport that, in the last few decades, got a many $ million city/county grant, or defaulted on bonds and stuck taxpayers with the tab?

    "Don't work out" != "stuck with the tab", but PIT comes close to that standard:

    The airport underwent a massive $1 billion rebuilding and expansion which was completed in 1992 and became a major hub for US Airways. The new airport was one of the most innovative in the world, dubbed the "airport of the future" by the New York Times,[7] and helped to pioneer modern airport design with its X-shape to reduce distance between gates, underground tram to transport passengers around the airport, and array of shopping options, all of which were cutting-edge at the time.[8][9] Traffic peaked at 20 million passengers in the late 1990s, but US Airways, which was facing bankruptcy, abandoned it as a hub in 2004, eliminating thousands of jobs and nearly bankrupting the airport itself, which was built largely to suit US Airways' needs.[10][11]

    Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburg ... _hub_years

    PIT is owned by Allegheny County Airport Authority (i.e the taxpayers), and:

    The authority holds over $500 million in debt from construction of the Pittsburgh International Airport.[1]

    Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny ... _Authority


    They're looking to spend more money to relocate the main terminal adjacent to the concourses thus eliminating the people mover. Perhaps it will receive funds in the infrastructure bill.
    Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
     
    User avatar
    Revelation
    Posts: 25768
    Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:07 pm

    STT757 wrote:
    They're looking to spend more money to relocate the main terminal adjacent to the concourses thus eliminating the people mover. Perhaps it will receive funds in the infrastructure bill.

    Interesting, they spent $1B in the 90s to upscale the airport to be a hub for US, now they are spending $1.4B to downsize the airport ( ref: https://simpleflying.com/pittsburgh-mod ... continues/ ).
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
    The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
    Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
    The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
     
    slcdeltarumd11
    Posts: 5056
    Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:14 pm

    In alot of these airports when the hub carrier has left the ulccs and southwest then moves in. You may lose your N/S flights but prices I bet usually come down
     
    stlgph
    Posts: 11316
    Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:19 pm

    When you flip to the back of the in flight magazine and you're no longer there, might be a tell-tale sign.
    if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
     
    User avatar
    FLALEFTY
    Posts: 953
    Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:33 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:36 pm

    jfklganyc wrote:
    OneX123 wrote:
    Noise wrote:
    It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


    AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

    Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

    Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.



    PHX is one of the fastest growing areas in the US. The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving

    AA isn’t going anywhere at PHX


    https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?20=E

    In terms of passenger traffic, PHX is the 7th-largest airport in the US. It is bigger than two other AA hubs, PHL (#18) & MIA (#19).

    For the record, the top-10 airports are: (#1) ATL, (#2) DFW, (#3) DEN, (#4) CLT, (#5) ORD, (#6) LAX, (#7) PHX, (#8) LAS, (#9) MCO, (#10) SEA.
    Last edited by FLALEFTY on Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
     
    User avatar
    BN727227Ultra
    Posts: 713
    Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:15 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:42 pm

    DL had PDX as a hublette. HP had LAS, then US tried the same. EA had KCI.
     
    User avatar
    AVLAirlineFreq
    Posts: 1508
    Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:31 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:50 pm

    Is it an a.net rule that every thread must turn into a discussion of the future of AA at PHX?
     
    lhpdx
    Posts: 944
    Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:36 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:58 pm

    PDX use to be a hub(focus city) for AS, now it's primarily a spoke for SEA/Tac.....
     
    SESGDL
    Posts: 2968
    Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:01 pm

    FLALEFTY wrote:
    jfklganyc wrote:
    OneX123 wrote:

    AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

    Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

    Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.


    https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?20=E

    In terms of passenger traffic, PHX is the 7th-largest airport in the US. It is bigger than two other AA hubs, PHL (#18) & MIA (#19).

    For the record, the top-10 airports are: (#1) ATL, (#2) DFW, (#3) DEN, (#4) CLT, (#5) ORD, (#6) LAX, (#7) PHX, (#8) LAS, (#9) MCO, (#10) SEA.


    Those are domestic figures and don’t include international traffic.

