kenanc
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Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:41 am

Hey, just wondering, why did DL dehub DFW? I am sure they regret it, because now AA is dominating the market. I am not sure how the situation was when they dehubbed it but I am sure they could have made a nice niche there. It would've been interesting to see DFW have two airlines hub there like ORD or LAX. Anyways, thanks in advance.
 
SA7700
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:59 am

IIRC is was due to restructuring in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.


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tyler81190
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:41 am

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 1):
IIRC is was due to restructuring in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

Probably not a bad move in hindsight... Look where they are today!

If they hadn't, they could have:

1. gone into BK earlier, and come out with higher debts due to DFW

2. been large enough at the time of the DL/NW merger that it would have never been approved, and they would be on their own right now.

(just speculation on the possibilities)

TJ
 
commavia
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting KenanC (Thread starter):
Hey, just wondering, why did DL dehub DFW?

They were perpetually a distant second place at DFW and were never going to be able to match the domestic or international schedule breadth DFW offered, which led them to continually peel more spokes from the hub and/or downgauge more flights to smaller regional jets, which just drove more customers to AA, which just worsened the death spiral.

Quoting KenanC (Thread starter):
I am sure they regret it, because now AA is dominating the market.

I doubt Delta regrets it. I'm sure they're more than happy to let AA dominate DFW. Delta is more worried about dominating ATL, and investing resources in areas of its network where it actually has a shot at "winning." Delta was in a no-win situation at DFW.

Quoting KenanC (Thread starter):
It would've been interesting to see DFW have two airlines hub there like ORD or LAX.

That was the environment that persisted from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s. I vividly remember Terminal E being lined up with tons of Delta 727s, L1011s, MD80s, etc. and then slowly becoming more and more of a haven for CRJs by the end.

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 1):
IIRC is was due to restructuring in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

The Delta hub at DFW was closed well in advance of bankruptcy. The hub closure was announced on September 2004, and the cuts were largely done by February 2005. Delta didn't file for bankruptcy until September 2005.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:58 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):
Delta was in a no-win situation at DFW.

   Unless a hub is very congested (e.g., slot limited) where the stronger competitor cannot expand, the #2 airline hubbing at one airport must have a significant cost advantage or somehow a very different customer base or they will be crushed. Since DFW was built to be 'without expansion constraints,' it allowed AA to push out DL.

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):
The Delta hub at DFW was closed well in advance of bankruptcy. The hub closure was announced on September 2004, and the cuts were largely done by February 2005. Delta didn't file for bankruptcy until September 2005.

It is accurate that it was an attempt to avoid bankruptcy by cutting off one cash flow drain. 7 months isn't much time to turn around a bankruptcy. DL would have been trying to staunch the 'blood flow' anyway they could.



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rfields5421
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:11 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):
The Delta hub at DFW was closed well in advance of bankruptcy. The hub closure was announced on September 2004, and the cuts were largely done by February 2005. Delta didn't file for bankruptcy until September 2005.

Preparation and planning for a bankruptcy of a company the size of Delta starts 2 to 3 years before the actual filing. Companies that size don't decide quickly the checkbook is empty and file. There is a lot of work necessary for months, likely years to prepare for a Chapter 11. It is much more complicated than a Chapter 7, because the company has to have a viable plan to emerge from the Ch 11 as a company likely to be profitable.


For American it went on almost 5 years before the actual filing.

The closure of the DFW hub for Delta was certainly part of the restructuring, cash conservation and realignment planning so that the company could go into bankruptcy with its strongest assets protected.

[Edited 2013-12-15 06:13:03]
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):

The Delta hub at DFW was closed well in advance of bankruptcy. The hub closure was announced on September 2004, and the cuts were largely done by February 2005. Delta didn't file for bankruptcy until September 2005.

Yes...so right before bankruptcy!  
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:44 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
Preparation and planning for a bankruptcy of a company the size of Delta starts 2 to 3 years before the actual filing.

I said well in advance of bankruptcy, not well in advance of planning for bankruptcy. I consider seven months "wel in advance." Nonetheless, I doubt Delta was seriously and actively planning their bankruptcy three years before it happened, anyway.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
For American it went on almost 5 years before the actual filing.

