JDAirCEO
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Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:32 pm

Sorry, I could not resit poking the CLT fan-boy beehive a bit...

No there has not been a large amount of flight reductions due to the merger but we've actually seen very little movement in any hubs or markets and we all know there will be large shifts. Also, we all know one of the main principles of an airline merger is to rightsize hubs, markets, and aircraft to the merged airline's new cost structure.
Knowing that, we have the following comment from an American Airlines Director to the Charlotte City Council:

"Charlotte Douglas is unique: A huge hub with a small passenger base.

“Charlotte’s population compared to other hubs is very low,” Montross said.

As a result, 80 percent of the airport’s passengers are connecting, not starting or stopping their trips in the city. The city also has the smallest “unit revenue,” or the revenue the airline gets from each passenger, of any East Coast hub."

Read more here:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...th.html#.U49gznLIYRk#storylink=cpy
An MD-80 is great... in first class
 
JetBlueCLT
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:53 pm

That's alright, I get a good chuckle out of these threads when people bash CLT. I've been reading on here for years.... They keep bashing but we keep getting more and more service! Fine by me, with a new terminal schedule to take place, Bcon getting extended Econ getting expanded... Can't wait to see the growth in this merger. Been living here for a decade now, back in 03 there was about 22ish million pax, I believe were up to 43 mil. Being one of the fastest growing cities in America, the population numbers will be in favor of the O/D in a few years.

In 2014 alone CLT has/will see 10 new routes, 9 from US and 1 from F9


Terri Pope, AA Vice President- "Charlotte will absolutely remain a huge piece of American's future"

I myself would like to see DL add SEA and LAX.
Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, Pirates and Charlotte Hornets Fan
 
727LOVER
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:45 pm

Quoting JDAirCEO (Thread starter):
Read more here:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...k=cpy

I'm getting PAGE NOT FOUND error
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
JDAirCEO
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:47 pm

An MD-80 is great... in first class
 
Prost
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:54 pm

From the article is this council member quote:

"City Council members also aired some of their gripes about air travel. Council member Claire Fallon said seats are too small on crowded planes.

“Those seats are made for midgets now. It’s really ridiculous. It’s uncomfortable, and it does not serve the public,” Fallon said.

“We do like to think providing those seats does a great service for the public, but I take those comments to heart and I’ll pass them along,” Montross said."

I then googled images of council member Claire Fallon. Memo to Ms. Fallon: it isn't the seats.
 
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AVLAirlineFreq
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:55 pm

What's the over/under on the number of replies before someone states with authority that CLT will be de-hubbed?
 
JDAirCEO
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:21 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 4):
I then googled images of council member Claire Fallon. Memo to Ms. Fallon: it isn't the seats.

Ha, that is awesome and you are very correct, I'm sure she would also complain about ticket prices if the seats were at a size she found comfortable.
An MD-80 is great... in first class
 
HPRamper
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:15 am

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 5):
What's the over/under on the number of replies before someone states with authority that CLT will be de-hubbed?

CLT is clearly the weakest hub in the new AA system and within two years it will look like PIT. MIA is a much better hub for the Southeast and anything between Florida and JFK is basically flyover country anyway. Let DL have the region with ATL, maybe F9 can start a focus city at CLT after AA dehubs that waste of terminal space.
 
silentbob
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:11 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 7):
MIA is a much better hub for the Southeast and anything between Florida and JFK is basically flyover country anyway.

That's an extremely arrogant and disrespectful thing to say and explains a lot of your "conclusions".
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:23 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 7):
CLT is clearly the weakest hub in the new AA system and within two years it will look like PIT.

That is actually 100% impossible in that timeframe CLT is way too large a hub to happen that fast. Plus CLT prints money why would they leave? Rightsize or move some flights, sure. AA would be crazy not to move stuff around and reduce some redundant flying.

MIA is a horrific location for domestic transfers, CLT is an ideal location.
 
flyguy89
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:28 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 8):
Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 9):

OMG do people have their sarcasm detectors turned off tonight?
 
JValjean
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:32 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 9):
CLT prints money why would they leave? Rightsize or move some flights, sure. AA would be crazy not to move stuff around and reduce some redundant flying.

MIA is a horrific location for domestic transfers, CLT is an ideal location.



Agreed.. The local airport authority is in the process of improving the terminal and expanding parking capacity which American as the successor of US Airways is on the hook for financially, making outright "abandonment" far less likely.

see: http://leeakaras.zenfolio.com/p312103842#h468f9a5

[Edited 2014-06-05 00:35:47]
 
macc
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:42 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 4):
then googled images of council member Claire Fallon. Memo to Ms. Fallon: it isn't the seats.

:D made my day
I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
 
bobnwa
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:56 pm

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 5):
What's the over/under on the number of replies before someone states with authority that CLT will be de-hubbed?

What is the over/under that the remark will come from our Miami expert?
 
HPRamper
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:55 pm

Quoting silentbob (Reply 8):
Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 9):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 10):

  
 
crj900lr
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:25 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 7):
CLT is clearly the weakest hub in the new AA system and within two years it will look like PIT. MIA is a much better hub for the Southeast and anything between Florida and JFK is basically flyover country anyway. Let DL have the region with ATL, maybe F9 can start a focus city at CLT after AA dehubs that waste of terminal space.

Clearly this is someone who does not see the big picture.
 
