Feeding Hubs?

ExAF

Member
Aug 20, 2002
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NWA announced new service between Portland Maine and Minneapolis with Pinnacle''s RJ. Here''s another example of Pinnacle getting mainline flying. They are bypassing the Detroit hub on a pretty long leg which would hardly classify as feeding the hub. Shouldn''t this be flown by a 9 or an Airbus? I hope the pax complain about sitting in an RJ for so long. I know I''d rather be on a mainline jet for that long of a flight. I also wonder if the MEC is looking into this or are they just watching mainline flying continue to erode to the Wholly Owneds?
 

AAG2000

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
186
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NWA already flies from Portland to Detroit year-round with a CRJ. Is this new seasonal flight replacing that service? It doesn't sound like it from the press release, but I'm not sure. It sounds like this flight is aimed at leisure travelers from Minnesota who want to take a summer vacation in Maine. Seems plausible that there would be enough to fill a CRJ, but not a 9. I'm not saying that replacement of mainline flying doesn't happen--obviously it does--but this looks to me like an example of a route that wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for RJ's. I still think NWA is one of the lesser offenders when it comes to replacing mainline flights with RJ's.
 

Cosmo

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 9:21:47 AM ExAF wrote:

They are bypassing the Detroit hub on a pretty long leg which would hardly classify as "feeding the hub."
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[/blockquote]
When did MSP stop being a hub for NW?

[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 9:21:47 AM ExAF wrote:

Shouldn't this be flown by a 9 or an Airbus?
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[/blockquote]
With all due respect, don't you think that you are over-reacting here? NW mainline has never served PWM, and Pinnacle has served it for only a few years. To me, this is an indication of NW's success in establishing its brand in a market where it had no presence at all only a few years ago.

Keep in mind that NW currently operates nonstop service to some cities in the western U.S. and Canada (ABQ, COS, RNO, SMF, SLC, GEG and TUS, among others) only from MSP, and the new PWM-MSP service enables NW to better compete against other carriers that can already offer single-connection service from PWM via their own hubs. This helps to improve, even if only in a small way, the economics of the existing MSP-west mainline flights.

And BTW, while NW has indeed replaced some mainline flying with RJs, it has also done the opposite. For example, a few years ago, NW started flying in 2 new markets, MSP-JAX and MSP-PVD, with RJs to gauge passenger demand (NW already served each market from DTW). After a period of development, the routes proved to be successful enough that NW converted the flights to A319s. So clearly NW's use of RJs is not just a "one-way street."
 

mturpiz

Member
Aug 22, 2002
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www.usaviation.com
From last year's 2nd quarter stats, Northwest was the top carrier in the MSP-Portland ME market with close to 40% market share. That amounted to boarding about 10 passengers per day each direction. With nonstop service NW is likely to gain more market share, but probably not enough to come close to justifying a nonstop CRJ. And not everyone wants to fly at the specific time that one nonstop flight goes. So even if they got a 100% market share some people would still fly via DTW and not fill seats on the RJ. Given that PWN is not Northwest country, I'd guess that significant traffic orginating there is loyal to US, DL, UA or other airlines.

Undoubtedly MSP-PWM primarily will exist to feed the MSP hub. As has already been pointed out, there are several cities which MSP can offer for 1-stop conx that DTW cannot. Plus in summer when NW has particularly high load factors, they definitely benefit from being able to usher passengers via more than one hub to popular destinations like the west coast.
 

Cosmo

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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mturpiz:

Actually, the new MSP-PWM nonstop service is twice daily, although it will exist for only about 10 weeks (June 21 through September 1, plus 1 Saturday-only flight into October). The details are spelled out in this [A href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030204/cgtu043_1.html"]press release[/A]. And you are right that this new service is not really for the local market, but mainly for beyond-MSP connections.

But still, that's a long time in a CRJ -- about 3:10 westbound and 2:55 eastbound!
 
OP
E

ExAF

Member
Aug 20, 2002
90
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[blockquote]
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When did MSP stop being a hub for NW?

With all due respect, don't you think that you are over-reacting here? NW mainline has never served PWM, and Pinnacle has served it for only a few years. To me, this is an indication of NW's success in establishing its brand in a market where it had no presence at all only a few years ago.

Keep in mind that NW currently operates nonstop service to some cities in the western U.S. and Canada (ABQ, COS, RNO, SMF, SLC, GEG and TUS, among others) only from MSP, and the new PWM-MSP service enables NW to better compete against other carriers that can already offer single-connection service from PWM via their own hubs. This helps to improve, even if only in a small way, the economics of the existing MSP-west mainline flights.