Again, doubtful. AA was not actively planning a bankruptcy filing in 2008. They were no doubt examining various possibilities, and preparing multiple contingencies, but active, detailed bankruptcy planning almost certainly didn't start until 2011.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:57 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 4):
It is accurate that it was an attempt to avoid bankruptcy by cutting off one cash flow drain. 7 months isn't much time to turn around a bankruptcy. DL would have been trying to staunch the 'blood flow' anyway they could.

  

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram - September 8, 2004:

http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/showthread.php/2783

Quote:
Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it will eliminate its Dallas/Fort Worth Airport connecting hub and cut 6,000-7,000 jobs systemwide over the next 18 months as part of a plan to rescue the struggling carrier.

In a webcast to investment analysts and reporters, Delta Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein expressed a "personal measure of sorrow" for the D/FW move. But he added that "a commanding market presence is critical, and we didn't have it in Dallas."

[SNIP]

Grinstein also said bankruptcy remains a "possibility" for Delta if it cannot significantly reduce its costs. He maintained that the airline's pilots, the only work group represented by a labor union, must agree to deep cuts.

"We're working hard and fast to avoid" bankruptcy, Grinstein said, "but if the pilot early retirement issue is not resolved before the end of the month, or if all of the pieces don't come together in the near term, we will have to restructure through the courts."

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EricR
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:48 pm

I think some of the responses help explain the "what" but not the "why". It is logical to conclude the hub struggled financially otherwise it would not have been closed. But why did it struggle financially? Certainly AA's huge presence did not help, but a year before announcing the closure of the hub, DL had a sizable presence of 260ish flights out of the hub.

I think the reason why had a lot to do with how the DFW hub fit into the overall DL network. In the DL network, the DFW hub primarily served to connect flights from the west to cities between DFW and ATL. That is not a lot of geography and population to help support a hub profitably, especially when DL was competing against a much larger AA for local DFW O&D and connecting passengers.

Within the past year, someone posted a route map of DL's DFW hub that perfectly illustrated this scenario. I tried to locate and post it here, but could not find it.

[Edited 2013-12-15 07:59:26]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:00 pm

DL also wanted to maintain their hub at SLC. AA was always undercutting DL at DFW. At SLC they had no real competition from any other major airline.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:07 pm

The hub was a financial drain and they never had a chance against AA in the long run.
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commavia
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:22 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
but a year before announcing the closure of the hub, DL had a sizable presence of 260ish flights out of the hub.

True, although by 2004 many of those 200+ Delta departures out of DFW were on RJs - even on longer and/or higher-profile routes like OAK and DCA. This was woefully uncompetitive up against both the frequency and capacity AA was offering in these markets, and so once DFW became largely RJs, the writing was pretty much on the wall.

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
I think the reason why had a lot to do with how the DFW hub fit into the overall DL network. In the DL network, the DFW hub primarily served to connect flights from the west to cities between DFW and ATL. That is not a lot of geography and population to help support a hub profitably, especially when DL was competing against a much larger AA for local DFW O&D and connecting passengers.

To an extent. DFW was an attractive hub for Delta in large part of the same reason it was an attractive hub for Braniff, and still is an attractive hub for AA: it's in an extremely favorable location, and it's a large local market. The problem for Delta was that while DFW was the perfectly place for east-west connections across the continent, Delta could never support the same level of flying as the dominant force in the market, AA. Markets where Delta would operate 2-3 daily mainline flights would see 8-10 on AA. And that was just not competitive in the post-9/11 world.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:33 pm

One thing that intrigued me for whatever reason was that when they finally shuttered the hub, they only had service remaining to three cities, I believe: ATL, CVG, and SLC. No LGA, DCA, LAX, etc. Nowadays it seems when a hub is closed there remains a vestigial presences of what once was. With DFW, DL was done.

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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:39 pm

DL came to the decision that it needed to shut down one of its hubs. Understandably, they decided to keep fighting a winning battle at SLC vs. WN (and to a much lesser extent, B6) rather than a losing battle at DFW vs. AA. DFW was a largely RJ, 100% domestic hub by that point. DL served a few unique niche markets from DFW that AA did not, but AA quickly filled the void after the dehubbing.
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:40 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 13):

They moved many of the RJ flights to SLC, as I recall.