PEK777
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:45 pm

As with any merger, the hubs will be right-sized. this unfortunately means the elimination of phx and the reduction of clt to a mere focus city based on limited o/d to leisure markets-no different than cvg or cle. You should note, both these former hubs also begin with the letter 'C'., which is the letter CLT begins with. As such, CLT is doomed. This is scientific fact.
 
silentbob
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:49 pm

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 10):
OMG do people have their sarcasm detectors turned off tonight?

Generally, people include an emoji or some other way to denote sarcasm. Some of us don't spend out lives on here to know the posting history and personal opinions of every other member.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:41 pm

Quoting silentbob (Reply 17):
Generally, people include an emoji or some other way to denote sarcasm. Some of us don't spend out lives on here to know the posting history and personal opinions of every other member.

I'm sorry....but that's got nothing to do with it. I saw that last night and immediately knew he was being sarcastic.

I mean....c'mon:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 7):
that waste of terminal space.

Really?????

Refresh my memory:

What TATL is CLT losing & how many of those don't have MIA flights on AA?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:46 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 18):
What TATL is CLT losing & how many of those don't have MIA flights on AA?

BCN, LIS, BRU and MAN are likely not coming back.

FCO and DUB are probably gone too, IMO.

MIA only has non-stops to BCN of those; I think it could gain MAN and FCO on AA metal, but likely not BRU/DUB/LIS.

And let's not think AA hasn't told CLT officials this. It put an international terminal on hold and instead is building more domestic gates, and that's for a reason: AA probably told them, "don't waste your money."
a.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:08 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 19):
BCN, LIS, BRU and MAN are likely not coming back.

FCO and DUB are probably gone too, IMO.

MIA only has non-stops to BCN of those

Then why is this seen as merger-related? Wouldn't this have happened anyway?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:10 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 20):
Then why is this seen as merger-related? Wouldn't this have happened anyway?

No, it's merger related. If US didn't want to fly them, it could easily have parked some 762s. It's not like they had new airplanes that needed to fly somewhere.
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HPRamper
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:38 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 18):
I'm sorry....but that's got nothing to do with it. I saw that last night and immediately knew he was being sarcastic.

I was being sarcastic.

The sad thing here is that the most over-the-top unrealistic and ignorant things I could think of apparently sound very similar to some serious comments that have been made on the subject.
 
point2point
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:03 pm

Quoting JDAirCEO (Reply 3):
Give this one a try:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...lt-detail-growth.html#.U493zXLIYRk

I don't really know.....    but am gonna end up commenting anyways like most here, eh? Anyone have a crystal ball that really works?

I personally find that there are really a lot of maybe ominous remarks by AA officials here?

First...... and probably most important

Charlotte Douglas is unique: A huge hub with a small passenger base.

“Charlotte’s population compared to other hubs is very low,” Montross said.

As a result, 80 percent of the airport’s passengers are connecting, not starting or stopping their trips in the city. The city also has the smallest “unit revenue,” or the revenue the airline gets from each passenger, of any East Coast hub.


The fact that this is even being brought up by an AA official suggests to me an ominous fact. Almost all current hubs in the U.S. are at least 50% or more O&D (at least with domestic routes) to connect pax. And the secret is long out of the bag that U.S carriers are setting their sites on attracting O&D pax on their routes. I can't see how the new AA/US will be any different.

“Our route structure will be under review until at least late 2015,” said Montross. “This is the question I get a lot.

I believe that the new AA/US officials made a commitment to the hubs of no changes for at least 3 years, eh? But after 3 years..... well, all bets are going to be off, especially after the route structure review the new AA/US is going to be doing until late 2015.


American Airlines and Charlotte Douglas International officials detailed plans for growth at a City Council meeting Monday, but also said that the carrier’s flight schedule will be under review for more than a year.

First, okay, maybe add a flight or two to OMA, or GRR, or such, but then cut the 6-7-8-9 daily flight to ORF, AVL, GPS, TRI, ROA, CHA, LYH, etc., (there's probably a dozen or so more of these regionals to CLT) to about 2 or 3 daily flights? CLT has an awful high number of these flights which probably produce no O&D, but can fill low-yield connects. But are these low-yield connects really what the new AA/US want, given the higher cost structure? Then without all these regional low-yield connect pax, will the new AA/US really need 6 or so dailies to LAX, or SFO, or DEN, etc.?

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 9):
That is actually 100% impossible in that timeframe CLT is way too large a hub to happen that fast.

Unlikely.... maybe? 100% Impossible? Uh-uh..... just talk to the folks at PIT after they basically built a brand new airport for US's 400 plus daily flights and all the expansion that was supposed to happen there, eh? IIRC, PIT's dehubbing was practically overnight.

Quoting PEK777 (Reply 16):
As with any merger, the hubs will be right-sized.

So if CLT ends up with about 300 total daily flights for the new AA/US, it still would be considered a hub for them, and a rather large one at that, eh?

Quoting PEK777 (Reply 16):
This is scientific fact.

Well, maybe more of a statistical fact, eh? With CLT only producting 20% O&D, while most other U.S. hubs are producing at least 50% O&D, this does tend to stick out as a statistical anomaly, eh? And the fact that this 20% O&D fact is now brought up by an AA official...... hmmmmm? Of course, with statistics, even if something is one in a million..... there's always that one out there, eh?

So.... I leave here at this time with my summation of that I don't know.....

