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Delta has a list of focus cities, and some are surprising

Delta has a list of focus cities, and some are surprising

Old Jun 3, 19, 12:33 pm
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Delta has a list of focus cities, and some are surprising

At the ACI Air Service Development Conference in Nashville today, Delta discussed moving its Boston operation from "focus city" to "our newest coastal hub." In addition, they listed off their other focus cities, and some of them surprised me at least.

Austin, Cincinnati, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham and San Jose

Here's a Twitter thread with some limited details:
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Old Jun 3, 19, 12:42 pm
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Don't all of those cities have robust or growing tech sectors? That would be the common theme at least at first glance.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 12:53 pm
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SJC is the only new one I hadn't heard mentioned before. AUS, BNA, CVG, and RDU have been mentioned as focus cities in the past.

https://www.kxan.com/news/local/aust...hts/1255011066
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Last edited by xliioper; Jun 3, 19 at 1:00 pm
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Old Jun 3, 19, 12:57 pm
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"Delta wants to be the premier network carrier in all these markets," Ailevon Pacific managing director Brad DiFiore tells FlightGlobal at JumpStart.
An interesting quote from this story: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...growth-458669/
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:06 pm
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If BOS is going to be a 'secondary trans-Atlantic gateway' quoting Amy Martin, managing director of domestic network planning, does that suggest a build-out of an immigration and customs facility in Terminal A? I seem to recall reading that the terminal was built with that in mind.
The DUB flight would pre-clear in Ireland, but not the others, right?

And does this mean that Clear is coming to RDU?
Also reduces SM earnings for east coast paying customers to Europe, rather than backtracking through ATL, DTW, MSP.
I was surprised to see award flights to Europe that I shopped from RDU being routed through RDU (of course), but also through IND, CVG, and BOS.

Last edited by mot29; Jun 3, 19 at 1:23 pm
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:08 pm
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How can AUS, SJC, and BNA be compared to CVG? CVG outnumbers them in flights by quite a significant margin. CVG also has a pilot, flight attendant, and maintenance base.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:13 pm
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SJC I don't get. Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jo...tional_Airport, which in terms cites government data, for March 2018-February 2019, Southwest is easily #1 with half the market and Delta is at #4 , though if you add in Compass, then it looks like they just barely nudge out Alaska for #2 . Same thing for Nashville where they only fly to their hubs with 11.12% of the market plus whatever share of the Connection flights they have. I was thinking to be able to call it a focus city you should have at least 20% of the market with a good chunk of flights to nonhubs. Or maybe it's a sign that said flights are coming.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:15 pm
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SJC is a lot closer to Cupertino than SFO. That is why it makes sense.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:19 pm
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It appears that Delta wants to be the biggest network carrier (AA/UA/DL) at its focus cities. So I'd say we could expect growth in flights to a point where that is a case. Seems like AUS is probably the one where that will be hardest, as AA and UA are both quite a bit bigger there. BNA was a surprise to me, in addition to SJC — I agree that AUS, CVG and RDU are well-known.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
How can AUS, SJC, and BNA be compared to CVG? CVG outnumbers them in flights by quite a significant margin. CVG also has a pilot, flight attendant, and maintenance base.
I think focus city is a fairly loose term that could apply in multiple ways. It could mean that the city has a lot of flights and functions as a hub (i.e. CVG...and yes it is a favorite hub of mine and I wish I could connect through there more often). In that sense, the focus is connecting traffic. Or it could mean that DL is focusing on OD traffic. They will not necessarily have a high volume of flights, but there will be convenient direct flights to certain frequently traveled destinations that most cities would not have the luxury of.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 1:43 pm
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The CVG focus is pretty clearly on O&D traffic based on the flights DL has chosen to retain there. Yes, they still connect people through CVG, but you certainly can't call that it's "focus". Note that RDU is also a valid connecting airport for a number of DL's published fares.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 2:05 pm
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Somewhat related to this, I heard a claim today that now MSP is DL's #2 (whatever this means, total flights, total passengers, profits, etc.) hub surpassing DTW. Yeah, we now have the ICN flight, but I don't see evidence otherwise that MSP is scaling up in some sense or that DTW is significantly contracting.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 2:07 pm
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Austin is home to Apple's secondary HQ with a million sqft campus and plans to expand it, making them the largest private sector employer in the city. I think San Jose fits into that plan.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Somewhat related to this, I heard a claim today that now MSP is DL's #2 (whatever this means, total flights, total passengers, profits, etc.) hub surpassing DTW. Yeah, we now have the ICN flight, but I don't see evidence otherwise that MSP is scaling up in some sense or that DTW is significantly contracting.
MSP gets larger aircraft than DTW and handles more passengers.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 2:10 pm
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They’ve had a sign up in the SC at BNA the last 6 weeks or so saying they are adding another 10,000 sq ft to the current <2,000 sq ft SC by 2020. A lot of upgauging last year and this year as well.

The above created a lot of smoke of a TATL flight in the near future, but formally announcing a focus city is (pleasantly) surprising.
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