    Jeremy
     
    AWACSooner
    Posts: 2610
    Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:22 pm

    AVLAirlineFreq wrote:
    Is it an a.net rule that every thread must turn into a discussion of the future of AA at PHX?

    Well, NW retired all their DC-9's, so what the hell else are we going to talk about?
     
    FlyingElvii
    Posts: 1232
    Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:34 pm

    MohawkWeekend wrote:
    CLE is still paying off the 750 million dollar runway and land purchase made on behest of CO/UA. STL a billion for a runway, PIT just about the whole airport, CVG never needed all it's runways either. Airlines "played" cities such as PIT, CLE, CVG, STL with the hope that they would become the next CLT. When their business plans changed and they walked, the cities (or counties) were stuck with the tab.

    As with most things, there is always more to the story, especially for CVG and STL.

    STL of the 2000’s was not the STL of the 80’s. The factories closed, the Fortune 500 headquarters moved out, etc. STL used to have a huge premium O&D, but that began to wain when outforcing to Mexico and China took hold.

    CVG was a similar story, but in a different way. Comair captured a huge percentage of Shorthaul Midwest biz traffic, by offering frequent Midwest/Northeast connections over CVG, avoiding the notorious headaches of O’Hare and Atlanta. In the Turbo days, Comair had as many as ten flights a day, or even more, to the major business cities of the Midwest. Then added in connections to Delta long haul flights in a hub that wasn’t crowded, and subject to endless daily delays

    Going Knoxville to Grand Rapids? Comair could offer 5-7 options over CVG each way, out and back the same day, with Skymiles, while UA had 2-3 over ORD, with the very real possibility of Two added days travel and expensive hotels due to cancellations. Flight canceled in CVG? There is another in 90 minutes, here is a voucher, relax and have a beer while you wait. Flight canceled at O’Hare? Go stand in that line that stretches the entire length of the terminal for rebooking, we might be able to get you out by Thursday. With the Metros and EMB-120’s, they couldn’t find enough wheelbarrows to take all of the cash they were making to the bank.

    The problems began when the CRJ’s arrived...
    Beyond the many launch customer maintenance issues, they discovered they now needed 30-40 Y pax to break even on a trip, instead of the 4-6 Y’s that would make even a long trip on the EMB a money maker. Add in a pilot group that wanted to be paid Delta DC-9 wages for flying the RJ, and the decline began. Frequencies dropped, especially to second-tier cities, and the competitive advantage CVG gave them began to erode.
     
    N649DL
    Posts: 1112
    Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:40 pm

    cledaybuck wrote:
    PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
    All three of these spent many years as a hub for an airline, unlike places like CLE, BNA, and RDU, which although an attempt to open a hub was made, the logistics simply didn't lend themselves to a long-term operation.
    CO absolutely ran a hub in CLE for around 20 years. It wasn't as big as many, but it was absolutely a hub.


    CLE stayed on as a hub with UA too. Quite a few routes were upgraded from CO 737s to UA 757s before they shut it down. Definitely a shame because they had somewhere between 70-80% captive market share at the airport.
     
    User avatar
    LAX772LR
    Posts: 13754
    Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:51 pm

    jfklganyc wrote:
    The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving
    Revelation wrote:
    More aircraft with the right size and range are making hub bypass the way to go, IMO.

    Revelation nails it: while most of the cities in question weren't exactly experiencing economic renaissances, an equally (if not bigger) contributor to their demise was the significant increase in range for everyday narrowbodies.

    In the days when DC9s, early 737s, and 727s comprised the bulk of the shorthaul workhorse fleet, it made sense to have these mid-continent smaller hubs,

    Now, when some 737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    cledaybuck
    Posts: 1870
    Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:01 pm

    LAX772LR wrote:
    jfklganyc wrote:
    The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving
    Revelation wrote:
    More aircraft with the right size and range are making hub bypass the way to go, IMO.

    Revelation nails it: while most of the cities in question weren't exactly experiencing economic renaissances, an equally (if not bigger) contributor to their demise was the significant increase in range for everyday narrowbodies.

    In the days when DC9s, early 737s, and 727s comprised the bulk of the shorthaul workhorse fleet, it made sense to have these mid-continent smaller hubs,

    Now, when some 737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.