 
 
commavia
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:16 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 23):
First, okay, maybe add a flight or two to OMA, or GRR, or such, but then cut the 6-7-8-9 daily flight to ORF, AVL, GPS, TRI, ROA, CHA, LYH, etc., (there's probably a dozen or so more of these regionals to CLT) to about 2 or 3 daily flights?

I agree in general with the point you're making but I don't think the (in my view inevitable) drawdown in frequency will be anywhere near as severe as your suggesting. I think the combination of post-merger economics and the gradual upgauging of 50-seat RJs to larger 2-class RJs will definitely necessitate a reduction in flights in some markets. But I don't think routes that today have 6-9 round trips will drop down to 2-3 - not that extreme.

Quoting point2point (Reply 23):
CLT has an awful high number of these flights which probably produce no O&D, but can fill low-yield connects. But are these low-yield connects really what the new AA/US want, given the higher cost structure? Then without all these regional low-yield connect pax, will the new AA/US really need 6 or so dailies to LAX, or SFO, or DEN, etc.?

Again, the combined airline's higher costs, the evolving mix of local versus connecting, etc. all will necessitate some changes - at CLT and across the network. But I don't think it will be anything all that drastic - fewer flights, some routes dropped altogether, but I have no doubt CLT will continue to be a massive hub - at least 500 daily flights if not more.
 
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compensateme
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:36 pm

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 13):
What is the over/under that the remark will come from our Miami expert?

While I don't agree with everything he says, he brings up some valid points.

Facts:
-- As measured in pure capacity, CLT is the third-largest hub in the country despite the fact that it may finish 2014 as the smallest local market of any hub (sans CVG). Imagine SLC, whose local market is similar to CLT's, having 650+ daily departures & 70K seats.
-- A little over a decade ago LAXIntl posted a thread comparing hubs by local traffic. Three of the top five have been de-hubbed and a fourth (CVG)'s went from 650 daily flights to barely 100. The #1 spot? CLT. And its % connecting traffic has actually grown.
-- US Airways leveraged its low labor costs against larger equipment to give itself a cost advantage that enabled it to undercut its competition hence why US's average connecting fares lag the competition. HPdbaAA will no longer have low labor costs nor will it have a need to seek revenue gains through low fares. Instead, it can seek growth opportunities in places like ORD & LAX.

The AA-US merger just closed. After DL-NW closed, it took over 2 years before dramatic changes (including extensive cross-fleeting) took place. I believe it's inevitable that capacity from CLT is shifted elsewhere... but it's foolhardy to expect it to happen overnight. CLT will remain a large hub for AA, but it'll likely rescind to service levels seen in the mid-2000s, which puts it at about the size of MSP & DTW.
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MAH4546
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:41 pm

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 13):
Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 5):What's the over/under on the number of replies before someone states with authority that CLT will be de-hubbed?

What is the over/under that the remark will come from our Miami expert?

Please find me a post where I said the Charlotte hub will close. Oh, yeah, that's right! I've never said that. Good try.

It will shrink to 450-500 daily departures within 5 years as AA, like all airlines, rationalizes capacity. As a hub that is heavily concentrated on connecting low-yield traffic and with little respective O&D, it's going to see the most rationalization.

[Edited 2014-06-05 15:42:21]
a.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:29 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 23):
So if CLT ends up with about 300 total daily flights for the new AA/US, it still would be considered a hub for them, and a rather large one at that, eh?

I would still call that significant

Quoting compensateme (Reply 25):
Imagine SLC, whose local market is similar to CLT's, having 650+ daily departures & 70K seats.

There are a LOT more markets within a 500 mile radius of CLT than SLC

Quoting compensateme (Reply 25):
HPdbaAA will no longer have low labor costs

Can someone explain this to me. Wasn't the one of the main goals of AA's bankruptcy to lower labor costs?


To me, there is no point to this merger if they were going to de-hub CLT
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
point2point
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:46 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 26):
It will shrink to 450-500 daily departures within 5 years as AA, like all airlines, rationalizes capacity. As a hub that is heavily concentrated on connecting low-yield traffic and with little respective O&D, it's going to see the most rationalization.

I would think that if it's closer to 400 daily flights, this will be about the correct rationalization.

Quoting commavia (Reply 24):
I agree in general with the point you're making but I don't think the (in my view inevitable) drawdown in frequency will be anywhere near as severe as your suggesting.

Within 400 miles of CLT (probably an easy day's drive for most) there are about 40 non-hub airports (were not including in these 40 ATL, DCA, IAD, CVG and BWI) that receive extensive air service to CLT..... probably much, much more that can account for any reasonable O&D. I've listed these airports and an approximate amount of daily flights that they have with CLT......

AGS - 6, AVL - 7, BHM - 5, BNA - 8, CAE - 7, CHA - 6, CHO - 7, CHS - 9, CMH - 8, CRW- 6, DAY - 7, EWN - 7, FAY - 7, FLO - 6, GNV - 4, GSO - 8, GSP - 6, HHH - 6, HSV - 5, HTS - 5, ILM - 7, JAX - 7, LEX - 6, LYH - 5, MGM - 3, MYR - 8, OAJ - 8, ORF - 7, PGV - 6, PHF- 6, PIT - 9, RDU - 8, RIC - 8, ROA - 7, SAV - 9, SBY - 2, SDF - 8, TLH - 4, TRI - 5, TYS - 8,

for a total of about some 260 flights here. Yes, they all are on either DH birds, or the smaller jets so that there isn't an overwhelming amount of seats on each of these flights, but yet in total they are way too much in terms of CLT O&D.

