3 Links I Love: Delta Grows an Old Hub, Bring Your Own Pilots, Long Beach Misinformation

Delta, Labor Relations, LGB - Long Beach, Links I Love

Expanding service to most popular nonstop destinations from CincinnatiDelta News Hub
Are you a mid-market former hub airport desperate to get your old hub airline to pay attention to you? Just attract Southwest. Southwest announced it was ditching Dayton for Cincinnati recently, and now Delta is ramping back up. In the scheme of things, it’s not huge growth (6 percent more seats), but ANY growth at a dwindling hub like this is noteworthy.

Shortage means BYOP (bring your own pilots) is a reality for landing airline in ModestoModesto Bee
Well that’s one way to recruit pilots. Just look for some that live near cities to which you’re thinking about flying. It’s actually quite remarkable how much things have flipped when it comes to pilot demand versus just a few years ago.

Long Beach residents’ opinions influenced airport decision: Guest commentaryLong Beach Press-Telegram
I know, I know. You’re bored of the Long Beach Airport customs facility saga, right? But just one more link…. This is a guest commentary written by Stacy Mungo, the councilmember who motioned to stop moving forward on the customs facility. I’m not sure why she put this out, because the people who were against the facility already loved her for shooting it down. And those who supported the facility will just be angry to see her print such a grossly incorrect statement about how it would have been funded.

Part of her decision centered on the money that would go into the facility from the city. She says there were “tax dollars at stake,” but that’s not true. The $3 million that the airport was expected to contribute was going to be funded by Passenger Facility Charges paid by tickets purchased by travelers. This would never have touched local tax dollars in any way. This kind of misinformation is not something I’d expect from a sitting councilmember.

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21 comments on “3 Links I Love: Delta Grows an Old Hub, Bring Your Own Pilots, Long Beach Misinformation

  1. Re: Delta’s Cincinnati hub.

    From sometime in the early 1990s until the mid-2000s, I used Delta’s Cincinnati hub as a great alternative to Atlanta for a connecting airport for business travel to the south, southwest & west coast. I was very sorry to see nonstop service between my “home” airport (ROC) and CVG come to an end. Would love to see it restored, but that’s probably not in the cards.

  2. I can’t begin to to tell you have disappointed I am in Mungo. I KNOW for a fact she changed her mind and caved in on this issue. When I was watching our L.B. council session live the night the vote went down, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Well, I COULD believe it, it’s just that I didn’t want to believe it. When she came up with this manufactured excuse to “receive and file” I knew right then and there the anti-airport Mafia got to her. They couldn’t have possibly changed her mind and opened her eyes to any salient facts because they HAD NONE. All they did was lie. I’m not going to go into any litany yet again of all the misinformation they got the local residents to swallow, but they came at her with pitchforks and lit torches.

    That she now feels compelled to try and further explain just makes her look like frankly, an idiot. It shows much this has bothered her. What compounds it all is how other members of council backed her up. The only one with a spine, surprisingly, was Dee Andrews, who normally is the most somnambulant of the bunch. He saw it for what it was and could barely contain his contempt for what was transpiring in front of him.

    Gaeblich, Sopo and all the other losers in HUSH just make me sick. I don’t know how they sleep at night. It’s one thing to genuinely not want something. it’s another to bully, threaten, whine, lie, spread fear and ruin other people’s careers in the process. Have the courage of their convictions as opposed to doing this.

    1. Don and Cranky – going back to your previous comments on this subject, does the council realize that this vote endangers the long-term viability (not to mention profitability) of LGB? Like, “yes, there’s money here, and maybe more, but we’d rather numb ourselves into a slow decline and death, Rust Belt-style.”

      1. Joel – The council isn’t concerned about that. They will be if JetBlue goes, but then again, Southwest is likely to backfill anyway, so they may just not care.

        1. It’s amazing the same week the council votes down the FIS, they vote to become a “sanctuary city.” Isn’t it ironic, a city that’s 40% Hispanic votes down an FIS that would support flights to/from Mexico!

          Also, the city is willing to spend over $100 million for a swimming pool, but won’t support an FIS. Queen Mary Island is a new tourist attraction and no international flights to support it!

  3. Cranky, we don’t use the term “misinformation” anymore. Get with the times. She’s just sharing the alternative facts.

  4. When I saw DL growing an old hub I thought, MEM?? Ha ha! Unfortunately I think CVG’s days of being a hub are long gone.

    1. CVG was never formally dehubbed. It is still a hub, and has been ever since the merger. It handles a fair amount of connecting traffic.

      1. Although you are correct, it is hard to not use the work “dehub” when the hub was 3.5 times larger in 2008.

        In other former Delta hub news, a federal appeals court today ruled that Delta can continue to remain at Love Field while the court case proceeds in Southwest’s attempt to push Delta out of Love Field, DFW being a former Delta hub. Delta has reduced its presence from Dallas but is the only carrier that has sought to serve both Dallas airports, just as it does in Chicago. The majority opinion by the 3 judges is that Delta has a good chance of winning its argument that Southwest is attempting to unfairly monopolize Love Field and, therefore, Delta can’t be pushed out pending a settlement or trial.