    The biggest contributor was airline consolidation. TWA needed a hub in STL. AA not so much with ORD and DFW. CO needed a hub in CLE. UA not so much with ORD. DL needed a hub in CVG. Not so much with DTW. NW needed a hub in MEM. DL not so much with ATL.
    As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
     
    User avatar
    jfklganyc
    Posts: 6305
    Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:10 pm

    cledaybuck wrote:
    LAX772LR wrote:
    jfklganyc wrote:
    The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving
    Revelation wrote:
    More aircraft with the right size and range are making hub bypass the way to go, IMO.

    Revelation nails it: while most of the cities in question weren't exactly experiencing economic renaissances, an equally (if not bigger) contributor to their demise was the significant increase in range for everyday narrowbodies.

    In the days when DC9s, early 737s, and 727s comprised the bulk of the shorthaul workhorse fleet, it made sense to have these mid-continent smaller hubs,

    Now, when some 737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.

    The biggest contributor was airline consolidation. TWA needed a hub in STL. AA not so much with ORD and DFW. CO needed a hub in CLE. UA not so much with ORD. DL needed a hub in CVG. Not so much with DTW. NW needed a hub in MEM. DL not so much with ATL.



    It started before consolidation. That helped it along, sure. But the mid sized city, mid continent hub is a 1980s/1990s relic. By the 2000s, they were already on their way out. There was a realization that hubs with large O and D were just better
     
    User avatar
    LAX772LR
    Posts: 13754
    Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:17 pm

    cledaybuck wrote:
    LAX772LR wrote:
    737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.

    The biggest contributor was airline consolidation.

    Started long before consolidation. That only served to speed up the inevitable.
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    dfwjim1
    Posts: 2529
    Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:23 pm

    FLALEFTY wrote:
    jfklganyc wrote:
    OneX123 wrote:

    AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

    Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

    Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.



    PHX is one of the fastest growing areas in the US. The other hubs that closed were states and cities that people were leaving

    AA isn’t going anywhere at PHX


    https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?20=E

    In terms of passenger traffic, PHX is the 7th-largest airport in the US. It is bigger than two other AA hubs, PHL (#18) & MIA (#19).

    For the record, the top-10 airports are: (#1) ATL, (#2) DFW, (#3) DEN, (#4) CLT, (#5) ORD, (#6) LAX, (#7) PHX, (#8) LAS, (#9) MCO, (#10) SEA.


    In regards to PHX and MIA remember that the Phoenix area has only one major airport while the Miami area has two, MIA and FLL, plus a third further north, Palm Beach.
     
    FSDan
    Posts: 3403
    Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:49 pm

    N649DL wrote:
    CLE stayed on as a hub with UA too. Quite a few routes were upgraded from CO 737s to UA 757s before they shut it down.


    That part about 757s seems entirely made up based on what I remember... In the CO days the CLE hub had a handful of daily 752s and 753s at best (mostly to IAH and EWR, with LHR and maybe LAS for a time), and UA sent some 752s there from the ORD hub. Post-merger, if anything, the hub saw fewer 757s, as UA retired a lot of their workhorses. Of course, that's all from my memory. If you have data proving otherwise or a list of routes that were upgauged, I'm happy to be corrected.
    This is my signature until I think of a better one.
     
    DiscoverCSG
    Posts: 600
    Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:22 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:50 pm

    AWACSooner wrote:
    AVLAirlineFreq wrote:
    Is it an a.net rule that every thread must turn into a discussion of the future of AA at PHX?

    Well, NW retired all their DC-9's, so what the hell else are we going to talk about?


    No, DL retired NW's DC-9's.

    :hyper:
     
    acavpics
    Posts: 543
    Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:54 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:52 pm

    OneX123 wrote:
    Noise wrote:
    It will be interesting to see how big of a drop PHX will suffer when AA closed the hub there.


    AA has not "closed" their hub at PHX. Whether they close it in the future, I've not heard anything there.