Now.... how much of the above is the new AA/US really going to keep? 2 to 3 flights to most of these stations above would still probably be far above the O&D demand with CLT, yet would be sustainable to to maintain a decent hub at CLT.

So... assuming that we give 2.5 flights to each of the above, that 100 flights needed here, and not 260. Already, we have a reduction of 160 flights out of CLT. And going along with the chain reaction here, how much capacity can be cut now to other stations from CLT outside a 400 mile limit as these were, where both CLT O&D, and connects from these above stations can be served? Easily, another 100-150 flights gone.

Assuming all of the above, CLT ending up between 300-350 daily AA flights will still probably not have the O&D at CLT above 50%.

Just sayin......

 
 
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compensateme
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:01 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 27):
Can someone explain this to me. Wasn't the one of the main goals of AA's bankruptcy to lower labor costs?

AA's labor costs prior to bankruptcy has nothing to do with US Airways's historical operations. While AA was able to lower its labor costs, in order to win AA employee approval of a AA-US hook-up, Doug Parker offered a wage package than what was higher than what AA desired and, more relevant to this discussion, will significantly increase the labor costs on the US side.

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 27):
There are a LOT more markets within a 500 mile radius of CLT than SLC

Yes, but that has nothing to do with why US has operated, or intended on operating, aircraft such as 321 to places like CMH. See my above posting for my explanation.

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 27):
To me, there is no point to this merger if they were going to de-hub CLT

First off, nobody's suggesting CLT will be de-hubbed. Many of us have suggested that CLT will shrink / be right-sized to levels comparable to places like MSP & DTW (despite CLT having significantly less local traffic) and a.netters keep interpreting that as de-hubbing.

Secondly, if Doug Parker closed US Airways's hubs in CLT, PHX and PHL, using the more modern Airbus jets to expedite AA's fleet renewal while adding some capacity to ORD, NYC and LAX and the ultimate result was that AA produced profits significantly higher than that AA & US otherwise would've combined (mainly as a derivative of fares soaring due to reduced capacity)... Doug Parker and Wall Street would consider the merger highly successful.

Obviously this isn't going to happen, but a.netters really need to get over the mindset that mergers are about harmony, building great networks, bringing new planes with AVOD and generating lower fares. Sorry, that's not how business works.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
commavia
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:45 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 28):
Within 400 miles of CLT (probably an easy day's drive for most) there are about 40 non-hub airports (were not including in these 40 ATL, DCA, IAD, CVG and BWI) that receive extensive air service to CLT..... probably much, much more that can account for any reasonable O&D. I've listed these airports and an approximate amount of daily flights that they have with CLT......

AGS - 6, AVL - 7, BHM - 5, BNA - 8, CAE - 7, CHA - 6, CHO - 7, CHS - 9, CMH - 8, CRW- 6, DAY - 7, EWN - 7, FAY - 7, FLO - 6, GNV - 4, GSO - 8, GSP - 6, HHH - 6, HSV - 5, HTS - 5, ILM - 7, JAX - 7, LEX - 6, LYH - 5, MGM - 3, MYR - 8, OAJ - 8, ORF - 7, PGV - 6, PHF- 6, PIT - 9, RDU - 8, RIC - 8, ROA - 7, SAV - 9, SBY - 2, SDF - 8, TLH - 4, TRI - 5, TYS - 8,

for a total of about some 260 flights here. Yes, they all are on either DH birds, or the smaller jets so that there isn't an overwhelming amount of seats on each of these flights, but yet in total they are way too much in terms of CLT O&D.

Now.... how much of the above is the new AA/US really going to keep? 2 to 3 flights to most of these stations above would still probably be far above the O&D demand with CLT, yet would be sustainable to to maintain a decent hub at CLT.
Quoting point2point (Reply 28):
Assuming all of the above, CLT ending up between 300-350 daily AA flights will still probably not have the O&D at CLT above 50%.

I find the above highly implausible.

First off, hubs aren't built just on local traffic, nor are many of them optimized for just that. Do you honestly think Delta is filling 1,000 daily departures out of ATL with local traffic? Of course not. So going through city by city and trying to speculate what level of flying would be sufficient to cater to local demand is really not all that relevant in the bigger picture, nor is segmenting markets that are shorter-haul, and closer to a hub. Just because cities are closer to a hub doesn't mean they necessarily warrant dramatically less daily frequency than larger cities further away - after all, it's a hub, so the connections from those smaller, nearer cities are needed to fill all those flights to the larger, further cities.

In addition, your whole thesis seems to be predicated on this idea that CLT has all these small markets relatively nearby that get 2-3x+ the amount of frequency "necessary," but that same thing could be said of many hubs in the U.S. - look at the amount of MD80s AA launches every day from DFW to cities within Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas that are all ~300mi or less away - it's dozens. And that says nothing of all the smaller Eagle cities in that same radius. The same can be said for DTW, MSP, ORD, IAH, etc.

Beyond all that, there is far more to hubs than just O&D and the stage length of spokes - perhaps equally as important, and in some cases even more so, is geography. CLT today is certainly one of the most connection-centric hubs in the U.S., but on the flight side, that's likely sustainable because of CLT's geography, which is perfect for catering to the growing southeastern U.S., and as a north-south hub for the east coast. The closest facsimile today is probably SLC - which, post-MEM and -CLE, is now the smallest hub market in the country. Like CLT, SLC punches well above its fighting weight in terms of total capacity relative to pure O&D because of its geography, and specifically its geography relative to the airline hub network of which its a part. SLC is not only one of only two hubs that can effectively cater to its region (the Rockies, the other being DEN), but it's also - critically - the only Delta hub that can do what it can do. Thus why it survives, and seems to thrive. And I think the same is completely true for CLT.

