American Airlines is shrinking in Phoenix – The Arizona Republic
This is a great, long look by Dawn Gilbertson at what American is doing in Phoenix. The headline sounds ominous, but in reality, it’s not. Phoenix remains an important hub for the airline. It’s just using smaller airplanes (737-800 vs A321) and eliminating late night flights. There has still been growth with a whole slew of new destinations. Even British Airways is bumping up London service next spring. (That was just announced and isn’t part of the article.) It’s certainly well worth the read here.
Good to hear BA increasing in Phoenix…. though when I read your text above, I assumed we’d be upgauging into an A380 (and not simply getting another 744, a couple of days a week, during the summer).
I really like and appreciate your timely info and knowledge. You may want to take a closer look at the AA PHX operation. Now that the America West pilots are finally allowed to go to different domiciles, there is a significant movement of pilots to other bases with no corresponding vacancies in PHX. The pilot manning in PHX is shrinking dramatically.
James – Yes indeed, and it’s long overdue. That has nothing to do with plans for future flight schedules, however. There will just be a lot of pilots flowing through from other bases. Now that Phoenix isn’t isolated from the rest of the airline (for pilots), they can finally put together a more optimal schedule.
American’s capacity in PHX is down by almost 8% less flights and 7% less seats so they are using very slightly larger aircraft but they are shrinking the size of their hub just as they are in PHL.
AA is not willing to close any hubs post-merger but they are starting to cut out the low performing flights in their network.
It’s also worth noting that Frontier and Southwest are adding back 3/4 of the number of seats that AA is cutting so that the PHX market for the first quarter of 2017 is down less than 1%.
A hub will have a different role if it’s the only one in a region, or one of three (DFW, PHX, LAX). On the last earnings call (at about the 1:05 minute point or so), Parker was asked about Phoenix vs. Los Angeles and specifically referred to LAX as an international gateway, not a hub in his answer. He made the point that PHX and LAX were complimentary.
“Oh, don’t worry about these slight decreases. The airline is still committed to the hub here and this is just an anomaly and does not indicate any long-term trends. We are considering adding new service to this airport and we will continue to focus on this market.”
Yup, I think we’ve all heard this story before.
You beat me to this comment. Just ask the TWA/AA folks left in STL
TWA was a dead duck anyway, American or no American.
Sky Harbor’s biggest asset? Cartel Coffee on the Southwest side. Best airport coffee in the country!