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Runway765
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:57 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
dfwfanboy wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:



<sigh> DL never announced an AUS focus city. An a.netter shared a job posting in which DL was seeking marketing professionals to lead ‘our Austin focus city.’ Verbiage… can have a much different meanings. Let me translate DL’s job posting for a.netters: ‘We’re looking to grow in Austin, and we’re seeking professionals to sell our brand.’ Just as many press releases today identify new nonstop service as “direct,” and hardcore traditional a.netters grow upset because “direct” once had a very different meaning than nonstop. Of course, these same people are equally upset when the news identifies a “Boeing 737 jet” instead of a “Boeing 737-8A8XLRWTWL jet” (yeah, I made that part up.)

DL never dropped the ball in building an AUS hub. They’re well behind AA & WN in market share; the second DL attempted to build up AUS, AA & WN would’ve flooded the market with capacity (as they’re doing now, anyway), killing any chance for DL to build up the market. An AUS hub was only possible in an a.net dream world.

Generally speaking, the President of Delta is a well-regarded source about Delta having or announcing focus cities. Delta definitely did announce and confirm Austin's place as a focus city.
https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news ... tatus.html

Delta has also mentioned AUS as a focus city on plenty of other public company docs.


DL is clearly using a different definition of focus city, which is my point. There’s never even been an attempt to build up P2P service.


So DL uses one definition for RDU (which has/had actual p2p service) and another for AUS? How does that make any sense.

There’s no reason DL couldn’t have built up domestic p2p at AUS. AA’s buildup isn’t going to be sustainable long term with DFW right up the road and WN is a domestic oriented airline. Between VS/KL/AM in the market, and potentially KE once TPAC demand recovers, DL has the most compelling international offerings of the US3, why not bloster it with domestic routes?
 
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gregn21
Posts: 329
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:58 pm

777Mech wrote:
dfwfanboy wrote:
24Whiskey wrote:
The focus city has really been more of an assault to Southwest’s share than crushing DL’s hopes and dreams.

Aside from the whole Delta Austin focus city dream that was announced YEARS ago and still hasn't happened.


With what gates can they grow? AUS is maxed out.


With their current gates at AUS DL could feasible operate probably 2.5x as many departures as they do now.
 
WidebodyPTV
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:05 pm

Runway765 wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:
dfwfanboy wrote:
Generally speaking, the President of Delta is a well-regarded source about Delta having or announcing focus cities. Delta definitely did announce and confirm Austin's place as a focus city.
https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news ... tatus.html

Delta has also mentioned AUS as a focus city on plenty of other public company docs.


DL is clearly using a different definition of focus city, which is my point. There’s never even been an attempt to build up P2P service.


So DL uses one definition for RDU (which has/had actual p2p service) and another for AUS? How does that make any sense.

There’s no reason DL couldn’t have built up domestic p2p at AUS. AA’s buildup isn’t going to be sustainable long term with DFW right up the road and WN is a domestic oriented airline. Between VS/KL/AM in the market, and potentially KE once TPAC demand recovers, DL has the most compelling international offerings of the US3, why not bloster it with domestic routes?


DL’s definition of “focus city” is clearly not the same as a.net’s. There was never an attempt to build up AUS, SJC, etc. but there WAS an aggressive attempt to sell the DL brand in these markets.
 
Vicenza
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:11 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
DL’s definition of “focus city” is clearly not the same as a.net’s.


That may indeed be so, but in this regard Delta's definition takes definite precedence in such things, not a.net's.
 
Vicenza
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:22 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
An a.netter shared a job posting in which DL was seeking marketing professionals to lead ‘our Austin focus city.’ Verbiage… can have a much different meanings. Let me translate DL’s job posting for a.netters: ‘We’re looking to grow in Austin, and we’re seeking professionals to sell our brand.’ Just as many press releases today identify new nonstop service as “direct,” and hardcore traditional a.netters grow upset because “direct” once had a very different meaning than nonstop. Of course, these same people are equally upset when the news identifies a “Boeing 737 jet” instead of a “Boeing 737-8A8XLRWTWL jet” (yeah, I made that part up.)


But surely with this type of thing one is then getting into the realm of 'translating' something to suit a particular view/agenda, rather than what is actually said.
Hardcore a.netters can be upset as they wish on many things and, for example, I have been flying for over 50 years and a 'direct' flight has never meant non-stop. It has always meant a flight between two points without changing aircraft.
 
WidebodyPTV
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:40 pm

Vicenza wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:
DL’s definition of “focus city” is clearly not the same as a.net’s.


That may indeed be so, but in this regard Delta's definition takes definite precedence in such things, not a.net's.


Vicenza wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:
An a.netter shared a job posting in which DL was seeking marketing professionals to lead ‘our Austin focus city.’ Verbiage… can have a much different meanings. Let me translate DL’s job posting for a.netters: ‘We’re looking to grow in Austin, and we’re seeking professionals to sell our brand.’ Just as many press releases today identify new nonstop service as “direct,” and hardcore traditional a.netters grow upset because “direct” once had a very different meaning than nonstop. Of course, these same people are equally upset when the news identifies a “Boeing 737 jet” instead of a “Boeing 737-8A8XLRWTWL jet” (yeah, I made that part up.)


But surely with this type of thing one is then getting into the realm of 'translating' something to suit a particular view/agenda, rather than what is actually said.
Hardcore a.netters can be upset as they wish on many things and, for example, I have been flying for over 50 years and a 'direct' flight has never meant non-stop. It has always meant a flight between two points without changing aircraft.


There is no formally accepted definition of "focus city." DL identified SJC & AUS as focus cities, but made no effort to add P2P services, so clear its definition differs from a.net's expectations.

And yes, "direct service" has become interchangeable with nonstop in some press releases, media reports, etc. It's 2022 -- planes fly ORF-LAS nonstop, not ORF-STL-OMA-DEN-LAS as they did many years ago.
 
dfwfanboy
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:51 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
Vicenza wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:
DL’s definition of “focus city” is clearly not the same as a.net’s.


That may indeed be so, but in this regard Delta's definition takes definite precedence in such things, not a.net's.


Vicenza wrote:
WidebodyPTV wrote:
An a.netter shared a job posting in which DL was seeking marketing professionals to lead ‘our Austin focus city.’ Verbiage… can have a much different meanings. Let me translate DL’s job posting for a.netters: ‘We’re looking to grow in Austin, and we’re seeking professionals to sell our brand.’ Just as many press releases today identify new nonstop service as “direct,” and hardcore traditional a.netters grow upset because “direct” once had a very different meaning than nonstop. Of course, these same people are equally upset when the news identifies a “Boeing 737 jet” instead of a “Boeing 737-8A8XLRWTWL jet” (yeah, I made that part up.)


But surely with this type of thing one is then getting into the realm of 'translating' something to suit a particular view/agenda, rather than what is actually said.
Hardcore a.netters can be upset as they wish on many things and, for example, I have been flying for over 50 years and a 'direct' flight has never meant non-stop. It has always meant a flight between two points without changing aircraft.


There is no formally accepted definition of "focus city." DL identified SJC & AUS as focus cities, but made no effort to add P2P services, so clear its definition differs from a.net's expectations.

And yes, "direct service" has become interchangeable with nonstop in some press releases, media reports, etc. It's 2022 -- planes fly ORF-LAS nonstop, not ORF-STL-OMA-DEN-LAS as they did many years ago.


Delta's long term plans for a focus city have historically included p2p routes whether Boston's graduation from focus city to hub or RDU's growth as a focus city. None of us know what Delta's long term p2p plans were for Austin, but it seems a bit strange to suggest Delta never had any p2p plans for a focus city when every other developed focus city has p2p. Just seems like they were beat to it by WN's growth coupled with AA's p2p routes.
 
DTWLAX
Posts: 1300
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:07 am

CIDFlyer wrote:

Completely agree. MSP and DTW both run less than 400 a day and in the 330ish range now. Combing one of them to bulk up would be best as much as I hate to see that. DTW is a beautiful facility but MSP is much more centrally located so it would probably get the nod. NW used to be about 500-600 a day at each. I hate seeing both so underutilized.

Huh? Just because DL is in the 330-350 flights a day today, they should consolidate the two hubs and sacrifice the future? That is such short term vision. DTW and MSP both have a place in the future for DL.

And why will MSP get the nod over DTW? Any east to west connection can be conveniently made at DTW as well. You are forgetting the international connectivity that DTW has, much more than MSP.
Last edited by DTWLAX on Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Seat1F
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:12 am

Runway765 wrote:
I wish they’d commit to one or the other with DTW/MSP. It would be nice to have one airport with better connecting options than splitting traffic and not having good connecting options at either.

I totally agree. Both facilities are totally underutilized. They would be better off developing one of them into a truly robust hub with 6-7 flight banks. Neither is ideally located. MSP is too far north and DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously). I'm not sure which one would win out. If Asia traffic truly rebounds, perhaps DTW would have an edge. Otherwise, maybe MSP. I don't see the current situation as being sustainable. If the pilot shortage is going to last for years, DL will need to make a decision to consolidate around only one of the midwest hubs.
 
