Old Jun 20, 13, 12:11 am
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 72
PHL and CLT hubs for AA

I'm a US Airways employee and will give my 2 cents of the future US hubs. Doug Parker has insisted that all hubs are safe. Of course, we all know talk is cheap and promises are always broken. Just look at DL at their promise to keep all their hubs after DL/NW merger. Delta announced a few weeks ago they were eliminating MEM as a hub and CVG is on life support. MSP has shrunk somewhat but still hub functional. Let's also not forget what USair did to LAS and PIT. AA did to STL. Anyway, back to my point of discussion.........

CLT: This is USAirway's "golden child" crown jewel hub and most profitable hub for US. I seriously doubt new AA will do any significant changes for CLT. New AA will need to stay competitive with DL's ATL hub serving the mid-Atlantic and southeast markets that current AA lacks. There may be more seasonal adjustments made with Caribbean routes that will be handled at MIA hub. However, MIA is far south to make reasonable connecting routes on domestic flights within the southeast. Let's also not forgot that AA tried to establish a RDU hub years ago, but could not compete with USAir's CLT hub around the corner and Delta's ATL mega hub.

PHL: PHL will serve as connector hub for transatlantic flights feeding flights that come from small markets within the east coast (RIC, BUF, MDT, etc). Currently, if a passenger wanted to book an AA flight from BUF, SYR, ROC, PIT, etc going to Europe, then most flights will need to connect to ORD which is out of the way. PHL will serve and focus primarily on secondary European markets such as ATH, VCE, BCN, GLA, SNN, DUB, TLV etc with mostly connecting traffic. AA will keep JFK as is. AA is unable to to grow JFK anymore than what is now due to slot controls. JFK will be mostly O+D for the NYC area serving lucrative markets like LHR, CDG, HDN, etc. In a nutshell, JFK and PHL hubs will be modeled the same way United (Continental) have structured their east coast hubs. For United Airlines, EWR is becoming more O+D operation serving NYC base passenger base and IAD gets the connecting passenger transatlantic feed (it's profitable for NYC to be only O+D than connecting passenger traffic).

PHX: Only time will tell how PHX will play out in the merger. I believe PHX will stay as is for the time being as AA/US will want to see how it co-exist sandwiched between LAX and DFW after the merger dust settles. THe new AA could shift PHX flights with intra-west secondary west coast markets (RNO, GEG, BOI, SMF, ONT, SLC, etc). For many passengers, LAX is too far west to make west coast connections work. LAX has no more room to grow and AA is already needing more gate space. Geographically, DEN or SLC works better for intra-western western hub, but since DL dominates SLC and DEN is home to 3 big players (UA, WN, F9), would be difficult for AA to set up hub operation in DEN. PHX is the only alternative for AA with intra-west hub. Another advantage for PHX is the low cost gate leases, etc and I am sure the city of PHX will give the new AA incentives to keep PHX as a hub status. Furthermore, with AA's bankruptcy allows them to restructure cost. AA's cost structure will be lower than Southwests so AA can afford and compete effectively head to head with Southwest in PHX.
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