At the time, management was telling us in SLC that it was between us and DFW to see which hub would survive, although, in terms of cost savings, I'm sure that DFW never really had a chance against us, as we were one of the most cost effective of the hubs for DL.
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commavia
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:35 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 13):
Nowadays it seems when a hub is closed there remains a vestigial presences of what once was.

That's because the two other hubs Delta has closed since - in CVG and MEM - were hubs that no other airline wanted or would fight Delta for, so Delta could afford to maintain a presence in select non-hub O&D markets where competition was minimal. Such a situation did not exist at DFW, where Delta knew any non-hub markets it stayed in would still be dominate by AA, only even more so post-hub closure since Delta would have so much smaller a presence in the local DFW market.

[Edited 2013-12-15 10:37:48]
 
rfields5421
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
I doubt Delta was seriously and actively planning their bankruptcy three years before it happened, anyway.
Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
doubtful. AA was not actively planning a bankruptcy filing in 2008.

There is a difference between preparing the actual bankruptcy filing, and preparing the business to enter bankruptcy.

I'm sure that Delta's decision to close the DFW hub was made with a key focus on how that decision would help the company survive a bankruptcy, or the slim chance the company could avoid bankruptcy.

When AA sarted trying to sell Eagle in 2007, they were doing that with a plan to make a bankruptcy filing 'better' for the resulting company.

Yes, I will agree that both at those times hoped to avoid bankruptcy, but it was really unavoidable because their business decisions were made primarly focused on surviving a bankruptcy intact, not on completely avoiding bankruptcy.
 
commavia
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:44 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 17):
When AA sarted trying to sell Eagle in 2007, they were doing that with a plan to make a bankruptcy filing 'better' for the resulting company.

Please provide proof for that claim.

I do not believe AMR was trying to sell Eagle in 2007 in order to improve the standing for a bankruptcy that was theoretically years off. Instead, in 2007 I think AMR was far more likely trying to sell Eagle not to smooth a bankruptcy but rather to try and monetize Eagle as Continental did years earlier. AMR was just too late to get value from spinning it off.

Indeed, in 2007 I take AMR's own management team's statements at face value that the carrier was actively seeking to avoid bankruptcy, not actively planning for it or "preparing the business" for it - particularly given that in 2007 AMR generated over $350M of net profit, over $1.5B in operating cash flow, and was arguably the strongest network airline in the U.S.

[Edited 2013-12-15 10:51:28]
 
BC77008
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:10 pm

In hindsight (and perhaps even foresight) dehubbing DFW was an important step for DL to get it's costs in control and also made NW an even more attractive merger partner. I couldn't imagine a 2008 newly merged DL with hubs in ATL, MEM, and DFW.
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N160LH
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:41 pm

Because some @$$holes flew some planes into some buildings... But I really enjoyed my move to ATL because of that... o_O
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CIDFlyer
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:46 pm

In the end DL really couldnt compete running a MEM style hub (mostly RJ's and less than 300 daily flights) against AA's schedule of 750 + and mostly mainline flights. AA & UA are more competitive at ORD in terms of schedules and plane sizes (600 flights for UA vs 500 flights for AA)....DL & AA at DFW were not. In the end DL would get MEM, MSP & DTW to perform some of the functions that DFW played (mid continent hubs). I remember them touting MEM as being sort of a "replacement" for the hole DFW left them in getting back to some TX markets...but in the end even MEM couldnt hang in there and is gone, unfortunately, now.
 
uncgso
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:19 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
Within the past year, someone posted a route map of DL's DFW hub that perfectly illustrated this scenario. I tried to locate and post it here, but could not find it.

There are some maps here:

DL DFW Hub Routes (by united319 Nov 2 2011 in Civil Aviation)
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:23 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 11):
The hub was a financial drain and they never had a chance against AA in the long run.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
At SLC they had no real competition from any other major airline.

I'm thinking, when DFW works, it's a wonder to behold.

But when compromised by weather -- summer or winter -- you can be there for days.