    Regardless, I disagree. The PHX metropolitan area is massive (10th in US) and is growing at a rapid pace. St. Louis is 20th (barely growing), CLE is 34th (declining), and PIT is 27th (also declining).

    Far greater O&D opportunities at PHX if it was not a hub. That and the weather attracts a ton more vacationers.


    Pittsburgh is declining? I've read so many articles lately stating that PIT is on its way to becoming a business and technology hub. Isn't that why they were able to land BA service for a short while before COVID started?
     
    FSDan
    Posts: 3403
    Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:53 pm

    dfwjim1 wrote:

    In regards to PHX and MIA remember that the Phoenix area has only one major airport while the Miami area has two, MIA and FLL, plus a third further north, Palm Beach.


    The point remains that PHX easily supports the two large operations it has (AA and WN) and continues to fill a strategic role in AA's hub network. It's hard to tell if the original poster who brought PHX up was being sarcastic, as this topic gets beaten to death on this site, or if they were just trolling.
    This is my signature until I think of a better one.
     
    SurfandSnow
    Posts: 1650
    Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:09 pm

    CVG was quite an operation at its peak - though fares were exorbitantly high. What good were nonstops to places like Anchorage, Rome or Vail if nobody could afford them? Surely folks in the Cincinnati area today appreciate the presence of F9, G4 and WN these days; and the significantly lower fares such carriers offer local travelers. Two new carriers - AS and SY - come to CVG this year too. I doubt DL's fortress hub is missed by many travelers. Lots more competition and mainline options today.
    Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
     
    User avatar
    Revelation
    Posts: 25768
    Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:09 pm

    jfklganyc wrote:
    cledaybuck wrote:
    LAX772LR wrote:
    Revelation nails it: while most of the cities in question weren't exactly experiencing economic renaissances, an equally (if not bigger) contributor to their demise was the significant increase in range for everyday narrowbodies.

    In the days when DC9s, early 737s, and 727s comprised the bulk of the shorthaul workhorse fleet, it made sense to have these mid-continent smaller hubs,

    Now, when some 737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.

    The biggest contributor was airline consolidation. TWA needed a hub in STL. AA not so much with ORD and DFW. CO needed a hub in CLE. UA not so much with ORD. DL needed a hub in CVG. Not so much with DTW. NW needed a hub in MEM. DL not so much with ATL.

    It started before consolidation. That helped it along, sure. But the mid sized city, mid continent hub is a 1980s/1990s relic. By the 2000s, they were already on their way out. There was a realization that hubs with large O and D were just better

    USAir famously had the whole PIT vs PHL debate going back in the day, with a congested and delay prone coastal airport winning out over a purpose-built hub because serving the large O&D concentration was more profitable.

    From PIT's Wiki page:

    By the late 1990s growth had leveled off, with USAir concentrating on expanding at Philadelphia and Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

    Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburg ... al_Airport

    This was late 90s, before 9/11/2001 and before consolidation.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
    The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
    Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
    The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
     
    MIflyer12
    Posts: 9301
    Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:21 pm

    SurfandSnow wrote:
    CVG was quite an operation at its peak - though fares were exorbitantly high. What good were nonstops to places like Anchorage, Rome or Vail if nobody could afford them? Surely folks in the Cincinnati area today appreciate the presence of F9, G4 and WN these days; and the significantly lower fares such carriers offer local travelers. Two new carriers - AS and SY - come to CVG this year too. I doubt DL's fortress hub is missed by many travelers. Lots more competition and mainline options today.


    That's an argument that comes up repeatedly. In markets that are heavy with connecting traffic the argument doesn't make any sense -- because there wasn't enough O&D traffic to fill planes to thin destinations, anyway. xxx-CVG-yyy competed with every other one-stop offering xxx-yyy and couldn't sustain a price premium. So who benefitted - the locals who got frequency and a non-stop destination set far beyond what O&D traffic could support. Yes, CVG today gets LCC/ULCC fare competition -- to all of ~20 non-stop destinations (and how many are even 6x weekly with Frontier or Allegiant?) compared to the 130+ DL destinations in 2004.
     