Is CLT "too big" relative to the economics of AA today, and the economics of 50-seat RJs? Yeah. Definitely. I have been agreeing with as much for going on two years now. But it's not nearly as "too big" as you're suggesting. Of course over the long-run, all else being equal, shorter stage lengths to closer markets with smaller higher-CASM aircraft will be harder hit, but I still contend that the above is far, far too drastic - 2 flights per day to CMH, RIC, BNA? Seriously? These aren't gigantic markets, but they're still quite large - there is no way a hub geographically situated as CLT is would see that low a frequency to these types of markets. If CLT is only getting 2 flights per day to BNA or RIC or CMH, then CLT isn't going to be a hub anymore - and that's just not going to happen.
 
point2point
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:09 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 30):
I find the above highly implausible.

Solely in the interest of a continuing conversation here, please pardon me but I'm not quite sure what it is that you are finding implausible? Maybe it could be on my part? Having said that, I think that the implausible part maybe has to do with the 300-350 flights part, or that

Quoting commavia (Reply 30):
First off, hubs aren't built just on local traffic, nor are many of them optimized for just that.

maybe?

Hmmmm.... I think that to cop out with "Let's agree to disagree here?" would be a disservice.

Per this recent report released by Moody's, which aggregates U.S. airport data from FY 2002 to FY 2012, it shows (on page 7, 11 lines down) that the percentage of O&D pax at hub airports went from some 46% in 2002 to some 55% in 2012. It seems that CLT clearly (as I've stated this many times previous) is a statistical anomaly.

http://archives.californiaaviation.org/airport/pdf00047.pdf

Now (and again) there's no secret that carriers are opting for O&D traffic over connect traffic, I'm hoping that we can agree with this? And what seems to be most damning in this CLT article is that an AA exec stated (something many of us have already know for quite a while) that CLT's O&D numbers are what they are - around 20%. If this isn't telling enough.... why would an AA exec announce such to CLT officials?

And now the more that I'm thinking about this.... the more that the handwriting seems to be on the wall for CLT a lot of capacity will be cut at CLT.......

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 5):
What's the over/under on the number of replies before someone states with authority that CLT will be de-hubbed?

I wouldn't exactly bet on CLT being dehubbed, but ending up with 300-350 daily flights (especially after the AA exec comment point out to CLT's dismal 20% O&D numbers - compared to the 55% national average) would be a much more likely scenario, just from the numbers.

In finishing, I have to add that I personally wish no ill on CLT (or any other airport or person for that matter) and have to even commend the management there for the extraordinary work that they have done over the years for the airport. But unfortunately, times and things change, and priorities at one point may not be current or future priorities.

If this were my local airport and this happened, I have to say that I would not be optimistic (longer term) about even more service there.

 





[Edited 2014-06-05 19:23:45]
 
commavia
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:29 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 31):
Now (and again) there's no secret that carriers are opting for O&D traffic over connect traffic

Yes and no. Airlines are opting for profit, whether it's from O&D or connections. Hubs after all have to cater to large volumes of connections - that is, after all, what makes them hubs. Thus we see AA re-peaking DFW, ORD and MIA, and United tightening banks at IAH and DEN - I doubt that is being done for the benefit (or, necessarily, at the cost) of local traffic.

Quoting point2point (Reply 31):
I wouldn't exactly bet on CLT being dehubbed, but ending up with 300-350 daily flights

Again - premise seems generally plausible, conclusion seems completely implausible.

I complete agree that given changing economics - namely, higher operating costs at post-merger AA compared to pre-merger USAirways, and the shift from 50-seat RJs to larger, 2-class small jets - CLT is almost certainly going to see a reduction in both frequency and capacity. Literally go back to the predictions I (and many others) made in the original merger announcement thread discussing changes to the hubs to see that this is not a concept I dispute.

But where you completely lose me - and, apparently, many others - is when you jump from that to CLT losing as much or more than 50% of its flying - I think that's ridiculous. CLT is far too large, well-placed and lucrative a hub - both for connections, and O&D - to be cut in half. I simply find that to be entirely unrealistic and implausible. CLT losing 10-20% of its frequency - down to around 500 daily flights? Yeah, that I can see. 50%? No way.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:30 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 31):
In finishing, I have to add that I personally wish no ill on CLT (or any other airport or person for that matter) and have to even commend the management there for the extraordinary work that they have done over the years for the airport

But you can't commend the management for keeping CPE very, very low (which, other things being equal, makes CLT a more attractive place to connect passengers than an airport like PHL) and then simultaneously predict the collapse of CLT as a connecting hub.

What exactly do you think CLT looks like at 300 daily departures? MEM in its heydey? One thing the past five years have taught us is that, at least in the eastern half of the country, hubs either need to be huge or need to be gone. The "hublet" doesn't really work anymore.
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AVLAirlineFreq
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:38 am

Quoting compensateme (Reply 29):
First off, nobody's suggesting CLT will be de-hubbed.

Not yet in this thread, but it has shown up repeatedly in others, FWIW.

Quoting commavia (Reply 24):
I agree in general with the point you're making but I don't think the (in my view inevitable) drawdown in frequency will be anywhere near as severe as your suggesting. I think the combination of post-merger economics and the gradual upgauging of 50-seat RJs to larger 2-class RJs will definitely necessitate a reduction in flights in some markets.