No such problems with SLC. Best to cut and run and forget the DFW setup (and the weather-related L-1011 disaster) ever existed.
 
alfa164
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:22 pm

After AA's decision to make DFW its biggest hub, Delta was - and always would be - in second place. DFW was profitable for Delta on-and-off, but not continuously. What they decided (mistakenly, in my opinion), to sacrifice mainline flights and replace them with ASA's RJ's, otherwise-loyal Delta flyers - Delta had more Medallion members in Dallas than in any other market in the world, except for Atlanta - left in droves. Costs of RJ flying soared, passenger count went down; it was a terrible move.

One other factor entered the equation, according to a friend of mine in upper ranks of DL at that time: Delta was angling with its pilots for a huge wage reduction, in hope of putting its finances back on track. The pilots union made a very generous offer, conditioned on management doing "something dramatic" to show it, too, was serious about restructuring. After considerable discussion and wringing of hands, management decided dehubbing DFW would be that signal.

There are two other interesting factoids: with the move to all the RJ flying out of DFW, Delta's profits from the hub plunged - but ASA, then wholly-owned by Delta - showed soaring profits (I was told $150 million/year), which actually, if not counted separately on the books, more than overcame mainline's loss. The other item I found interesting was a report of Jim Whitehurst's later comment (he was then COO, and later, post-bankruptcy, considered to be one of the two top contenders to become CEO) that dehubbong DFW was "the worst decision we ever made". Perhaps someone else who was a part of Delta during those days can tell us more.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:53 pm

Quoting KenanC (Thread starter):
I am sure they regret it, because now AA is dominating the market.

I doubt they regret it but at least they are around to be able to do that. They were suffering greatly and who knows if they would have survived if they kept DFW
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:27 pm

Quoting N160LH (Reply 20):


Because some @$$holes flew some planes into some buildings...

A good answer for many of the questions posed on this site.
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mayor
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:06 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 24):
Jim Whitehurst's later comment (he was then COO, and later, post-bankruptcy, considered to be one of the two top contenders to become CEO)

Actually, he was in competition with Ed Bastian for the job of President..........when he didn't get it, he left in a huff (or maybe it was a taxi).

Quoting commavia (Reply 18):

Indeed, in 2007 I take AMR's own management team's statements at face value that the carrier was actively seeking to avoid bankruptcy, not actively planning for it or "preparing the business" for it - particularly given that in 2007 AMR generated over $350M of net profit, over $1.5B in operating cash flow, and was arguably the strongest network airline in the U.S.

The way I understand it, the only reason that AA filed was so they could dump the pensions because, financially, they were in pretty good shape.
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Okie
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:19 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 24):
Delta had more Medallion members in Dallas than in any other market in the world, except for Atlanta - left in droves. Costs of RJ flying soared, passenger count went down; it was a terrible move.

  

Quoting N160LH (Reply 20):
Because some @$$holes flew some planes into some buildings...

Along with the Dotcom bubble busting.

I flew at least every other week if not more often on DL roughly during 1983-1998 time frame OKC-DFW-XXX on Thursday nights and XXX-DFW-OKC return on Sunday nights. Seldom were those flights less than full but I could not give you a clue about yield or loads on other flights.
One other thing to remember was DL at DFW did banks then, sometimes you would be held at the gate or late boarding waiting for a few to arrive on a connecting flight which always gave the impression that things were busy because most every flight was late departing.
The banking was a blessing if your flight was late to DFW because the connecting flight would generally be held. The down side as the day wore on by evening you were at least two hours late getting to your destination.
The impression was at least that DL had enough passengers at that point to sustain a hub operation at DFW.

About 1998 TW got the contract and moved most of my business to them at that time.

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TWA85
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:35 am

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):

Agreed. There was not really much that DFW could accomplish that ATL could not, and what DFW could accomplish better than ATL was not worth the resources.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:30 am

SLC was consistently profitable and DFW was not. DFW they had to share with AA and WN so it was hard to ever really be the peoples airline there. It was like an always uphill battle at Dallas always playing second or third fiddle. Plus we need to remember Southwest had extreme interest in SLC at the time also which made Delta very defensive and out to save its asset. It was much better to have SLC all your own which was consistent and ditch DFW.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:57 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 27):
Actually, he was in competition with Ed Bastian for the job of President..........when he didn't get it, he left in a huff (or maybe it was a taxi).

No its was CEO.

And everyone said (though I don't think Gerry ever said it) Gerry was also upset because he recommended him for the CEO job.

The BOD, on the other hand, wanted its merger......and wanted the exNW guy to do it. Jim wanted Delta to stand alone.


"Besides the consolidation issue, the Anderson appointment also raises questions about Chief Operating Officer James Whitehurst's future with the airline. He had been one of two top internal candidates to replace Grinstein."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2007/08/21/AR2007082101217.html

IMO the plan was for Jim to be CEO and Ed to be President.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:07 am

I think it's interesting that no one, so far, has brought up HOW LONG Delta hubbed at the Dallas metroplex, against more competitors than just AA.
Delta was one of the earliest- and largest tenants of Dallas Love Field, with half of the Yellow Concourse dedicated solely to Delta Air Lines. The other half belonging to Braniff, of course, until Braniff moved out in 1968.
Dallas has been one of Delta's main focus cities since the late 1940's.
When the move to DFW happened, AA wasn't that much larger than DL, and neither were as large as Braniff, who (At the time) was the ONLY carrier to require an entire terminal (2W, now B) to themselves.
The loss of Delta was truly a paradigm shift for Dallas / Fort Worth area travelers.
And yes, there were many loyal DL SkyMiles members in the DFW area. My family not included.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:13 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 32):
The loss of Delta was truly a paradigm shift for Dallas / Fort Worth area travelers.

agreed.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 32):
And yes, there were many loyal DL SkyMiles members in the DFW area.

Again, never been said publicly but I have heard people say its still the largest SM base outside of Atlanta. (though I would bet DET/MSP are bigger)

That said I do think the last time I saw it was home to more Delta employees than MSP. (again, 2nd to Atlanta) I know quite a few people that still live in Dallas and work in Atlanta....even almost 10 years since the hub shut down.

I have seen hundreds of non-revs trying to get to ATL or out to Dallas. Hopefully the company opens the satellite FA base out there. (and a Line maint. base, IIRC they don't have one)
 
questions
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:24 am

Which came first in the DL network, DFW or SLC? Could DFW have worked without SLC?

A little nostalgia: I remember flying ATL-DFW-ATL in F, burgundy leather seats, on an L1011.
 
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:37 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 2):
2. been large enough at the time of the DL/NW merger that it would have never been approved, and they would be on their own right now.

Delta dehubbed DFW because they couldn't make money there. They didn't shrink capacity, only redeployed aircraft to other hubs.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:10 am

Quoting questions (Reply 34):

Dallas, by far.

Delta's first route was DAL-SHV-MLU-JAN.


Delta didn't have a hub in SLC till 87 when they merged with Western.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:37 pm

During this time, this was when DL decided they needed to fortify and restructure ATL. FL had grown significantly and had gaining pricing power in the ATL market. DL realized that the CVG experiment was not working and DFW was in a death-spiral as RJs were not able to compete against AA's massive size. They realized that ATL and SLC could handle many of the same flows as DFW. The aircraft were used to ramp-up the size of ATL in order to be able to compete against FL.
The introduction of the E170s helped move some traffic over SLC and connect longer/thinner markets to the west coast hub.

Same with the draw-down in CVG which was close to 600 flights a day during this time.

2004-2005 really is what set in motion many of the network changes leading up to the merger.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 33):
Again, never been said publicly but I have heard people say its still the largest SM base outside of Atlanta. (though I would bet DET/MSP are bigger) That said I do think the last time I saw it was home to more Delta employees than MSP. (again, 2nd to Atlanta) I know quite a few people that still live in Dallas and work in Atlanta....even almost 10 years since the hub shut down

While I would not be surprised if these numbers were true at some point in the past, I would question if they really are still true today when looking at the post-merger airline. This sounds like some old wives tale that was true but keeps on being repeated and accepted as if it were true today, 10 years past the hub closure and 5 years post-merger.

I would be very surprised to find out that there are more Skymilers holders in DFW than DTW, MSP, or NYC.
I would extremely surprised to find out there are more employees living in DFW than in any of the hub markets (including SLC and CVG).
Granted DFW is one of the largest metro areas in the country and with the commutable nature of many airline positions, it would be no surprise to have many commuting pilots and FAs living in the area and commuting to their base. However when you factor in all of the gate, ramp, maintenance, and management positions, its highly unlikely DFW-area DL residents surpasses the major hubs.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:29 pm

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 24):
The other item I found interesting was a report of Jim Whitehurst's later comment (he was then COO, and later, post-bankruptcy, considered to be one of the two top contenders to become CEO) that dehubbong DFW was "the worst decision we ever made".