AdEd
Posts: 108
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:03 am

Seat1F wrote:
DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously).

Look at other airlines with hubs closer together. Heck, not even other airlines- are JFK and BOS “too close” to each other? Weak point.

When DTW and MSP are both down ~30% from pre-pandemic levels, of course the only solution to avoid major catastrophe is to dehub one of them. Or so seems to be the consensus on this thread. Many of the posts on here sound almost exactly like this:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Sky is falling! Time to dehub DTW


DTWLAX wrote:
Huh? Just because DL is in the 330-350 flights a day today, they should consolidate the two hubs and sacrifice the future? That is such short term vision. DTW and MSP both have a place in the future for DL.

And why will MSP get the nod over DTW? Any east to west connection can be conveniently made at DTW as well. You are forgetting the international connectivity that DTW has, much more than MSP.

Completely agreed. Anyone painting some dire situation at MSP or DTW is simply exaggerating, if said dire situation even exists at all.
 
Pi7472000
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:05 am

Seat1F wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
I wish they’d commit to one or the other with DTW/MSP. It would be nice to have one airport with better connecting options than splitting traffic and not having good connecting options at either.

I totally agree. Both facilities are totally underutilized. They would be better off developing one of them into a truly robust hub with 6-7 flight banks. Neither is ideally located. MSP is too far north and DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously). I'm not sure which one would win out. If Asia traffic truly rebounds, perhaps DTW would have an edge. Otherwise, maybe MSP. I don't see the current situation as being sustainable. If the pilot shortage is going to last for years, DL will need to make a decision to consolidate around only one of the midwest hubs.


The DTW is a really nice facility so I would rather see them consolidate there if they go that route in the future. It is a great location for the Northeast and is better located for international travel. The MSP/DTW hubs do feel somewhat quiet compared to when I fly through DEN or ORD on UA where they feel busier and better utilized hubs. The only thing Delta would lose are some upper great plains presence if they left MSP for DTW which can be profitable. I don't see them leaving either hub unless the pilot shortage and fuel prices keep impacting airlines.
 
Seat1F
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:26 am

AdEd wrote:
Completely agreed. Anyone painting some dire situation at MSP or DTW is simply exaggerating, if said dire situation even exists at all.

Sorry...but I disagree with you. I don't think hubs operating 350 flights per day are sustainable longer term in today's environment. If the current situation is temporary due to the pilot shortage and hugely decreased Asia traffic, maybe things will improve for DTW and MSP. Connectivity at the midwest hubs has become problematic with some of the smaller spokes receiving only one (or none) flights per day. Those are not fundamentals for a truly viable hub.

I flew on DL out of DTW on Friday mid-day and McNamara terminal was a ghost town. Many contributions on this very thread cite the difficulty in connecting now at DTW and/or MSP from their Midwest cities of origin. Let's see how things develop in the next 12-18 months. If the status quo continues as it is, I see changes coming.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4718
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:32 am

AdEd wrote:
Seat1F wrote:
DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously).

Look at other airlines with hubs closer together. Heck, not even other airlines- are JFK and BOS “too close” to each other? Weak point.

When DTW and MSP are both down ~30% from pre-pandemic levels, of course the only solution to avoid major catastrophe is to dehub one of them. Or so seems to be the consensus on this thread. Many of the posts on here sound almost exactly like this:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Sky is falling! Time to dehub DTW


DTWLAX wrote:
Huh? Just because DL is in the 330-350 flights a day today, they should consolidate the two hubs and sacrifice the future? That is such short term vision. DTW and MSP both have a place in the future for DL.

And why will MSP get the nod over DTW? Any east to west connection can be conveniently made at DTW as well. You are forgetting the international connectivity that DTW has, much more than MSP.

Completely agreed. Anyone painting some dire situation at MSP or DTW is simply exaggerating, if said dire situation even exists at all.


You can't really consolidate them - they may both be in the Midwest but they are both on the periphery of the region and serve different purposes. MSP is more the traditional East-West Midwest/Great Plains Hub. DTW is more a hybrid, serving as the primary East-West hub and the secondary North-South hub for traffic east of the Mississippi. This North-South function has been increasingly shifted to the NYC hubs in order to utilize their slots and is a big part of why DTW hasn't rebounded as it should have. MSP has had similar issues with DL shifting connecting traffic to LAX and SEA to fill their planes there.
 
NLINK
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:37 am

Pi7472000 wrote:
Seat1F wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
I wish they’d commit to one or the other with DTW/MSP. It would be nice to have one airport with better connecting options than splitting traffic and not having good connecting options at either.

I totally agree. Both facilities are totally underutilized. They would be better off developing one of them into a truly robust hub with 6-7 flight banks. Neither is ideally located. MSP is too far north and DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously). I'm not sure which one would win out. If Asia traffic truly rebounds, perhaps DTW would have an edge. Otherwise, maybe MSP. I don't see the current situation as being sustainable. If the pilot shortage is going to last for years, DL will need to make a decision to consolidate around only one of the midwest hubs.



The DTW is a really nice facility so I would rather see them consolidate there if they go that route in the future. It is a great location for the Northeast and is better located for international travel. The MSP/DTW hubs do feel somewhat quiet compared to when I fly through DEN or ORD on UA where they feel busier and better utilized hubs. The only thing Delta would lose are some upper great plains presence if they left MSP for DTW which can be profitable. I don't see them leaving either hub unless the pilot shortage and fuel prices keep impacting airlines.


MSP area has a more diverse set of Fortune 500 companies than Detroit which is more auto focused. Tourism is probably a wash between the 2 areas.

The Minneapolis−Saint Paul area is a more progressive city than Detroit. Detroit easily supports more o/d international traffic to Asia due to the car industry historically.

The MSA is similar in both cities. I think both have a place in the system as Detroit drives more international traffic and Minneapolis−Saint Paul gives Delta a hub in the middle of the US that gives it the opportunity to service similar markets as Denver.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4718
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:45 am

NLINK wrote:
Pi7472000 wrote:
Seat1F wrote:
I totally agree. Both facilities are totally underutilized. They would be better off developing one of them into a truly robust hub with 6-7 flight banks. Neither is ideally located. MSP is too far north and DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously). I'm not sure which one would win out. If Asia traffic truly rebounds, perhaps DTW would have an edge. Otherwise, maybe MSP. I don't see the current situation as being sustainable. If the pilot shortage is going to last for years, DL will need to make a decision to consolidate around only one of the midwest hubs.



The DTW is a really nice facility so I would rather see them consolidate there if they go that route in the future. It is a great location for the Northeast and is better located for international travel. The MSP/DTW hubs do feel somewhat quiet compared to when I fly through DEN or ORD on UA where they feel busier and better utilized hubs. The only thing Delta would lose are some upper great plains presence if they left MSP for DTW which can be profitable. I don't see them leaving either hub unless the pilot shortage and fuel prices keep impacting airlines.


MSP area has a more diverse set of Fortune 500 companies than Detroit which is more auto focused. Tourism is probably a wash between the 2 areas.

The Minneapolis−Saint Paul area is a more progressive city than Detroit. Detroit easily supports more o/d international traffic to Asia due to the car industry historically.

The MSA is similar in both cities. I think both have a place in the system as Detroit drives more international traffic and Minneapolis−Saint Paul gives Delta a hub in the middle of the US that gives it the opportunity to service similar markets as Denver.


Metro Detroit is about 35% larger than the MSP area but the MSP area is wealthier and more isolated so it actually produces more O&D traffic than DTW.
 
User avatar
tlecam
Posts: 1795
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:51 am

Seat1F wrote:
AdEd wrote:
Completely agreed. Anyone painting some dire situation at MSP or DTW is simply exaggerating, if said dire situation even exists at all.

Sorry...but I disagree with you. I don't think hubs operating 350 flights per day are sustainable longer term in today's environment. If the current situation is temporary due to the pilot shortage and hugely decreased Asia traffic, maybe things will improve for DTW and MSP. Connectivity at the midwest hubs has become problematic with some of the smaller spokes receiving only one (or none) flights per day. Those are not fundamentals for a truly viable hub.

I flew on DL out of DTW on Friday mid-day and McNamara terminal was a ghost town. Many contributions on this very thread cite the difficulty in connecting now at DTW and/or MSP from their Midwest cities of origin. Let's see how things develop in the next 12-18 months. If the status quo continues as it is, I see changes coming.


I dont think any leader is going to make a decision to close a hub in the current environment. Long term decision making based on short term facts and metrics.. From a risk standpoint, why not at least preserve the option to keep both until they get through the pilot and fleet shortages.
 
HunterATL
Posts: 157
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:15 am

Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.

That is not the only issue. If you talk to someone in scheduling and operations at a US airline, they will likely tell you that crews who have to commute to their bases are a significant cause of flight cancellations. Delta has a large number of pilots and flight attendants who live near MSP. If Delta closes that base, Delta now has to get those crews to DTW or another base for every schedule. A huge challenge right now, by no means the only one for airlines, is crews who commute to their bases not getting there in time to staff their schedules. Why would an airline close a hub in a city in which a significant number of its flight crew live simply to force them to commute to another base in a time of flight delays and cancellations? This would only make the scheduling problems worse, not better.