There's another dynamic at work here as well, which is the status of the Dash-8s. Those birds won't keep flying forever.
 
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:51 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 32):
Airlines are opting for profit, whether it's from O&D or connections.

Okay, let's rephrase...... airlines are finding the most profit in the O&D pax...... would anyone agree to that? If not, then it seems to be bucking the trend carriers have been exhibiting the last few years.

Quoting commavia (Reply 32):
CLT is almost certainly going to see a reduction in both frequency and capacity.

Okay, so we agree, but just not as to how much. By then end of 2017 maybe..... we will all have out answer, eh?

Quoting commavia (Reply 32):
is when you jump from that to CLT losing as much or more than 50% of its flying - I think that's ridiculous. CLT is far too large, well-placed and lucrative a hub - both for connections, and O&D - to be cut in half.

Talk to the folks in PIT, or STL, or CVG (although I think that this is still listed as a DL hub, albeit going from some daily 500 flights to about 100 daily flights) or ......

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
But you can't commend the management for keeping CPE very, very low

Sorry, I thought that when I commended the CLT management there, it was for the overall job that they did, CPE included. I'll try to remember to state more details in the future......

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
and then simultaneously predict the collapse of CLT as a connecting hub.

I'm not prediction CLT collapsing as a connecting hub. SLC has about 260 flights for DL, that's a hub. SFO has about 320 flights for UA, that's a hub. MIA has about 330 flights (and it's in the East) and that's a hub...... do I need to spell out a few more?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
One thing the past five years have taught us is that, at least in the eastern half of the country, hubs either need to be huge or need to be gone. The "hublet" doesn't really work anymore.

With this, I'll say let's agree to disagree.

 
 
burchfiel
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:10 am

Let's remember that based on FL787's July 2013 figures, CLT is the 3rd largest hub operation in the US. Larger than UA at IAH and ORD, larger than DL at MSP and DTW, larger than AA at MIA and ORD. I think comparisons with CVG and CLE are unwarranted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but CLT is much larger now than either of those airports ever were.

I can see international traffic going away, but CLT has proven itself as one of the major domestic hubs in the country. It's AA's chance to challenge DL at ATL for southeast traffic. For AA to reduce operations there would be a surprise to me.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 25):
Imagine SLC, whose local market is similar to CLT's, having 650+ daily departures & 70K seats.

The reason it's hard to imagine is because SLC is in a region of the US with far lower population density over the same area, which means fewer potential travelers.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_population_map.png
This map demonstrates it pretty well. The markets may be similar on a local level, but CLT is in the population-rich southeast US, whereas SLC is more or less on its own for hundreds of miles.

[Edited 2014-06-05 20:17:44]
 
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compensateme
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:17 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
But you can't commend the management for keeping CPE very, very low (which, other things being equal, makes CLT a more attractive place to connect passengers than an airport like PHL) and then simultaneously predict the collapse of CLT as a connecting hub.

What exactly do you think CLT looks like at 300 daily departures? MEM in its heydey? One thing the past five years have taught us is that, at least in the eastern half of the country, hubs either need to be huge or need to be gone. The "hublet" doesn't really work anymore.
MEM at its heyday peaked at sightly less than 300 daily departures -- with more than half on 34-seat prop aircraft and the rest mostly on 100-seat D93; there were only a handful of larger aircraft. MEM was always a "hublet." Today, CLT will peak at close to 675 daily flights (and 74K seats); and one of every flight flights will be a 321 (or 757) operating domestically. Peak physical seats have almost doubled at CLT over the past 10+ years, including nearly 25% growth in the past 5 years.

CLT can rescind to service levels of a decade ago (with a much more diverse/stronger service portfolio) or mimic a hub like MSP & DTW (peaking at ~450 departures, 50K seats) and still be a strong, successfully and even potentially more profitable hub than it is today.

Suggestions that CLT needs to maintain its size / continue to grow in order to be successful ignore the fact that CLT's grown over the past several years primarily out of desperation by US to increase its revenues. US is still offering cut rate walk up fares via CLT but that will end soon -- and so will the traffic flows that chased those fares.

Ultimately, CLT is not ATL (DL has about 2.5x the amount of local traffic, much of it generating significant revenue premium) and AA is not DL as DFW is a better option to flow many of the larger SE market's itineraries.

[Edited 2014-06-05 20:21:58]
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commavia
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:27 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 35):
Talk to the folks in PIT, or STL, or CVG

CLT is fundamentally different than PIT, STL or CVG were as hubs for a variety of reasons.

First, CLT is in a completely different place - economically and demographically - than any of those markets, with the CLT metro area having growing 5-6x as much in the last decade as those other cities. CLT also sits in the middle of a region undergoing substantial economic and population growth, which cannot be said of the Midwest where those former hubs reside. CLT also splits its region with a single other hub - there are only two hubs in the southeast, and CLT is one of them. The same cannot be said for PIT, STL and CVG - all of which were dwarfed by numerous competing hubs in the same region, serving the same purpose, with dramatically better economics of scale. And finally, and again, arguably most importantly - CLT serves a purpose in the AA network that no other AA hub can replicate. The same cannot be said of those other hubs - all of which were easily replaceable, as history has shown.