The mistake that doomed DL's DFW hub was made in 1980, not in the early 00's.

By 1980, it was apparent that Braniff was in dire trouble. American made the decision to re deploy aircraft from other parts of their system (mainly point to point routes out of LGA that had been made unprofitable by New York Air) to build a major hub at DFW. AA added flights not just to cities dominated by Braniff (like AUS, AMA, and LBB) but also to cities dominated by DL like JAN, SHV, and BTR.

Although DL, as others have said, was not that much smaller than AA at DFW, they sat on their hands, rather than battle both BN and AA. AA's finances were better than BN's, but not even remotely as strong as DL's. If DL had decided to fight hard, they could have become the dominant airline at DFW.

Instead, DL watched the AA / BN battle from the sidelines. After Braniff collapsed, AA became the dominant airline in DFW, and has never looked back. Although DL did try to build DFW into a major hub after Braniff's shutdown, they have always been playing catchup to AA.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:33 pm

Playing catch-up true. Although, back in the early-1980s the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex was not anywhere near the size, scale, and the economic powerhouse that is it today. I doubt DL (or AA) could even predict the staggering amount of growth in north Texas over the past 25-30 years.
 
questions
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:23 am

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 39):
...the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex was not anywhere near the size, scale, and the economic powerhouse that is it today.

What is the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex?
 
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NOLAWildcat
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:43 am

Quoting questions (Reply 40):
What is the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex?

The Metroplex is the local slang for the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area. Back around the time DFW opened in 1974, the local business community began to push the name as the two cities became more integrated and essentially began to function as one big metro area. There were studies conducted that the "North Texas" label that the area was then usually identified with was less recognizable on the national level. Back then, the DFW airport itself was seen as a big achievement for the area and a symbol of the future and the area's growing prominence. The "Metroplex" name was part of the same effort to push the area into the public consciousness. Along with a business-friendly atmosphere, the effort succeeded. In the mid-1970's the total population of the metro area was only around 2.5-3 million. It's now 6.5 million and still growing more quickly than almost anywhere else in the country.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:43 am

Quoting questions (Reply 40):
What is the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex?

It's a cutesy little phrase used to refer to the Dallas Ft. Worth Metropolitan area. I think Metroplex is supposed to be a combination of the words Metropolitan and Complex.

LoneStarMike
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:45 am

I spent about 18 months in DFW and the local media always referred to the region as the DFW Metroplex and North Texas which truly encompasses everything in the greater surrounding area.
 
tyler81190
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:37 am

Quoting jetdeltamsy (Reply 35):
Delta dehubbed DFW because they couldn't make money there. They didn't shrink capacity, only redeployed aircraft to other hubs.

I'm not saying they made money, I am just giving a what if situation... Who knows, they could have turned a profit eventually and been bigger than they were before the NW merger. Therefore they may not have gotten their merger approved. But like I said, I think they made the right move, I mean look at where they are today!
 
sldispatcher
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:22 pm

As a recovering Delta Medallion member, let me add what I consider to be one of the bigger issues with DFW and Delta towards the end.

The RJ's were certainly an issue, but that is not the whole story. Many of us that live in spokes had to go through a time when we had to avoid SF3's as well. So an RJ over that looks like you just grabbed the homecoming queen as your prom date.


The real blow came with the following 2 issues:

1) A disastrous schedule that creeped in with the RJ "crisis". We went from having 3 convenient westbound banks to connections of up to 3 hours for WB flights at Dallas. It seemed like far more flights were timed to either make connection back to the East (I live in SHV).
Similar problems were present when trying to get back home from Western connections. The industry was really turning to frequency over per flight capacity by then. However, there was no real effort to offer frequency, just a replacement of mainline flights with RJ's. Cutting to profitability. Right.

2) Devaluation of a frequent flyer program elite earning status when other carriers were did not make such a drastic move. That one seemed to have hit Delta overall but a hub on the razor's edge of sustainability was probably going to feel the effect first.