And BTW, while NW has indeed replaced some mainline flying with RJs, it has also done the opposite. For example, a few years ago, NW started flying in 2 new markets, MSP-JAX and MSP-PVD, with RJs to gauge passenger demand (NW already served each market from DTW). After a period of development, the routes proved to be successful enough that NW converted the flights to A319s. So clearly NW's use of RJs is not just a "one-way street."
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[/blockquote]
1. I never said MSP wasn't a hub. I said the flight bypasses the DTW hub to get to MSP. Any time you bypass a hub to get to another hub you are essentially not "feeding the hub" any more, but doing mainline flying beyond the hub.
2. You are mistaken that mainline never flew to PWM, I flew there more than once in a DC-9 last year.
3. JAX-MSP never should have been an RJ in the first place. It should have been a 9 all along. It bypasses MEM and DTW to get to MSP.
4. Every now and then mainline replaces an RJ with something bigger, but lately is has been much more of a one way street in the opposite direction. Pinnacle ASMs grew 38% last year while we are cutting back mainline flying, furloughing pilots, buying new RJs, parking DC-9s, and hiring new pilots at Pinnacle. I guarantee it is not because airbusses are replacing RJs.
 

flyhigh

Veteran
Jan 4, 2003
657
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ExAF,

Do you really believe that people sit around looking for ways to screw the mainline employees? Have you ever working in route planning? If so, you might know that nobody sits around looking for ways to bypass their own hub or screw the mainline employees. They work with demand, average fares, and costs. Every market has a limit to it's demand. Is there maybe a specific business that asked for the non-stop service (i.e. American Eagle's NW Regional airport in Arkansas to LGA for Wal-Mart)?
 
OP
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ExAF

Member
Aug 20, 2002
90
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[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 9:01:48 PM flyhigh wrote:

ExAF,

Do you really believe that people sit around looking for ways to screw the mainline employees? Have you ever working in route planning? If so, you might know that nobody sits around looking for ways to bypass their own hub or screw the mainline employees. They work with demand, average fares, and costs. Every market has a limit to it's demand. Is there maybe a specific business that asked for the non-stop service (i.e. American Eagle's NW Regional airport in Arkansas to LGA for Wal-Mart)?
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[/blockquote]Flyhigh,
No I never have "working" in route planning. I don't think the computers that build the lines are out to screw mainline either. I'm just really tired of seeing mainline flying and jobs being outsourced to the lowest bidder which happens to be the wholly owneds right now. NWA is shifting domestic flying to Pinnacle and Mesaba because they can still get people to fly an RJ as a first year FO for about $17,000 a year instead of paying a first year DC-9 FO about $32,500 a year. The gap widens after the first year. The company still says they are not outsourcing mainline flying, but the growth at the wholly owneds and the shrinking of mainline doesn't support that statement. I just get a little "irritated" when I see all of this "new Northwest service" being announced and more often than not, it is usually a new RJ line from Pinnacle or Messaba. Of course the real Messaba growth won't happen until they sign a new contract and they don't have to whipsaw Pinnacle against them. All the while...see Paragraph 4 above (I don't want to type it again).
 

JJRJ85

Newbie
Jan 29, 2003
9
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ExAf Have you look at the industry lately? Two airlines in the tank 0ne probally going . The pubic espesically the businessman will not pay these ridic ious airfairs any more. Its over. ALPA gave up that flying with their Scope clause a long time ago.
 
OP
E

ExAF

Member
Aug 20, 2002
90
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[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 11:39:06 PM JJRJ85 wrote:


ExAf Have you look at the industry lately? Two airlines in the tank 0ne probally going . The pubic espesically the businessman will not pay these ridic ious airfairs any more. Its over. ALPA gave up that flying with their Scope clause a long time ago.
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[/blockquote]Yes I've seen the industry lately? What a buffonic question! What's Over? ALPA gave up what flying? Scope is precisely the point of the thread. I didn't say there didn't need to be changes, just don't outsource jobs and not be willing to admit it. The MEC shouldn't allow it to happen and say that there isn't anything they can do about it. I'll still bet the businessman will pay not to sit in an RJ on a 3+ hour flight. For that matter, so will a liesure traveller. It's really too bad that we will soon have to put the career of "pilot" in the same phrase that "ditchdigger" used to be in. I can hear it now, "Son, you had better go to college and get an good education...you don't want to end up being a "pilot" for the rest of you life."
 

pk45cu

Member
Aug 26, 2002
25
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[blockquote]
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On 2/6/2003 9:26:10 AM ExAF wrote:

[/blockquote]Yes I've seen the industry lately? What a buffonic question! What's Over? ALPA gave up what flying? Scope is precisely the point of the thread. I didn't say there didn't need to be changes, just don't outsource jobs and not be willing to admit it. The MEC shouldn't allow it to happen and say that there isn't anything they can do about it. I'll still bet the businessman will pay not to sit in an RJ on a 3+ hour flight. For that matter, so will a liesure traveller. It's really too bad that we will soon have to put the career of "pilot" in the same phrase that "ditchdigger" used to be in. I can hear it now, "Son, you had better go to college and get an good education...you don't want to end up being a "pilot" for the rest of you life."
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[/blockquote]

A businessperson will sit of a 3 hour small jet flight to avoid double-connecting to go to Asia on another carrier. That small jet will feed mainline's flights at MSP. The Portland, ME to MSP market is too far for a prop, too small for a bigger DC9, and that's why a small jet is there.

As for outsourcing jobs, will ALPA mainline pilots fly the small jets at the lower Pinnacle rates? There is a good supply of pilots willing to take Pinnacle's current salaries.
 

Cosmo

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
840
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[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 7:17:44 PM ExAF wrote:

1. I never said MSP wasn't a hub. I said the flight bypasses the DTW hub to get to MSP. Any time you bypass a hub to get to another hub you are essentially not "feeding the hub" any more, but doing mainline flying beyond the hub.
2. You are mistaken that mainline never flew to PWM, I flew there more than once in a DC-9 last year.
3. JAX-MSP never should have been an RJ in the first place. It should have been a 9 all along. It bypasses MEM and DTW to get to MSP.
4. Every now and then mainline replaces an RJ with something bigger, but lately is has been much more of a one way street in the opposite direction. Pinnacle ASMs grew 38% last year while we are cutting back mainline flying, furloughing pilots, buying new RJs, parking DC-9s, and hiring new pilots at Pinnacle. I guarantee it is not because airbusses are replacing RJs.
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[/blockquote]
1. You seem to be of the opinion that any flight to an airline's hub other than the closest one should be mainline flying without any consideration of the potential loads or profitability of such a flight. Frankly, that's just silly. If a flight can make money with an RJ but not with a DC9 or A319, it should be operated with an RJ, especially where the service would provide additional support to mainline flying beyond a hub, as would be the case at MSP.

2. You are correct that mainline DC9s have flown to PWM. I must have been thinking of someplace else -- my bad.

3. You claim that JAX-MSP should have been mainline flying from the start. But other than your opinion that any flight to an airline's hub other than the closest one should be mainline flying, do you have any statistics to support that claim (such as local O&D numbers or potential connecting traffic, for example)?

4. Although it is true that mainline flights are sometimes replaced by RJs and Pinnacle has indeed shown strong growth in recent months, NW mainline ASM growth is nonetheless returning (albeit from post-9/11 lows). As NW's [A href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030205/cgw032_1.html"]January 2003 traffic press release[/A] notes, mainline system ASMs were up by about 6% over January 2002. And while NW's mainline system January 2003 ASM number is about 9% lower than the January 2001 result, it is useful to keep in mind that most of the other network major carriers reduced their own post-9/11 mainline ASMs by much larger percentages. So while it is unfortunate that mainline flying has been reduced since 9/11 and some pilots (as well as other NW employees) have been furloughed, given the carrier's rather modest financial losses in contrast to most of its peers, it appears that NW is acting appropriately under current circumstances. JMHO.
 

JJRJ85

Newbie
Jan 29, 2003
9
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ExAF Why didn,t ALPA scope down to 15 seats instead of 44 seats? Because there trying to protect their big fat salary at the mainline.Why is their such a huge difference in salary between mainline carriers and regional carriers when they are both in ALPA? Why is Southwest AirTran and JetBlue all non ALPA carriers making money and NO major ALPA carriers not?
 

dfw79

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
308
0
Hmm...I wonder where all the whining was when mainline took over a few flights on the Flint to Detroit run. There wasn't any. However, just wait for the ARJs to completely replace the the DC-9-50s flying that route - imagine the uproar then. I guess any route 56 miles (FNT-DTW) and longer should be strickly mainline according to a few on here. So that would mean...hmm...only TOL-DTW (49 Miles) and maybe a couple others will be left for the RJs. Just imagine that day...a whole slew of Rjs flying 10-15 minute legs between Detroit and Toledo. You think Delta and US Airways have a shuttle operation, just wait.
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