Respectfully, I think comparing CLT to PIT, STL and CVG undermines, rather than strengthens, your argument - it merely reinforces all the ways that CLT is so much stronger a hub than any of those were.

Quoting point2point (Reply 35):
I'm not prediction CLT collapsing as a connecting hub. SLC has about 260 flights for DL, that's a hub.

The size of SLC is completely irrelevant to CLT - the two situations are dramatically different, with the only think they seem to share in common being the fact that both are the "silver medal" hubs in their respective regions. But CLT is twice as large a population center as SLC, and it sits in the middle of a region that is dramatically more populous, and it's in a geographic location to regions that are even more populous still. CLT is no SLC.
 
point2point
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:55 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 38):
Respectfully, I think comparing CLT to PIT, STL and CVG undermines, rather than strengthens, your argument - it merely reinforces all the ways that CLT is so much stronger a hub than any of those were.

My only intention of using PIT, STL or CVG as examples is that airports can lose far more than 50% of their flying from a carrier.

At any rate, I can't predict the future, and I can't state with any certainty what the end result of CLT will be. Only my best goes out to all concerned there. With that, my only argument here really is numbers. And of all the numbers in the world, curious that an AA exec would show up at CLT (or thereabouts) and specifically mention (did I say specifically) to all there that CLT has a 20% O&D rate (or 80% connect rate - same thing, and then I could almost be certain that this same exec would know that the national hub rate for O&D is 55%) and to add that CLT gets the smallest “unit revenue,” or the revenue the airline gets from each passenger, of any East Coast hub.

And to take this one step further with the numbers, with all things being equal, if CLT now gets a 20% O&D rate with some 675 daily flights, it would get a 40% O&D rate with with about 340 flights, or a 55% O&D rate (the national average) with about 275 daily flights?

Just so curious that an AA exec goes to CLT and informs them of their very, very low O&D rate, and how they get less per pax than anywhere in the East, eh? Of all the things an AA exec can say to the CLT folks.......

 

[Edited 2014-06-05 20:56:54]
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:10 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 23):
Well, maybe more of a statistical fact, eh? With CLT only producting 20% O&D, while most other U.S. hubs are producing at least 50% O&D, this does tend to stick out as a statistical anomaly, eh?
Quoting point2point (Reply 31):
I wouldn't exactly bet on CLT being dehubbed, but ending up with 300-350 daily flights (especially after the AA exec comment point out to CLT's dismal 20% O&D numbers - compared to the 55% national average) would be a much more likely scenario, just from the numbers.

Aside from a few hubs along the coasts, most hubs are no where near 50% O&D. Not ATL, Not DFW, Not IAH, Not DTW, Not MSP, Not DEN, Not SLC, not ORD, not PHL, not IAD. The "Hubs" with 50% local are likely JFK, LGA, DCA, LAX, SFO, SEA maybe MIA.

While CLT is the lowest, ATL is almost as low for Delta. Airtran in ATL was 70/30 connect. Delta in ATL is something like 75/25 connect. AA in DFW is 67/33 connect.

CLT will shrink but every hub will shrink as 50 seat jets give way to larger 70-90 seat jets. But this isnt unique to CLT.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 37):
Ultimately, CLT is not ATL (DL has about 2.5x the amount of local traffic, much of it generating significant revenue premium) and AA is not DL as DFW is a better option to flow many of the larger SE market's itineraries.

DFW is NOT an option to flow traffic from the Southeast to the midwest or east coast. Neither BTW is ORD.


People miss the reason for the AA/US merger. It WAS NOT to cut capacity like DL and UA were. It was to create an airline large enough to compete with UA and DL.

Quoting point2point (Reply 23):
but then cut the 6-7-8-9 daily flight to ORF, AVL, GPS, TRI, ROA, CHA, LYH, etc., (there's probably a dozen or so more of these regionals to CLT) to about 2 or 3 daily flights?

What for?????? And give the traffic to Delta???? Delta has plenty of flights from ATL with virtually no local traffic. Ditto UA in ORD or AA in DFW. Even WN in MDW is over 50% connect.

Quoting point2point (Reply 31):
Per this recent report released by Moody's, which aggregates U.S. airport data from FY 2002 to FY 2012, it shows (on page 7, 11 lines down) that the percentage of O&D pax at hub airports went from some 46% in 2002 to some 55% in 2012. It seems that CLT clearly (as I've stated this many times previous) is a statistical anomaly.

Problem is they dont say what the definition of a HUB is. Dont assume it is the same as what Delta considers a hub to be. They maybe using FAA definition which would say that MCI or BNA is a hub. But I can guarantee you that virtually no major hub has 50% local. I wouldnt trust Moody's they are debt experts not airline network experts.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:12 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 39):
And to take this one step further with the numbers, with all things being equal, if CLT now gets a 20% O&D rate with some 675 daily flights, it would get a 40% O&D rate with with about 340 flights, or a 55% O&D rate (the national average) with about 275 daily flights?

It doesnt work that way. Start pulling down flights ,fares increase and markets shrink.
 
point2point
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:19 am

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 40):
Aside from a few hubs along the coasts, most hubs are no where near 50% O&D. Not ATL, Not DFW, Not IAH, Not DTW, Not MSP, Not DEN, Not SLC, not ORD, not PHL, not IAD. The "Hubs" with 50% local are likely JFK, LGA, DCA, LAX, SFO, SEA maybe MIA.

While CLT is the lowest, ATL is almost as low for Delta. Airtran in ATL was 70/30 connect. Delta in ATL is something like 75/25 connect. AA in DFW is 67/33 connect.