Just my 2 cents.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:33 pm

Last night, I re read Forbes Magazine's Sep 15 1980 cover story on Delta Air Lines. The article said that Delta was the sixth largest airline, but the five airlines larger than DL (UA, AA, WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW, PA, and EA) were all in trouble. The article predicted that DL would be able to grow faster than its competitors under deregulation because it had a modern fleet, a largely non union work force, and almost no debt, and would be the nation's largest airline by 1990.

The article also pointed out that DL was in such good shape because its management was much more cautious than its competitors, and hadn't made mistakes like over buying 747s, or expanding too quickly.

I feel DL's cautious approach under David Garrett and his predecessors was right overall, but I also feel DL did lose out on some opportunities because of its caution. This is why DL allowed AA to become the dominant airline at DFW, and it's also why, despite the WA merger, DL was only the third largest airline in 1990.
 
ord
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:47 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 38):
Although DL, as others have said, was not that much smaller than AA at DFW, they sat on their hands, rather than battle both BN and AA. AA's finances were better than BN's, but not even remotely as strong as DL's. If DL had decided to fight hard, they could have become the dominant airline at DFW.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Delta did fight hard at DFW. When deregulation began, Delta had around 50 departures a day at DFW. While not a small operation, AA was around double that with about 100 departures. So Delta was a lot smaller than AA and was at a disadvantage from the start.

Delta did not just sit on their hands. Right after deregulation, they announced they would build DFW into a major hub (a move that did not sit well in Houston, as IAH had lobbied Delta to make that airport a hub instead of DFW). In fact, one of their first new routes after deregulation was DFW-LGA. Around 1983 I believe they ordered a bunch of new 737s specifically to grow DFW. Delta also continually added to their 4E terminal to handle all of the increased flights until they built it all out. Then they built the satellite terminal for additional space. They added flights to such far-flung places as Frankfurt and Honolulu. Growing DFW was a major aggessive move by an airline that traditionally had avoided such moves.

Alas, no matter what Delta did AA did more. If Delta had 5 flights between DFW-LAX AA had 10. AA didn't move their headquarters from New York to the DFW area to be second fiddle. They wanted to be the dominant airline at DFW and were not going to let Delta surpass them no matter what. With more flights, AA has had pricing power and was able to get more revenue per flight than Delta.

Delta's largest move was in the early 1990s, when their mainline flights peaked at around 260 and their market share was around 30%, with their Easy Street promotion highlighting all flights in one easy terminal (versus AA who was spread across multiple terminals). The goal of the promotion was to steal market share from AA. After six months, the promotion was a failure and Delta had actually lost share to AA. That was the writing on the wall that Delta would never be able to overtake AA and the DFW market.

The hub slowly declined from there, first with mainline reductions and then with the move to mostly RJs, until the hub finally closed.
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:54 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 13):
One thing that intrigued me for whatever reason was that when they finally shuttered the hub, they only had service remaining to three cities, I believe: ATL, CVG, and SLC. No LGA, DCA, LAX, etc. Nowadays it seems when a hub is closed there remains a vestigial presences of what once was. With DFW, DL was done.

The situation with DL in 2004/2005 was far more dire than DL in 2013/2014. That spells the difference between DFW vs. MEM. Even though MEM is now "de-hubbed" it still has linkages via DL to multiple markets as point-to-point services across the US.

Even more noteworthy, as has been discussed many times here, why would DL want to retain 1-2x daily services to LAX, DCA, LAS etc. from DFW when AA is flying to those markets 8-10x daily? At MEM, there is not another competitor that DL has to worry about, and the market merits some small volume of o&d to support those vestigial routes.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 42):
It's a cutesy little phrase used to refer to the Dallas Ft. Worth Metropolitan area. I think Metroplex is supposed to be a combination of the words Metropolitan and Complex.

I used to think that it was an actual English dictionary word until I interned with the Dallas Morning News one summer and was chided for using that term. It's a bad habit we acquire as people educated in North Texas  
 
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b727fa
Posts: 1079
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RE: Why Exactly Did DL Dehub DFW?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:05 pm

See that's not what I've heard at all...I was told they couldn't find PBE's big enough to go over the DFW crew's hair. 
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