Today's non-crew labor market also makes a combination of MSP and DTW impossible to staff. Delta would need only a hand full of mechanics, gate agents, ticketing agents, and ramp staff, etc. in MSP if it moved the traffic to DTW, but would need to increase significantly those positions at DTW. Where do you expect Delta to get those new, trained employees at reasonable rates in Detroit over night? Mechanics might move to keep sonority, but Delta would likely incur significant costs. Much of the other ground staff would likely not move, even if Delta paid for it, which would require Delta to find new replacements in the DTW area. With today's tight labor market, likely to continue for awhile, it would likely take significant time and significant sums to staff a much larger DTW operation.

2. With respect to focus cities, if you follow Delta's investor presentations and other publicly available information, then you would understand what a focus city is for Delta and the two ways Delta grows and develops them. At its core, a focus city at Delta is a city on which Delta focuses corporate sales staff to acquire corporate sales contracts to capture the profitable corporate travel market.

The first type of focus city at Delta involves network growth first with corporate marketing second. LGA, SEA, and LAX are all examples of this focused growth method. At those airports, Delta decided to move into the markets aggressively with large operations first followed by the all important marketing for corporate contracts. Delta took a financial hit in the beginning using this method, but it knew it had to have meaningful networks in those large travel markets before it could steal contracts from competitors. But once it had fully developed networks in those cities, Delta was able to capture more and more corporate contracts and to convert those airports into hubs which led to an increase in market share for non-corporate travel.

The second method is the exact reverse: Delta first hires local sales staff to meet with potential corporate contract partners to determine the likelihood of securing their business from competitors and to determine what route network would be required to serve those corporate clients. Delta then adds the routes and schedules necessary to serve the corporate contracts, i.e. flying RDU to EWR for the pharmaceutical industry or BOS to DCA for the legal industry. Once those new routes are in place, Delta's market share grows to the point that it can add routes not required by corporate partners but helpful in making the operation more profitable and more desirable to the traveling public at large. In the case of BOS, this growth, anchored by corporate contracts, enabled Delta to create a hub in the city. For RDU, this has resulted in a significant non-hub network.

At AUS, it's fairly clear that the corporate contracts Delta has secured do not require any additional routes except to Europe. Post-Covid, that may change. But one method of focus city growth at Delta is to grow only with needs corporate partners at first, and this appears to be the method for AUS.

Frankly, I think the role of corporate contracts in route selection and network development at the Big 3 is highly underrated and highly discounted on this site. And certainly, Delta is free to use the term focus city however it chooses.
 
Seat1F
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:18 am

NLINK wrote:
Pi7472000 wrote:
Seat1F wrote:
MSP area has a more diverse set of Fortune 500 companies than Detroit which is more auto focused. Tourism is probably a wash between the 2 areas.

The Minneapolis−Saint Paul area is a more progressive city than Detroit. Detroit easily supports more o/d international traffic to Asia due to the car industry historically.

The MSA is similar in both cities. I think both have a place in the system as Detroit drives more international traffic and Minneapolis−Saint Paul gives Delta a hub in the middle of the US that gives it the opportunity to service similar markets as Denver.

I don't disagree with most of what you've said but I still feel DL now has DTW and MSP operating at a bare minimum of flights to continue to be viable. If they are forced into a decision between the two...what happens?

I've looked at the 2020 operations of major US airports recently. The true hubs (as opposed to primarily O&D type airports) with the lowest passenger throughput hubs were MSP(DL), DTW(DL), SLC(DL), and PHL(AA). Of course, 2020 was a bizarre travel year due to COVID, but I doubt the rank of these airports relative to other true hub airports is much different today. DL is over-represented in the smallest hub category. Pressure from ULCCs is fierce and growing. Point-to-point travel options on non-legacy carriers are increasing thus reducing the need for people to connect via legacy hubs when they have a nonstop option. A point may be reached when something has to be done.
 
sea13
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:58 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:31 am

HunterATL wrote:
Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.

That is not the only issue. If you talk to someone in scheduling and operations at a US airline, they will likely tell you that crews who have to commute to their bases are a significant cause of flight cancellations. Delta has a large number of pilots and flight attendants who live near MSP. If Delta closes that base, Delta now has to get those crews to DTW or another base for every schedule. A huge challenge right now, by no means the only one for airlines, is crews who commute to their bases not getting there in time to staff their schedules. Why would an airline close a hub in a city in which a significant number of its flight crew live simply to force them to commute to another base in a time of flight delays and cancellations? This would only make the scheduling problems worse, not better.

Today's non-crew labor market also makes a combination of MSP and DTW impossible to staff. Delta would need only a hand full of mechanics, gate agents, ticketing agents, and ramp staff, etc. in MSP if it moved the traffic to DTW, but would need to increase significantly those positions at DTW. Where do you expect Delta to get those new, trained employees at reasonable rates in Detroit over night? Mechanics might move to keep sonority, but Delta would likely incur significant costs. Much of the other ground staff would likely not move, even if Delta paid for it, which would require Delta to find new replacements in the DTW area. With today's tight labor market, likely to continue for awhile, it would likely take significant time and significant sums to staff a much larger DTW operation.

2. With respect to focus cities, if you follow Delta's investor presentations and other publicly available information, then you would understand what a focus city is for Delta and the two ways Delta grows and develops them. At its core, a focus city at Delta is a city on which Delta focuses corporate sales staff to acquire corporate sales contracts to capture the profitable corporate travel market.

The first type of focus city at Delta involves network growth first with corporate marketing second. LGA, SEA, and LAX are all examples of this focused growth method. At those airports, Delta decided to move into the markets aggressively with large operations first followed by the all important marketing for corporate contracts. Delta took a financial hit in the beginning using this method, but it knew it had to have meaningful networks in those large travel markets before it could steal contracts from competitors. But once it had fully developed networks in those cities, Delta was able to capture more and more corporate contracts and to convert those airports into hubs which led to an increase in market share for non-corporate travel.

The second method is the exact reverse: Delta first hires local sales staff to meet with potential corporate contract partners to determine the likelihood of securing their business from competitors and to determine what route network would be required to serve those corporate clients. Delta then adds the routes and schedules necessary to serve the corporate contracts, i.e. flying RDU to EWR for the pharmaceutical industry or BOS to DCA for the legal industry. Once those new routes are in place, Delta's market share grows to the point that it can add routes not required by corporate partners but helpful in making the operation more profitable and more desirable to the traveling public at large. In the case of BOS, this growth, anchored by corporate contracts, enabled Delta to create a hub in the city. For RDU, this has resulted in a significant non-hub network.

At AUS, it's fairly clear that the corporate contracts Delta has secured do not require any additional routes except to Europe. Post-Covid, that may change. But one method of focus city growth at Delta is to grow only with needs corporate partners at first, and this appears to be the method for AUS.

Frankly, I think the role of corporate contracts in route selection and network development at the Big 3 is highly underrated and highly discounted on this site. And certainly, Delta is free to use the term focus city however it chooses.


Spot on! You nailed it on every debated topic. Everyone should read your post.
 
Antoli0794
Posts: 65
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:39 am

MSP has a large maintenance base
 
User avatar
tlecam
Posts: 1795
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:56 am

HunterATL wrote:
Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.

That is not the only issue. If you talk to someone in scheduling and operations at a US airline, they will likely tell you that crews who have to commute to their bases are a significant cause of flight cancellations. Delta has a large number of pilots and flight attendants who live near MSP. If Delta closes that base, Delta now has to get those crews to DTW or another base for every schedule. A huge challenge right now, by no means the only one for airlines, is crews who commute to their bases not getting there in time to staff their schedules. Why would an airline close a hub in a city in which a significant number of its flight crew live simply to force them to commute to another base in a time of flight delays and cancellations? This would only make the scheduling problems worse, not better.

Today's non-crew labor market also makes a combination of MSP and DTW impossible to staff. Delta would need only a hand full of mechanics, gate agents, ticketing agents, and ramp staff, etc. in MSP if it moved the traffic to DTW, but would need to increase significantly those positions at DTW. Where do you expect Delta to get those new, trained employees at reasonable rates in Detroit over night? Mechanics might move to keep sonority, but Delta would likely incur significant costs. Much of the other ground staff would likely not move, even if Delta paid for it, which would require Delta to find new replacements in the DTW area. With today's tight labor market, likely to continue for awhile, it would likely take significant time and significant sums to staff a much larger DTW operation.

2. With respect to focus cities, if you follow Delta's investor presentations and other publicly available information, then you would understand what a focus city is for Delta and the two ways Delta grows and develops them. At its core, a focus city at Delta is a city on which Delta focuses corporate sales staff to acquire corporate sales contracts to capture the profitable corporate travel market.