I'd suggest that you look more carefully at airport numbers. The link that I listed above shows that the national rate is at 55% O&D.

As for ATL, last numbers stated show them around 35%, but I'm sure that will climb a few percentage points shortly in the future now that WN has cut a lot of connects at ATL. DFW is also around 35%, and I would bet that after CLT, that will be the next hub that AA "rightsizes"

As for MSP.... that's around 55% O&D, as is DEN, ORD and SLC. I'd bet that DTW, IAD, IAH are probably all maybe a point or two under 50%..... far cry from 20% and some two and a half times more O&D than CLT.

If you don't believe me, visit these airport websites or look at their audits. You'll find O&D info there. And if you can provide a link where a hub airport after 2011 is running less than about 48% O&D (other that ATL or DFW), I'll be happy view it

 



[Edited 2014-06-05 21:42:22]
 
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compensateme
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:27 am

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 40):
DFW is NOT an option to flow traffic from the Southeast to the midwest or east coast. Neither BTW is ORD.

I wrote "DFW is a better option to flow many of the larger SE market's itineraries." And yes, DFW is a better option than CLT for West-bound travel for pretty much the entire SE, and just as good of an option for Upper Midwestern travel for much of it.

Besides, have you ever checked out the connection monitors at arriving flights in ATL? People fly routes such as BWI-ATL-SEA, MKE-ATL-PHL, etc. every single day. I'd bet that DTW & MSP would provide shorter connections to at least 40% of ATL's connecting traffic. However, DL leverages ATL's enormous local market against large aircraft that provide the lowest fare buckets to most communities attracting the traffic that it does.

No airline will ever most efficiently flow connecting traffic because flowing it elsewhere may be more profitable. And the overwhelming majority of the public (VFR/lesiure) will fly non-efficient routings if the price is cheaper and times are reasonable.
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Prost
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:41 am

People talk about cutting CLT and PHX at AA. What would they do with all the planes?
 
strfyr51
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:01 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 8):
That's an extremely arrogant and disrespectful thing to say and explains a lot of your "conclusions".




USER PROFILE

since the poster probably has NO idea what the revenue potential IS for CLT?? seems Par for the course. ..
start basting away with no facts.!
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:02 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 42):
I'd suggest that you look more carefully at airport numbers. The link that I listed above shows that the national rate is at 55% O&D.

Here is where I suspect youre going wrong. Youre confusing the airport with the hub carrier. At MSP the entire airport might be 55% local but Delta certainly isnt. The reason MSP is 55% is that everyone else except Delta is 100% local. And while Delta might be 70% of the airport traffic, they dont get 70% of the local market. Not even close.

But CLT isnt 20% local, US at CLT is 20% local. Youre making a apples to oranges comparison. Youre comparing MSP as an airport to US in CLT. Moody's says the "hub", it doesnt say the "carrier at the hub". Big difference.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 43):
I wrote "DFW is a better option to flow many of the larger SE market's itineraries." And yes, DFW is a better option than CLT for West-bound travel for pretty much the entire SE, and just as good of an option for Upper Midwestern travel for much of it.

From SE to west coast, it is so minor it doesnt matter. I mean SAV-CLT-LAX is barely longer than SAV-DFW-LAX. What is certain is that SAV-CLT-NE is shorter than SAV-ATL-NE yet Delta is the dominate carrier in SAV to the NE, not CLT. Passengers dont care if a total trip takes 30 minutes longer.

From the midwest DFW is certainly not a better hub to connect to the SE. Even OKC-CLT-RDU is shorter than OKC-DFW-RDU. But again it isnt a huge difference.

Here is what people are missing. The industry has an 85% LF. Cutting back big in CLT means the traffic goes away. You cant recapture it through another hub because at 85%, airlines are close to spilling now.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:20 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 37):
CLT can rescind to service levels of a decade ago (with a much more diverse/stronger service portfolio) or mimic a hub like MSP & DTW (peaking at ~450 departures, 50K seats) and still be a strong, successfully and even potentially more profitable hub than it is today.

I can't quibble with this hypothesis, but that's quite a lot different from ~300 departures and 35k seats.

Quoting point2point (Reply 35):
I'm not prediction CLT collapsing as a connecting hub. SLC has about 260 flights for DL, that's a hub. SFO has about 320 flights for UA, that's a hub. MIA has about 330 flights (and it's in the East) and that's a hub...... do I need to spell out a few more?

Please explain how CLT can function in the same way as SLC, SFO or MIA. How many people live within 350 miles of SLC? How many airports have commercial service within 350 miles of SLC?

Quoting point2point (Reply 39):
And to take this one step further with the numbers, with all things being equal, if CLT now gets a 20% O&D rate with some 675 daily flights, it would get a 40% O&D rate with with about 340 flights, or a 55% O&D rate (the national average) with about 275 daily flights?

You've still not explained what CLT actually looks like as a 300 flight/day hub.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:01 pm

What do PIT, CVG and STL have in common? All were within about 250 miles of a hub operated by the same airline.

CLT is at least 450 miles to its nearest hub and involves a totally different market.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Charlotte Observer Article...

Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:12 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 46):
From SE to west coast, it is so minor it doesnt matter. I mean SAV-CLT-LAX is barely longer than SAV-DFW-LAX.

SAV-CLT-LAX is also likely cheaper for the airline, between more miles on a low-CASM 321 and CLT's low costs.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more

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