  5. Since the Feds are the one who caused loss of service to many smaller airports like Modesto due it’s pilot hours rule, they should be putting in military pilots to fly passenger aircraft. Why should tax payers have to be disadvantaged by one accident, when there are private pilots still flying around with less training then an airline pilot would be given.

    Maybe the size aircraft/market used should have had a different set of hours to become an airline pilot.

    1. That differentiation already exists between part 135 and part 121 air carriers. Great Lakes Airlines is restricting some of their planes to nine seats to allow themselves to hire far less experienced pilots under 135 regs. It doesn’t make a meaningful difference to the overall pilot supply.

    2. Why should they be disadvantaged?

      How about why shouldn’t they be protected from underpaid, inexperienced, tired regional pilots?

      Every trip for me starts and ends with a regional aircraft, often in iffy weather conditions. I very much want a well rested and well trained (and yes, well paid) crew operating that aircraft. And I am willing to pay for it.

  6. As euphemistically as the term gets thrown around, sometimes right sizing goes both ways. A full-fledged all-directions hub in CVG probably isn’t viable after the heyday of the 50-seater, but if the market is big enough to support more flying than a typical spoke than eventually it will. There’s a reason why the WN announcement hasn’t triggered the same changes in CLE.

  7. Delta in CVG is doing exactly what Southwest expected them to do which is why WN took so long to decide to add service. DL faced complaints for years that CVG fares were some of the highest in the country. Ultra low fare carriers including Frontier and Allegiant have added lots of service to CVG and average fares, including DL’s, have fallen. Cincinnati/N. Kentucky business travelers have not and won’t use the ULCCs so it took a low cost carrier such as WN before business travel really had an alternative.

    WN announced a pretty conservative schedule that doesn’t serve most of the top business markets from CVG nonstop. DL does fly most of them nonstop but also has upgraded CVG to an almost all large RJ or mainline operation meaning that first class cabins are in nearly all markets. Corporate travelers are not going to repeatedly select a carrier such as WN that requires a connection for most markets and no opportunity for first class over a nonstop option where first class seats are an option if prices are comparable. DL is more than capable of matching WN’s corporate/walk up fares from CVG and WN can’t survive in CVG without getting a decent amount of business traffic. Sure, WN touts that the Cinti business community will support it – but that was before WN announced schedules or fares or before DL announced its changes. DL also retimed several markets to provide optimal schedules for daytime roundtrips to and from CVG to counter the ULCCs and any temptation to use WN for a trip that will require connections which can be done on DL nonstop in both directions.

    It is also worth noting that years after both CVG and MEM were dehubbed, DL still has the largest passenger and revenue share of local passengers in those markets. That is not the case in most former AAL and UAL hubs. DL knew what local revenue it had to retain, ULCCs have grown at CVG to placate the “need” for low cost travel, and DL has beefed up its schedule in the top markets to capture the local market which is willing to fly with a more traditional experience and better schedules.

    It also is worth noting that WN’s closure of Dayton is just reshuffling its presence in SW Ohio and might actually allow DL to compete more effectively by using its larger presence at CVG to compete in many markets with nonstop flights while removing WN as an option from DAY (which is just as convenient as CVG for many people in N. Cinti) where there are relatively few nonstop flights on any carrier. WN also has to match the ULCC fares from CVG which might allow them to shift some of that traffic away from Frontier and Allegiant but increases the need to offset that traffic with higher value traffic.

    WN has to win over Cinti business travelers in order to be viable in CVG. CVG will be a small station for them and their system costs are too high to survive without a lot of business fares, esp. since most of the revenue they need will have to be carried on a connecting basis. They took a pretty low risk chance to restructure their presence in SW Ohio but may still be too small to be viable against a carrier that has managed to hold onto the best revenue and still has nonstops in the top business markets. This one will be worth revisiting in about a year after some data is available.

  8. It is unrealistic to anticipate that CVG will roar back to the size and scale of what it was when Delta ran it’s second busiest hub there. That’s nonsense. While Cincinnati and the surrounding region does have a strong business footprint to support a decent roster of flights, the days of medium to small sized cities being hubs is essentially long gone. Delta is (1) trying to pre-empt WN grabbing much market share and (2) has the planes and the resources to grow a bit at CVG. Apart from ATL, MSP, and DTW, Delta’s other true hubs (SLC, LAX, SEA, JFK, LGA) support a much smaller number of flight departures and so they have planes that can move around the system and that’s probably what they’ve decided to do at CVG.

    CVG’s proximity to DTW means it just won’t get big again anytime soon.

  9. “”This kind of misinformation is not something I’d expect from a sitting councilmember.””

    What? Along with saving 15% at GEICO, it’s what they do.

    -Sometimes you are the windshield. Sometimes you are the bug.

  10. Wow, it’s nice to see Great Lakes expanding. It seemed for a while all you saw was Great Lakes cutting routes. Maybe this can be a bright spot for them in the coming years. We all know Cheyenne Jerry Olson Field is no major hub..

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