The first type of focus city at Delta involves network growth first with corporate marketing second. LGA, SEA, and LAX are all examples of this focused growth method. At those airports, Delta decided to move into the markets aggressively with large operations first followed by the all important marketing for corporate contracts. Delta took a financial hit in the beginning using this method, but it knew it had to have meaningful networks in those large travel markets before it could steal contracts from competitors. But once it had fully developed networks in those cities, Delta was able to capture more and more corporate contracts and to convert those airports into hubs which led to an increase in market share for non-corporate travel.

The second method is the exact reverse: Delta first hires local sales staff to meet with potential corporate contract partners to determine the likelihood of securing their business from competitors and to determine what route network would be required to serve those corporate clients. Delta then adds the routes and schedules necessary to serve the corporate contracts, i.e. flying RDU to EWR for the pharmaceutical industry or BOS to DCA for the legal industry. Once those new routes are in place, Delta's market share grows to the point that it can add routes not required by corporate partners but helpful in making the operation more profitable and more desirable to the traveling public at large. In the case of BOS, this growth, anchored by corporate contracts, enabled Delta to create a hub in the city. For RDU, this has resulted in a significant non-hub network.

At AUS, it's fairly clear that the corporate contracts Delta has secured do not require any additional routes except to Europe. Post-Covid, that may change. But one method of focus city growth at Delta is to grow only with needs corporate partners at first, and this appears to be the method for AUS.

Frankly, I think the role of corporate contracts in route selection and network development at the Big 3 is highly underrated and highly discounted on this site. And certainly, Delta is free to use the term focus city however it chooses.


Thank you, learned a lot.
 
AdEd
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 6:05 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:14 am

HunterATL wrote:
Some points:
1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.

That is not the only issue. If you talk to someone in scheduling and operations at a US airline, they will likely tell you that crews who have to commute to their bases are a significant cause of flight cancellations. Delta has a large number of pilots and flight attendants who live near MSP. If Delta closes that base, Delta now has to get those crews to DTW or another base for every schedule. A huge challenge right now, by no means the only one for airlines, is crews who commute to their bases not getting there in time to staff their schedules. Why would an airline close a hub in a city in which a significant number of its flight crew live simply to force them to commute to another base in a time of flight delays and cancellations? This would only make the scheduling problems worse, not better.

Today's non-crew labor market also makes a combination of MSP and DTW impossible to staff. Delta would need only a hand full of mechanics, gate agents, ticketing agents, and ramp staff, etc. in MSP if it moved the traffic to DTW, but would need to increase significantly those positions at DTW. Where do you expect Delta to get those new, trained employees at reasonable rates in Detroit over night? Mechanics might move to keep sonority, but Delta would likely incur significant costs. Much of the other ground staff would likely not move, even if Delta paid for it, which would require Delta to find new replacements in the DTW area. With today's tight labor market, likely to continue for awhile, it would likely take significant time and significant sums to staff a much larger DTW operation.

2. With respect to focus cities, if you follow Delta's investor presentations and other publicly available information, then you would understand what a focus city is for Delta and the two ways Delta grows and develops them. At its core, a focus city at Delta is a city on which Delta focuses corporate sales staff to acquire corporate sales contracts to capture the profitable corporate travel market.

The first type of focus city at Delta involves network growth first with corporate marketing second. LGA, SEA, and LAX are all examples of this focused growth method. At those airports, Delta decided to move into the markets aggressively with large operations first followed by the all important marketing for corporate contracts. Delta took a financial hit in the beginning using this method, but it knew it had to have meaningful networks in those large travel markets before it could steal contracts from competitors. But once it had fully developed networks in those cities, Delta was able to capture more and more corporate contracts and to convert those airports into hubs which led to an increase in market share for non-corporate travel.

The second method is the exact reverse: Delta first hires local sales staff to meet with potential corporate contract partners to determine the likelihood of securing their business from competitors and to determine what route network would be required to serve those corporate clients. Delta then adds the routes and schedules necessary to serve the corporate contracts, i.e. flying RDU to EWR for the pharmaceutical industry or BOS to DCA for the legal industry. Once those new routes are in place, Delta's market share grows to the point that it can add routes not required by corporate partners but helpful in making the operation more profitable and more desirable to the traveling public at large. In the case of BOS, this growth, anchored by corporate contracts, enabled Delta to create a hub in the city. For RDU, this has resulted in a significant non-hub network.

At AUS, it's fairly clear that the corporate contracts Delta has secured do not require any additional routes except to Europe. Post-Covid, that may change. But one method of focus city growth at Delta is to grow only with needs corporate partners at first, and this appears to be the method for AUS.

Frankly, I think the role of corporate contracts in route selection and network development at the Big 3 is highly underrated and highly discounted on this site. And certainly, Delta is free to use the term focus city however it chooses.


The level of insight that this thread needs. Thank you.

EDIT: Missed the full quote
Last edited by AdEd on Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
SESGDL
Posts: 3169
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:14 am

Seat1F wrote:
NLINK wrote:
Pi7472000 wrote:

I don't disagree with most of what you've said but I still feel DL now has DTW and MSP operating at a bare minimum of flights to continue to be viable. If they are forced into a decision between the two...what happens?

I've looked at the 2020 operations of major US airports recently. The true hubs (as opposed to primarily O&D type airports) with the lowest passenger throughput hubs were MSP(DL), DTW(DL), SLC(DL), and PHL(AA). Of course, 2020 was a bizarre travel year due to COVID, but I doubt the rank of these airports relative to other true hub airports is much different today. DL is over-represented in the smallest hub category. Pressure from ULCCs is fierce and growing. Point-to-point travel options on non-legacy carriers are increasing thus reducing the need for people to connect via legacy hubs when they have a nonstop option. A point may be reached when something has to be done.


SLC is even smaller than MSP and DTW, so are you saying DL should dehub it as well? Quite a ridiculous assertion.

MSP and DTW are still larger than other airline hubs at SEA, PDX, SFO, PHX, BOS, JFK, SLC, DCA and PHL (I didn’t include WN since it doesn’t technically have “hubs”). Guess all of these places are at risk of being no longer viable as well…

Jeremy
 
Seat1F
Posts: 275
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:05 am

HunterATL wrote:
Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.


In 2022, we are in very different times than we were in 2019 and prior. I'd be curious to understand the financial contributions that the individual DL hubs make today versus what they were several years go. Asia travel is still very very low. Corporate travel is still reduced from what it had been pre-COVID...and may never fully recover. Leisure travel is very strong which is some compensation. The formula for what worked for a network carrier just a few short years ago is likely not the formula for what would work in today's reality. What was true way back at the time of the DL merger with NW is really irrelevant today.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 9498
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:14 am

Nevermind....delete.

I don't understand a.net's infatuation with closing hubs......and city / hub envy.....this transcends almost any airline.

If a.net had its way DTW, MSP, IAD, PHX would all be TOAST.
 
HunterATL
Posts: 157
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:35 am

Seat1F wrote:
HunterATL wrote:
Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.


In 2022, we are in very different times than we were in 2019 and prior. I'd be curious to understand the financial contributions that the individual DL hubs make today versus what they were several years go. Asia travel is still very very low. Corporate travel is still reduced from what it had been pre-COVID...and may never fully recover. Leisure travel is very strong which is some compensation. The formula for what worked for a network carrier just a few short years ago is likely not the formula for what would work in today's reality. What was true way back at the time of the DL merger with NW is really irrelevant today.


The fundamental economics of network carriers haven't changed. O&D traffic generates significantly more revenue, profit, yield, and margin than connecting traffic. During the worst of Covid and even today, OA&D traffic from hubs, especially fortress hubs, is king, which is why the airlines which added a ton of P2P leisure routes which didn't touch their hubs had worst financial performance than those carriers which did not follow suit. Not only can this be seen by Delta's financial performance relative to its peers in Q2, but it's supported by the fact that UAL, AA, and B6 have all now scaled back or completely cut those leisure routes which did not touch a hub (think UAL at LGA, B6 at EWR). Connecting traffic is a necessary evil to support the routes that O&D passengers want, but in the end, it's still O&D traffic which provides your profits (or limits your losses). The view that Covid has not changed that is supported by Delta's outperforming its peers by focusing on O&D revenues and keeping their hubs right-sized to maximize O&D revenue. Foregoing the O&D revenue at MSP is in order to have a larger connecting complex at DTW is not a recipe for financial success, pre- or post-Covid.
 
AC4500
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 7:22 am

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Nevermind....delete.

I don't understand a.net's infatuation with closing hubs......and city / hub envy.....this transcends almost any airline.

If a.net had its way DTW, MSP, IAD, PHX would all be TOAST.

Don't forget SFO and PDX (for AS)...
 
TYWoolman
Posts: 1284
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:47 am

Seat1F wrote:
HunterATL wrote:
Some points:

1. If you've been following Delta's Qs, Ks, and earnings calls since the merger with NW, then you would understand that Delta's margins at DTW, MSP, ATL, and SLC (its Core Hubs) are significantly greater than Delta's system-wide margins. These hubs generate huge profits with incredible yields. MSP and DTW have almost the exact same number of O&D passengers (different mix: more int'l at DTW and more domestic at MSP), and Delta captures the vast majority of that highly profitable, high margin O&D traffic. If Delta were to close MSP and move those flights to DTW, Delta would no longer be the preferred carrier for the MSP O&D traffic and the MSP corporate contracts. Delta would face vigorous competition from UAL and AA; is there really a big difference between connecting over DEN or ORD or DFW vs. DTW? Why on earth would Delta give away all of that high margin, high profit traffic just to, ostensibly, create a better connecting complex at DTW? Delta's network doesn't need this consolidation, and it would be a massive hit to revenue.


In 2022, we are in very different times than we were in 2019 and prior. I'd be curious to understand the financial contributions that the individual DL hubs make today versus what they were several years go. Asia travel is still very very low. Corporate travel is still reduced from what it had been pre-COVID...and may never fully recover. Leisure travel is very strong which is some compensation. The formula for what worked for a network carrier just a few short years ago is likely not the formula for what would work in today's reality. What was true way back at the time of the DL merger with NW is really irrelevant today.


We are in a pandemic aftermath. Asia has the most restriction currently and will be the last to recover, but that is a part of the world with the most population with most likely the best prospects for growth. Business will recover. Hubs are designed to be resilient. Judging hub status today has to be viewed like judging the potential of a vast farm after a drought. Rain shall be in the forecast!
 
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NWAESC
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:40 am

CIDFlyer wrote:
Still puzzled on what DL is doing. Right now here at CID we are down to 1 320 to ATL and 2x CRJ to MSP and DTW each. Next month down to 1x CRJ to DTW. At least upgrade the CRJ to a CR9/E75/717 to make up some capacity difference to MSP/DTW. Meanwhile a similar market like FSD has 1 319/1E75/2 CR9 and 1 CRJ to MSP. I don’t get it.

DL used to be one of my go to airlines here. If it’s hard to get places and connections are either too short or way too long.

By comparison UA here has 1 738/1 E75/2 CRJ to ORD and 1A319/1 E75 and 1 CRJ to DEN. While AA has 3 CR9s to DFW 2 CR9s to CLT 2 CR7/1 E45 to ORD and 1 CR9 to PHX


DL has been treating the Heartland markets as an afterthought for awhile now. It's disappointing.
 
AdEd
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:04 pm

Seat1F wrote:
Sorry...but I disagree with you. I don't think hubs operating 350 flights per day are sustainable longer term in today's environment.

So literally every single DL hub that isn't Atlanta. Might as well call for their end then.
Does anyone actually believe that hubs that aren't massive connecting complexes like ATL, DFW or DEN deserve the axe?

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
I don't understand a.net's infatuation with closing hubs......and city / hub envy.....this transcends almost any airline.

If a.net had its way DTW, MSP, IAD, PHX would all be TOAST.

If a.net had its way the aviation industry here would be a fraction of what it is right now... how ironic
 
777Mech
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:54 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:13 pm

Seat1F wrote:
Runway765 wrote:
I wish they’d commit to one or the other with DTW/MSP. It would be nice to have one airport with better connecting options than splitting traffic and not having good connecting options at either.

I totally agree. Both facilities are totally underutilized. They would be better off developing one of them into a truly robust hub with 6-7 flight banks. Neither is ideally located. MSP is too far north and DTW is too close to ATL (although DL did operate successful hubs at ATL & CVG simultaneously). I'm not sure which one would win out. If Asia traffic truly rebounds, perhaps DTW would have an edge. Otherwise, maybe MSP. I don't see the current situation as being sustainable. If the pilot shortage is going to last for years, DL will need to make a decision to consolidate around only one of the midwest hubs.


With what crews?
 
dfwfanboy
Posts: 88
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:55 pm

HunterATL wrote:

2. With respect to focus cities, if you follow Delta's investor presentations and other publicly available information, then you would understand what a focus city is for Delta and the two ways Delta grows and develops them. At its core, a focus city at Delta is a city on which Delta focuses corporate sales staff to acquire corporate sales contracts to capture the profitable corporate travel market.

The first type of focus city at Delta involves network growth first with corporate marketing second. LGA, SEA, and LAX are all examples of this focused growth method. At those airports, Delta decided to move into the markets aggressively with large operations first followed by the all important marketing for corporate contracts. Delta took a financial hit in the beginning using this method, but it knew it had to have meaningful networks in those large travel markets before it could steal contracts from competitors. But once it had fully developed networks in those cities, Delta was able to capture more and more corporate contracts and to convert those airports into hubs which led to an increase in market share for non-corporate travel.

The second method is the exact reverse: Delta first hires local sales staff to meet with potential corporate contract partners to determine the likelihood of securing their business from competitors and to determine what route network would be required to serve those corporate clients. Delta then adds the routes and schedules necessary to serve the corporate contracts, i.e. flying RDU to EWR for the pharmaceutical industry or BOS to DCA for the legal industry. Once those new routes are in place, Delta's market share grows to the point that it can add routes not required by corporate partners but helpful in making the operation more profitable and more desirable to the traveling public at large. In the case of BOS, this growth, anchored by corporate contracts, enabled Delta to create a hub in the city. For RDU, this has resulted in a significant non-hub network.

At AUS, it's fairly clear that the corporate contracts Delta has secured do not require any additional routes except to Europe. Post-Covid, that may change. But one method of focus city growth at Delta is to grow only with needs corporate partners at first, and this appears to be the method for AUS.

Frankly, I think the role of corporate contracts in route selection and network development at the Big 3 is highly underrated and highly discounted on this site. And certainly, Delta is free to use the term focus city however it chooses.

If you follow delta’s public investor docs, has delta ever referred to Seattle, LA, or NYC as focus cities? Seattle was the most recent significant growth and that was about a shift in tpac strategy from narita to Seattle, not a focus city. Those three cities aren’t examples of delta and any focus city strategy, at least, per Delta’s investor docs.
They refer to those three cities as coastal hubs and distinguish them from their profitable core hubs, but they’re not a part of any delta focus city strategy that I’ve ever seen in a delta doc.
Last edited by dfwfanboy on Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
CIDFlyer
Posts: 2321
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:58 pm

I see points on both sides about hubs,
However remember it wasn’t too long ago when it was said out here that the smaller hubs like MEM and CLE were no longer viable and it would be the mega hubs like DEN, ATL, ORD, DFW, CLT that would be the most viable. I like MSP and DTW and have used them several times in the past. It’s sad to
Me to see them being so underutilized at the moment as they were built for better things. But my last several trips have been on AA because of the connections and times have worked out better simply because DL has chopped out a lot. Hopefully it’s temporary and MSP and DTW can be bulked back up.
 
ncflyer
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 7:03 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:41 pm

One thing I've wondered about-- take CLT. This hub operates with high frequency and convenience to nearby cities larger cities like RDU (9x), RIC (8x), ORF (9x), MYR (8x), even some smaller places liek GSP and GSO (7x), AVL (8x). Yet Delta out of Detroit's frequency is lacking to everywhere and mostly peaks at 4x, even to larger nearby cities CLE IND CMH CVG. Means long connection times for certain destinations. 4 hour layovers to LHR 3.5 hours to CDG, almost 5 hours to FRA, forget that. Whereas CLT has essentially become the hub of all of NC and the nearby southeast, Delta has made no such move for Detroit. It really is all about the most profitable O&D.
 
catiii
Posts: 4000
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:22 pm

I see DL is selling 3X daily LGA-BDL on the CR9 beginning 9/1. Given there are no markets they “connect” via LGA that they cant connect via the other hubs, this is clearly filler to cover their slots.
 
Elementalism
Posts: 688
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Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:45 pm

I have been traveling a bit more. MSP has not rebounded from my experience. I'd guess it is about 60-70% of what it was pre-covid. In 2019\early 2020 I was traveling 2-3 times a month and the place was packed.
 
rjbesikof
Posts: 515
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:21 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:47 pm

USAirALB wrote:
rjbesikof wrote:
Also in this weekend's update:
MCO-AMS removed for NW22.

Didn't they just add this?


They just readded it this weekend.
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4868
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:24 pm

CIDFlyer wrote:
Still puzzled on what DL is doing. Right now here at CID we are down to 1 320 to ATL and 2x CRJ to MSP and DTW each. Next month down to 1x CRJ to DTW. At least upgrade the CRJ to a CR9/E75/717 to make up some capacity difference to MSP/DTW. Meanwhile a similar market like FSD has 1 319/1E75/2 CR9 and 1 CRJ to MSP. I don’t get it.

DL used to be one of my go to airlines here. If it’s hard to get places and connections are either too short or way too long.

By comparison UA here has 1 738/1 E75/2 CRJ to ORD and 1A319/1 E75 and 1 CRJ to DEN. While AA has 3 CR9s to DFW 2 CR9s to CLT 2 CR7/1 E45 to ORD and 1 CR9 to PHX


I'm sure it's just a temporary move to relieve the pressure on the pilot shortage. The expansion plans took a hit when they realized we just didn't have the pilots. Yes, it sucks!! But, I do see things eventually returning back to health sooner than later.
 
kavok
Posts: 1152
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:36 pm

A lot to break down here.

As pointed out, ATL/DTW/MSP are the cash cows that fund the whole Delta network. All three are Top15 domestic business markets (and will remain Top15 for at least the next 20 years). More importantly Delta effectively has fortress hub status at each. SLC is important too, but its local corporate/business market size is much smaller. Anyway, for all practical purposes, Delta has maximum control of those four markets in terms of market share. There is nothing Delta could do in ATL/DTW/MSP/SLC to expand their market share, because they already own as close to 100% as they could get. Thus from a business perspective, the only way to grow the Delta network and business overall is to expand their markets share in other places. Hence the recent expansions into SEA, BOS, and elsewhere.

It needs to be re-emphasized that DL will probably never (at least in the next 20 years) make close to the amount of revenue in BOS/SEA/NYC/LAX as they do in ATL/DTW/MSP. Even if the former markets are larger overall, there is (and will be) too much competition in those coastal markets. This is also the obvious reason for why DTW and MSP will never be dehubbed. Far more profitable to have a monopoly in a #8-15 size market, as opposed to being competitive in a #1-7 market.
But again to make MORE money, DL still needs to grow their market share elsewhere. And that is the game they are playing. DL knows they can temporarily offer a poor network operation at DTW/MSP, and still maintain most of their market share dominance. And that is why they are currently running poor load factor flights to/from LGA to keep slots, while simultaneously not having enough planes to fly more individually profitable routes from DTW/MSP that would make those networks more functional.

So when you look at the reduced operations in DTW/MSP, it is not a sign of Delta wondering whether both hubs are still worthwhile. Rather given the pilot shortage, it is a question of how lackluster of a network can Delta provide through DTW/MSP while still competing with AA/UA.
 
kavok
Posts: 1152
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:16 pm

The second major point is that I believe having a lackluster network operation at DTW/MSP will eventually catch up to Delta, if they can’t get it corrected in time before AA/UA are able to capitalize on it. And it has nothing to do with DTW or MSP point of sale. DTW/MSP flyers are going to remain loyal to DL, that part is not in question. What is in question is what happens to flyers in places like IND, CMH, DSM, etc. that want to connect in DTW/MSP (or if not, ORD). If the DTW/MSP connections are bad, those pax will jump ship to AA & UA. And this was a somewhat avoidable area where I feel Delta could have done a better job. (More on that below).

To provide context, ever since the NW/DL merger, the DL network planners have been trying to shift connections from DTW/MSP to ATL where realistically possible. For example, if a person is flying PHL-XXX-SAN on DL, the network favors connecting in ATL even though DTW and MSP connections could all geographically make sense. We see this a lot more in smaller markets like ICT (Wichita), which previously had DTW service but lost it to ATL. The DL network would prefer that if a pax from ICT is going east, they connect in ATL, even though DTW might make more geographic sense (especially if that pax is headed Northeast). And there aren’t enough ICT pax travelling between DTW (or small markets only served by DTW) to justify a flight to DTW on OD alone. So better to have 3x daily ICT-ATL, than 2x ICT-ATL + 1x ICT-DTW. And so over the past 10 years, the DL network planners have worked very hard to determine what is the minimal service that is necessary to operate hubs at DTW/MSP, while moving any “discretionary” connections to ATL if possible. (Again, for business reasons. There is no secret agenda against DTW/MSP).

So in summer 2019, after 10 years of discretionary connections shifted to ATL, the DTW/MSP operations were about as reasonably lean as they could be, and still remain mostly functional. And what I mean is DTW/MSP still had decent daily frequencies to the markets they needed to serve, at the near minimum frequencies needed to serve them, but beyond that… those “doesn’t matter where I connect” pax were mostly all pushed through ATL. Which again made good business sense at the time. It also explains why ATL grew to be bigger than DTW and MSP combined in terms of network size, because that is where all the “extra” connections were shifted to.

Now 2022 comes. Pax volumes go up, pilot shortage kicks in, and Delta realizes they can’t fly the network they did in 2019, even though demand is high. Delta has to cut flights somewhere. Delta is reluctant to cut flights from the coastal hubs, where they are fighting to grow market share… and instead they make the decision to cut flights from their four interior hubs. And if you look at the 2022 vs 2019 cut rates, all three DL hubs of ATL/DTW/MSP were cut (percentage wise) somewhat close to equally. But this is where I felt the Delta schedulers made an error.

As mentioned, both DTW/MSP were already running lean in summer 2019, while ATL had the fluff. So in cutting each hub equally, ATL could withstand those flight reductions because there was redundancy to withstand those cuts. But most any cut made to DTW/MSP really hurt the network’s ability to perform. Basically, if the interior hubs had to be cut, I believe DL would have been better off trimming ATL a bit more and DTW/MSP percentage-wise less, because again DTW/MSP were already both running fairly lean before 2020, and there really wasn’t much fat there to trim.
 
Antoli0794
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:20 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:25 pm

kavok wrote:
The second major point is that I believe having a lackluster network operation at DTW/MSP will eventually catch up to Delta, if they can’t get it corrected in time before AA/UA are able to capitalize on it. And it has nothing to do with DTW or MSP point of sale. DTW/MSP flyers are going to remain loyal to DL, that part is not in question. What is in question is what happens to flyers in places like IND, CMH, DSM, etc. that want to connect in DTW/MSP (or if not, ORD). If the DTW/MSP connections are bad, those pax will jump ship to AA & UA. And this was a somewhat avoidable area where I feel Delta’s schedulers could have done a better job. (More on that below).

To provide context, ever since the NW/DL merger, the DL network planners have been trying to shift connections from DTW/MSP to ATL where realistically possible. For example, if a person is flying PHL-XXX-SAN on DL, the network favors connecting in ATL even though DTW and MSP connections could all geographically make sense. We see this a lot more in smaller markets like ICT (Wichita), which previously had DTW service but lost it to ATL. The DL network would prefer that if a pax from ICT is going east, they connect in ATL, even though DTW might make more geographic sense (especially if that pax is headed Northeast). And there aren’t enough ICT pax travelling between DTW (or small markets only served by DTW) to justify a flight to DTW on OD alone. So better to have 3x daily ICT-ATL, than 2x ICT-ATL + 1x ICT-DTW. And so over the past 10 years, the DL network planners have worked very hard to determine what is the minimal service that is necessary to operate hubs at DTW/MSP, while moving any “discretionary” connections to ATL if possible. (Again, for business reasons. There is no secret agenda against DTW/MSP).

So in summer 2019, after 10 years of discretionary connections shifted to ATL, the DTW/MSP operations were about as reasonably lean as they could be, and still remain mostly functional. And what I mean is DTW/MSP still had decent daily frequencies to the markets they needed to serve, at the near minimum frequencies needed to serve them, but beyond that… those “doesn’t matter where I connect” pax were mostly all pushed through ATL. Which again made good business sense at the time. It also explains why ATL grew to be bigger than DTW and MSP combined in terms of network size, because that is where all the “extra” connections were shifted to.

Now 2022 comes. Pax volumes go up, pilot shortage kicks in, and Delta realizes they can’t fly the network they did in 2019, even though demand is high. Delta has to cut flights somewhere. Delta is reluctant to cut flights from the coastal hubs, where they are fighting to grow market share… and instead they make the decision to cut flights from their four interior hubs. And if you look at the 2022 vs 2019 cut rates, all three DL hubs of ATL/DTW/MSP were cut (percentage wise) somewhat close to equally. But this is where I felt the Delta schedulers made an error.

As mentioned, both DTW/MSP were already running lean in summer 2019, while ATL had the fluff. So in cutting each hub equally, ATL could withstand those flight reductions because there was redundancy to withstand those cuts. But most any cut made to DTW/MSP really hurt the network’s ability to perform. Basically, I believe DL would have been better off trimming ATL a bit more and DTW/MSP percentage-wise less, because again DTW/MSP were already both running fairly lean before 2020, and there really wasn’t much fat there to trim.



That is the point. They are losing ground in the Midwest to AA/UAL while they keep those frequencies.
 
User avatar
tlecam
Posts: 1795
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:45 pm

Antoli0794 wrote:
kavok wrote:
The second major point is that I believe having a lackluster network operation at DTW/MSP will eventually catch up to Delta, if they can’t get it corrected in time before AA/UA are able to capitalize on it. And it has nothing to do with DTW or MSP point of sale. DTW/MSP flyers are going to remain loyal to DL, that part is not in question. What is in question is what happens to flyers in places like IND, CMH, DSM, etc. that want to connect in DTW/MSP (or if not, ORD). If the DTW/MSP connections are bad, those pax will jump ship to AA & UA. And this was a somewhat avoidable area where I feel Delta’s schedulers could have done a better job. (More on that below).

To provide context, ever since the NW/DL merger, the DL network planners have been trying to shift connections from DTW/MSP to ATL where realistically possible. For example, if a person is flying PHL-XXX-SAN on DL, the network favors connecting in ATL even though DTW and MSP connections could all geographically make sense. We see this a lot more in smaller markets like ICT (Wichita), which previously had DTW service but lost it to ATL. The DL network would prefer that if a pax from ICT is going east, they connect in ATL, even though DTW might make more geographic sense (especially if that pax is headed Northeast). And there aren’t enough ICT pax travelling between DTW (or small markets only served by DTW) to justify a flight to DTW on OD alone. So better to have 3x daily ICT-ATL, than 2x ICT-ATL + 1x ICT-DTW. And so over the past 10 years, the DL network planners have worked very hard to determine what is the minimal service that is necessary to operate hubs at DTW/MSP, while moving any “discretionary” connections to ATL if possible. (Again, for business reasons. There is no secret agenda against DTW/MSP).

So in summer 2019, after 10 years of discretionary connections shifted to ATL, the DTW/MSP operations were about as reasonably lean as they could be, and still remain mostly functional. And what I mean is DTW/MSP still had decent daily frequencies to the markets they needed to serve, at the near minimum frequencies needed to serve them, but beyond that… those “doesn’t matter where I connect” pax were mostly all pushed through ATL. Which again made good business sense at the time. It also explains why ATL grew to be bigger than DTW and MSP combined in terms of network size, because that is where all the “extra” connections were shifted to.

Now 2022 comes. Pax volumes go up, pilot shortage kicks in, and Delta realizes they can’t fly the network they did in 2019, even though demand is high. Delta has to cut flights somewhere. Delta is reluctant to cut flights from the coastal hubs, where they are fighting to grow market share… and instead they make the decision to cut flights from their four interior hubs. And if you look at the 2022 vs 2019 cut rates, all three DL hubs of ATL/DTW/MSP were cut (percentage wise) somewhat close to equally. But this is where I felt the Delta schedulers made an error.

As mentioned, both DTW/MSP were already running lean in summer 2019, while ATL had the fluff. So in cutting each hub equally, ATL could withstand those flight reductions because there was redundancy to withstand those cuts. But most any cut made to DTW/MSP really hurt the network’s ability to perform. Basically, I believe DL would have been better off trimming ATL a bit more and DTW/MSP percentage-wise less, because again DTW/MSP were already both running fairly lean before 2020, and there really wasn’t much fat there to trim.



That is the point. They are losing ground in the Midwest to AA/UAL while they keep those frequencies.


Perhaps, but for the most part, those also tend to be price sensitive buyers that don’t have a ton of loyalty to any particular airline and the airlines all know it. They’re much more inclined to buy based on price and convenience (e.g. flight times, shorter connections etc…). Even if DL were running its full schedule to MSP and DTW, there are lots of flyers who go on AA through ORD in March and then DL through MSP for the holidays. Most of those flyers, if they might have typically flown DL, but this summer are flying AA or UA, aren’t going to fly AA or UA for eternity.

This is largely a short term opportunity cost problem for DL.
 
NLINK
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:00 pm

I was looking thru some data from both Delta and on this site. (If the departures threads are close to being correct from S-19 and S-22 here at airliners.net), this is what I found for Delta at DTW and MSP
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1468229

viewtopic.php?t=1420613

At DTW
According to that data in 2019 it shows mainline at 157 narrow body departures and in 2022 increasing to 197 departures per day, so an increase of 40 mainline narrow body flights per day.

Regional flying in 2019 was at 290 departures per day and in 2022 is down to 165 per day. So a decrease of 125 flights per day in regional flying.

Total seat have decreased from 45,998 narrow and regional to 41,805 per day.

At MSP
According to that data in 2019 it shows mainline at 241 narrow body departures and in 2022 decreasing to 223 departures per day, so an decrease of 18 mainline narrow body flights per day.

Regional flying in 2019 was at 200 departures per day and in 2022 is down to 119 per day. So a decrease of 81 flights per day in regional flying.

Total seat have decreased from50,684 narrow and regional to 43,945 per day.

I think some of this was to be expected with the drawdown of the 50 seaters and reduction in overall regional flying. I also know a lot of it is due to staffing and I think you will see both increase in the next year.
 
SANMSP
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:51 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:18 pm

Antoli0794 wrote:
kavok wrote:
The second major point is that I believe having a lackluster network operation at DTW/MSP will eventually catch up to Delta, if they can’t get it corrected in time before AA/UA are able to capitalize on it. And it has nothing to do with DTW or MSP point of sale. DTW/MSP flyers are going to remain loyal to DL, that part is not in question. What is in question is what happens to flyers in places like IND, CMH, DSM, etc. that want to connect in DTW/MSP (or if not, ORD). If the DTW/MSP connections are bad, those pax will jump ship to AA & UA. And this was a somewhat avoidable area where I feel Delta’s schedulers could have done a better job. (More on that below).

To provide context, ever since the NW/DL merger, the DL network planners have been trying to shift connections from DTW/MSP to ATL where realistically possible. For example, if a person is flying PHL-XXX-SAN on DL, the network favors connecting in ATL even though DTW and MSP connections could all geographically make sense. We see this a lot more in smaller markets like ICT (Wichita), which previously had DTW service but lost it to ATL. The DL network would prefer that if a pax from ICT is going east, they connect in ATL, even though DTW might make more geographic sense (especially if that pax is headed Northeast). And there aren’t enough ICT pax travelling between DTW (or small markets only served by DTW) to justify a flight to DTW on OD alone. So better to have 3x daily ICT-ATL, than 2x ICT-ATL + 1x ICT-DTW. And so over the past 10 years, the DL network planners have worked very hard to determine what is the minimal service that is necessary to operate hubs at DTW/MSP, while moving any “discretionary” connections to ATL if possible. (Again, for business reasons. There is no secret agenda against DTW/MSP).

So in summer 2019, after 10 years of discretionary connections shifted to ATL, the DTW/MSP operations were about as reasonably lean as they could be, and still remain mostly functional. And what I mean is DTW/MSP still had decent daily frequencies to the markets they needed to serve, at the near minimum frequencies needed to serve them, but beyond that… those “doesn’t matter where I connect” pax were mostly all pushed through ATL. Which again made good business sense at the time. It also explains why ATL grew to be bigger than DTW and MSP combined in terms of network size, because that is where all the “extra” connections were shifted to.

Now 2022 comes. Pax volumes go up, pilot shortage kicks in, and Delta realizes they can’t fly the network they did in 2019, even though demand is high. Delta has to cut flights somewhere. Delta is reluctant to cut flights from the coastal hubs, where they are fighting to grow market share… and instead they make the decision to cut flights from their four interior hubs. And if you look at the 2022 vs 2019 cut rates, all three DL hubs of ATL/DTW/MSP were cut (percentage wise) somewhat close to equally. But this is where I felt the Delta schedulers made an error.

As mentioned, both DTW/MSP were already running lean in summer 2019, while ATL had the fluff. So in cutting each hub equally, ATL could withstand those flight reductions because there was redundancy to withstand those cuts. But most any cut made to DTW/MSP really hurt the network’s ability to perform. Basically, I believe DL would have been better off trimming ATL a bit more and DTW/MSP percentage-wise less, because again DTW/MSP were already both running fairly lean before 2020, and there really wasn’t much fat there to trim.



That is the point. They are losing ground in the Midwest to AA/UAL while they keep those frequencies.


Let's hope they get past their aircraft and pilot shortages in the next 12 months. Friends in smaller Midwestern cities (LSE and FSD) are seeing far fewer options to connect in DTW/MSP, while UA's and AA's connections through ORD are much more attractive, but I won't beat a dead horse there. Just adding to the anecdotal evidence already offered.

As a recent transplant to San Diego from Minneapolis, where I was born and raised, I've gotten a bit of a rude awakening in life outside of hub cities, even for a metropolitan area as large as San Diego, and it's hard to schedule trips with DL when flying to places like FSD, OMA, LIT, and Kentucky (CVG/SDF/LEX). These trips are either laughably expensive in the case of traveling to FSD and Kentucky, inefficient (DL only serves LIT via ATL), or both (SAN-PHX-OMA on AA was significantly cheaper and had better connection times than SAN-SLC-OMA). LAX these days has far fewer options for connecting to smaller cities than MSP, but I have no idea how it was pre-pandemic. I wouldn't be surprised if DL's LAX strategy is to serve medium to large destinations given the competition and limited gate slots, pandemic or not. For now, AS and AA are options to save money, time, and logistical headaches depending on destination.

There's been a lot of chatter on here about DL's focus on coastal cities, but their emphasis on ATL as a connecting hub, combined with a lack of options out of LAX, leaves some noticeable gaps for San Diego residents like myself and makes other carriers more attractive as a result. Not necessarily complaining, but I want to provide my perspective and personal experience so far and that it's not just people who fly out of SBN and CID who struggle to stay completely loyal to DL these days ;)
 
dtwpilot225
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:31 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:21 pm

Kind of sick of the dtw vs msp debate
They both serve their purpose and they both will be delta bases until they are not which could be forever or could be tomorrow
If you are a delta fan in either base, let’s just be thankful that we make awesome profits in both bases
 
SESGDL
Posts: 3169
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:34 pm

SANMSP wrote:
Antoli0794 wrote:
kavok wrote:
The second major point is that I believe having a lackluster network operation at DTW/MSP will eventually catch up to Delta, if they can’t get it corrected in time before AA/UA are able to capitalize on it. And it has nothing to do with DTW or MSP point of sale. DTW/MSP flyers are going to remain loyal to DL, that part is not in question. What is in question is what happens to flyers in places like IND, CMH, DSM, etc. that want to connect in DTW/MSP (or if not, ORD). If the DTW/MSP connections are bad, those pax will jump ship to AA & UA. And this was a somewhat avoidable area where I feel Delta’s schedulers could have done a better job. (More on that below).

To provide context, ever since the NW/DL merger, the DL network planners have been trying to shift connections from DTW/MSP to ATL where realistically possible. For example, if a person is flying PHL-XXX-SAN on DL, the network favors connecting in ATL even though DTW and MSP connections could all geographically make sense. We see this a lot more in smaller markets like ICT (Wichita), which previously had DTW service but lost it to ATL. The DL network would prefer that if a pax from ICT is going east, they connect in ATL, even though DTW might make more geographic sense (especially if that pax is headed Northeast). And there aren’t enough ICT pax travelling between DTW (or small markets only served by DTW) to justify a flight to DTW on OD alone. So better to have 3x daily ICT-ATL, than 2x ICT-ATL + 1x ICT-DTW. And so over the past 10 years, the DL network planners have worked very hard to determine what is the minimal service that is necessary to operate hubs at DTW/MSP, while moving any “discretionary” connections to ATL if possible. (Again, for business reasons. There is no secret agenda against DTW/MSP).

So in summer 2019, after 10 years of discretionary connections shifted to ATL, the DTW/MSP operations were about as reasonably lean as they could be, and still remain mostly functional. And what I mean is DTW/MSP still had decent daily frequencies to the markets they needed to serve, at the near minimum frequencies needed to serve them, but beyond that… those “doesn’t matter where I connect” pax were mostly all pushed through ATL. Which again made good business sense at the time. It also explains why ATL grew to be bigger than DTW and MSP combined in terms of network size, because that is where all the “extra” connections were shifted to.

Now 2022 comes. Pax volumes go up, pilot shortage kicks in, and Delta realizes they can’t fly the network they did in 2019, even though demand is high. Delta has to cut flights somewhere. Delta is reluctant to cut flights from the coastal hubs, where they are fighting to grow market share… and instead they make the decision to cut flights from their four interior hubs. And if you look at the 2022 vs 2019 cut rates, all three DL hubs of ATL/DTW/MSP were cut (percentage wise) somewhat close to equally. But this is where I felt the Delta schedulers made an error.

As mentioned, both DTW/MSP were already running lean in summer 2019, while ATL had the fluff. So in cutting each hub equally, ATL could withstand those flight reductions because there was redundancy to withstand those cuts. But most any cut made to DTW/MSP really hurt the network’s ability to perform. Basically, I believe DL would have been better off trimming ATL a bit more and DTW/MSP percentage-wise less, because again DTW/MSP were already both running fairly lean before 2020, and there really wasn’t much fat there to trim.



That is the point. They are losing ground in the Midwest to AA/UAL while they keep those frequencies.


Let's hope they get past their aircraft and pilot shortages in the next 12 months. Friends in smaller Midwestern cities (LSE and FSD) are seeing far fewer options to connect in DTW/MSP, while UA's and AA's connections through ORD are much more attractive, but I won't beat a dead horse there. Just adding to the anecdotal evidence already offered.

As a recent transplant to San Diego from Minneapolis, where I was born and raised, I've gotten a bit of a rude awakening in life outside of hub cities, even for a metropolitan area as large as San Diego, and it's hard to schedule trips with DL when flying to places like FSD, OMA, LIT, and Kentucky (CVG/SDF/LEX). These trips are either laughably expensive in the case of traveling to FSD and Kentucky, inefficient (DL only serves LIT via ATL), or both (SAN-PHX-OMA on AA was significantly cheaper and had better connection times than SAN-SLC-OMA). LAX these days has far fewer options for connecting to smaller cities than MSP, but I have no idea how it was pre-pandemic. I wouldn't be surprised if DL's LAX strategy is to serve medium to large destinations given the competition and limited gate slots, pandemic or not. For now, AS and AA are options to save money, time, and logistical headaches depending on destination.

There's been a lot of chatter on here about DL's focus on coastal cities, but their emphasis on ATL as a connecting hub, combined with a lack of options out of LAX, leaves some noticeable gaps for San Diego residents like myself and makes other carriers more attractive as a result. Not necessarily complaining, but I want to provide my perspective and personal experience so far and that it's not just people who fly out of SBN and CID who struggle to stay completely loyal to DL these days ;)


What cities does AA serve from LAX that DL doesn’t? Their networks from LAX are pretty comparable as of late.

Jeremy
 
ahj2000
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:52 pm

Anyone else see MIA-MCO is back? 2x.
 
SANMSP
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:51 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Thu Jun 16, 2022 5:42 am

SESGDL wrote:
SANMSP wrote:
Antoli0794 wrote:


That is the point. They are losing ground in the Midwest to AA/UAL while they keep those frequencies.


Let's hope they get past their aircraft and pilot shortages in the next 12 months. Friends in smaller Midwestern cities (LSE and FSD) are seeing far fewer options to connect in DTW/MSP, while UA's and AA's connections through ORD are much more attractive, but I won't beat a dead horse there. Just adding to the anecdotal evidence already offered.

As a recent transplant to San Diego from Minneapolis, where I was born and raised, I've gotten a bit of a rude awakening in life outside of hub cities, even for a metropolitan area as large as San Diego, and it's hard to schedule trips with DL when flying to places like FSD, OMA, LIT, and Kentucky (CVG/SDF/LEX). These trips are either laughably expensive in the case of traveling to FSD and Kentucky, inefficient (DL only serves LIT via ATL), or both (SAN-PHX-OMA on AA was significantly cheaper and had better connection times than SAN-SLC-OMA). LAX these days has far fewer options for connecting to smaller cities than MSP, but I have no idea how it was pre-pandemic. I wouldn't be surprised if DL's LAX strategy is to serve medium to large destinations given the competition and limited gate slots, pandemic or not. For now, AS and AA are options to save money, time, and logistical headaches depending on destination.

There's been a lot of chatter on here about DL's focus on coastal cities, but their emphasis on ATL as a connecting hub, combined with a lack of options out of LAX, leaves some noticeable gaps for San Diego residents like myself and makes other carriers more attractive as a result. Not necessarily complaining, but I want to provide my perspective and personal experience so far and that it's not just people who fly out of SBN and CID who struggle to stay completely loyal to DL these days ;)


What cities does AA serve from LAX that DL doesn’t? Their networks from LAX are pretty comparable as of late.

Jeremy


AA doesn't offer mainline or regional service from SAN to LAX (would rather not drive to and from LAX), but my point wasn't to compare AA's and DL's LAX destinations. When I moved to SAN, I thought I'd use DL, AS, and WN for their respective nonstop destinations and use DL for nearly all destinations not served directly by SAN, of which there are many.

The reality is AA offers many connecting routes from SAN via PHX and DFW that are better timed and involve less backtracking than having to use one of SLC, MSP, DTW. and ATL, often at a better price. So, due to the distance between SAN and ATL and the backtracking it can cause, unfavorable schedules at non-ATL hubs, and uncompetitive pricing, AA is now a consideration.

Since I wouldn't mind connecting in LAX, it's an option with DL as long as I have good nonstop options from there, but that's not the case so far even when traveling to midsize markets like OMA and CVG. Better pricing and scheduling from LAX and SLC would address many of the issues I described above.
 
HVNandrew
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:05 am

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:24 am

catiii wrote:
I see DL is selling 3X daily LGA-BDL on the CR9 beginning 9/1. Given there are no markets they “connect” via LGA that they cant connect via the other hubs, this is clearly filler to cover their slots.

Agree on the purpose behind the add, but also feel like there are better ways to use those slots? Maybe to someplace like DCA where DL is no longer running the standard hourly shuttle schedule and there is at least some substantial local traffic?
 
dalmit
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:25 pm

Re: Delta Network Thread - 2022

Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:36 pm

HVNandrew wrote:
catiii wrote:
I see DL is selling 3X daily LGA-BDL on the CR9 beginning 9/1. Given there are no markets they “connect” via LGA that they cant connect via the other hubs, this is clearly filler to cover their slots.

Agree on the purpose behind the add, but also feel like there are better ways to use those slots? Maybe to someplace like DCA where DL is no longer running the standard hourly shuttle schedule and there is at least some substantial local traffic?


DCA is also slot controlled. I assume Delta is using all their DCA slots for other routes. I found the following that indicates Delta has 86 DCA slots. https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-176 (page 33)

Additionally, Delta (via Republic) operates 11 DCA-LGA flights. I assume adding more would be overkill.

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