    MohawkWeekend
    Posts: 470
    Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

    Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

    Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:26 pm

    LAX772LR wrote:
    cledaybuck wrote:
    LAX772LR wrote:
    737s, A32X, and even A220s have transatlantic capability, those such hubs are just not needed. Their proximity to more powerful hub cities (particularly ORD, DTW, and PHL) was the final nail.

    The biggest contributor was airline consolidation.

    Started long before consolidation. That only served to speed up the inevitable.


    Did it?
    UA and CO Merge - Cleveland closes, ORD wins
    NW and Delta Merge - CVG and MEM shut down, DTW and ATL win
    AA buys TWA - STL gone, DFW wins
    US sinking into bankruptcy closes PIT hub in 2004, merges with America West in 2005. CLT Wins
      300 319 320 321 707 717 720 727 72S 737 73S 734 735 73G 738 739 747 757 762 ARJ B11 C212 CRJ CR2 CR7 CR9 CV5 D8S DC9 D9S D94 D95 D10 DH8 DTO EMB EM2 E135 E145 E190 FH7 F28 F100 FTRIMTR HRN L10 L15 M80 M90 SF3 SWM YS11
       
      MIflyer12
      Posts: 9301
      Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

      Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

      Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:36 pm

      Revelation wrote:
      "Don't work out" != "stuck with the tab", but PIT comes close to that standard:

      The airport underwent a massive $1 billion rebuilding and expansion which was completed in 1992 and became a major hub for US Airways. The new airport was one of the most innovative in the world, dubbed the "airport of the future" by the New York Times,[7] and helped to pioneer modern airport design with its X-shape to reduce distance between gates, underground tram to transport passengers around the airport, and array of shopping options, all of which were cutting-edge at the time.[8][9] Traffic peaked at 20 million passengers in the late 1990s, but US Airways, which was facing bankruptcy, abandoned it as a hub in 2004, eliminating thousands of jobs and nearly bankrupting the airport itself, which was built largely to suit US Airways' needs.[10][11]


      That's a good reference, but PIT didn't go bankrupt and stick taxpayers with the tab, did they? The airport still services its debt. How many U.S. air carrier bankruptcies - Ch 11 or Ch 7 liquidations - have we seen since 1992? U.S. airports are reliable borrowers.
       
      User avatar
      AVLAirlineFreq
      Posts: 1508
      Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:31 am

      Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

      Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:44 pm

      What former hub went from hub status to the fewest flights overall? DAY? SYR? GSO?
       
      Runway765
      Posts: 316
      Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

      Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

      Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:49 pm

      MohawkWeekend wrote:
      LAX772LR wrote:
      cledaybuck wrote:
      The biggest contributor was airline consolidation.

      Started long before consolidation. That only served to speed up the inevitable.


      Did it?
      UA and CO Merge - Cleveland closes, ORD wins
      NW and Delta Merge - CVG and MEM shut down, DTW and ATL win
      AA buys TWA - STL gone, DFW wins
      US sinking into bankruptcy closes PIT hub in 2004, merges with America West in 2005. CLT Wins


      Yes, absent the mergers, some of these hubs would have survived.

      Of all the dehubbed airports, STL, CVG and PIT had it the worst. The others mentioned didn't really have more than 300 flights a day, while those 3 have over 400+ flights with significant infrastrucutre investments. CVG should have never been as big as it was though, the local market was just too small. At least STL/PIT had a little bit higher business O&D.
       
      MIflyer12
      Posts: 9301
      Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

      Re: When a hub is no longer a hub

      Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:49 pm

      acavpics wrote:

      Pittsburgh is declining? I've read so many articles lately stating that PIT is on its way to becoming a business and technology hub.


      If you want to ignore everything that happened in greater PIT from ~1970 to 2000, sure, go ahead. That won't get any intellectual traction. It what decade did the region last have population growth that exceeded the national average? (Hint: It was before the 1940s.) PIT's relative decline is long-standing.

      https://www2.census.gov/library/publica ... c-3-03.pdf

      Who is online

      Users browsing this forum: ZK-NBT, zrs70 and 12 guests

      Popular Searches On Airliners.net

      Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

      Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

      Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

      Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

      Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

      Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

      Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

      Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

      Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

      Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

      Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

      Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

      Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

      Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

      Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos