Been thinking about this a lot lately... does anyone else wonder why DTW has so few international airlines? I'm aware we're a Delta hub, but mainly right now for European destinations such as CDG, AMS, LHR, and soon-to-be FRA with DL, and then we have ICN and NRT. Yet I feel like southeast Michigan's population as well as diversity don't reflect with what DTW offers. Besides NK and F9s leisure Cancun flights, and Air Canada's YYZ and soon-to-be YUL flights, we are really only left with LH, RJ, AF, and AM. Last year when I visited SEA, I remember seeing many international airlines there, and after looking it up online they have quite the list. Besides the shared airlines, they also have Aer Lingus, ANA, Asiana, British, Cathay, Emirates, Eva, Hainan, Hawaiian, Iceland, Japan, Korean, Qatar, Singapore, and Virgin Atlantic to name a few. Any reason why their network is much more extensive than ours? I'm aware as a west coast city they have greater connections to east Asia, yet with southeast Michigan having one of the largest middle-eastern populations in the US, I feel like it would make sense for us to have possibly Emirates, Ethiad, Qatar, Turkish, Indian, etc. I figured this might have something to do with population, as Seattle's population is around 724,000 as of 2019 and Detroit's is about 50,000 under at around 674,000 as of 2019 as well. Yet as we know Detroit has suffered a lot in the past few decades which led people to move further north and west into other neighborhoods, which led me to check Michigan's population count and finding it to be around 9.9 million as of 2019, which surprised me since I found out Washington State's population as of 2019 was only 7.9 million, around 2 million fewer people. My guess is that since DTW is one of Delta's largest hubs, Delta is hindering any expansion of any other airline to DTW, yet, where do most passengers from the middle east and west Asia connect to on Delta? I know many people from Albania and India connect through LH to DTW, which, correct me if I'm wrong, will possibly happen when Delta starts FRA-DTW next month. Yet I still feel like the only real gateway to the middle east if RJ, which I found out really isn't that big of an airline. I just hope that sometime in the future, hopefully the near future, we may see more of a variety here at DTW. I especially have high hopes for Turkish starting service here, as rumored it would begin coming to DTW and SEA, hopefully sometime this year. So yeah does anybody have any thoughts or knowledge to bring about with this topic?
I pulled out some statistics comparing the DTW and SEA markets:
DTW MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) population: 4,392,041
SEA MSA Population: 4,018,598 (closer in size than I expected)
Per capita income DTW MSA $58,356
Per capita income SEA MSA $80,420
There is just a lot more wealth in Seattle than the DTW MSA, of course the housing costs in SEA are obscene compared to DTW.