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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion


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From today. The crown sign and testing the lights on the signage this evening. 

The new CLT entrance sign/structure is quite big. 

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^ That wasn't the point of my statement.  I have no (none, zero) doubts that Charlotte will not suffer the fate of St. Louis.  I was just responding to the question about why maintaining a large hub is important.

 

The real question people have for this merger is how Charlotte and Miami will coexist.  What they seem to overlook is the actual distance between Charlotte and Miami, and how Miami could never replicate the role that Charlotte serves in the southeast network (same for DFW).  You're right though that one reason Charlotte will be very important for American is to compete with Atlanta.

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I think all the talk of Miami canabalizing Charlotte is made primarily by people who believe that O&D is the only metric by which an airpor's success or failure should be measured. It is a myopic view that ignores all other factors. What those who take this view fail to realize is that Charlotte's domestic O&D is actually higher than Miami's, and fetches a higher yield. Just based on that, it would make little sense to move hub ops to Miami. But you don't necessarily need to know that to understand that shifting the massive hub in Charlotte doesn't even pass the common sense test. Miami has less runways, and it is farther away from most of the east coast population. Add to that the cost per passenger in MIA is about 4 or 5 times higher than Charlotte. Think about this, why would the airline route a passenger from say Memphis to Norfolk via Miami rather than via Charlotte when it costs more in fuel and more per passenger?

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I really think our European flights will be fine, we will probably lose about half of our 22 Central American/South American routes. We will probably lose either Rio or Sao Paulo. It just makes sense to connect through Miami for those flights... 

 

I know I was already scoffed at before for suggesting this but I do think LAN Peru will come to Charlotte and we will get a flight to Lima.

 

I can also see Madrid being switched from American to Iberia and also being switched from seasonal to year round.

 

And obviously BA...

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I think all the talk of Miami canabalizing Charlotte is made primarily by people who believe that O&D is the only metric by which an airpor's success or failure should be measured. It is a myopic view that ignores all other factors. What those who take this view fail to realize is that Charlotte's domestic O&D is actually higher than Miami's, and fetches a higher yield. Just based on that, it would make little sense to move hub ops to Miami. But you don't necessarily need to know that to understand that shifting the massive hub in Charlotte doesn't even pass the common sense test. Miami has less runways, and it is farther away from most of the east coast population. Add to that the cost per passenger in MIA is about 4 or 5 times higher than Charlotte. Think about this, why would the airline route a passenger from say Memphis to Norfolk via Miami rather than via Charlotte when it costs more in fuel and more per passenger?

So, let me make sure I understand correctly. You are saying that more people begin and end their plane trips in Charlotte than  in Miami? Of course, one factor that would contribute to this would be the closeness of the airport in Ft. Lauderdale, but I still find this fact hard to believe (however, I hope you are correct and that I have not misunderstood).

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^^^ According to the department of transportation statistics, more people begin and in their trips in Charlotte for domestic destinations only. This was actually in one of yesterday's posts by one of the others on this forum. Obviously origin and destination traffic in Miami on the international side is much higher than it is in Charlotte. But according to the statistics released by the Department of Transportation Charlotte has more origin and destination traffic on the domestic side and it also has higher yield for that traffic. As Robert Mann said in the article yesterday "why would they take traffic from Charlotte and move it to a place where they would make less money"in reference to connecting traffic flows. It doesn't make sense because it would cost more in terms of fuel to move all the connecting traffic through Miami and Miami also has a higher cost per passenger.

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^^^ According to the department of transportation statistics, more people begin and in their trips in Charlotte for domestic destinations only. This was actually in one of yesterday's posts by one of the others on this forum. Obviously origin and destination traffic in Miami on the international side is much higher than it is in Charlotte. But according to the statistics released by the Department of Transportation Charlotte has more origin and destination traffic on the domestic side and it also has higher yield for that traffic. As Robert Mann said in the article yesterday "why would they take traffic from Charlotte and move it to a place where they would make less money"in reference to connecting traffic flows. It doesn't make sense because it would cost more in terms of fuel to move all the connecting traffic through Miami and Miami also has a higher cost per passenger.

I didn't see it where ever else it was posted. Thanks for sharing and explaining. I'd by lying if I said I wasn't pleasantly surprised. It definitely makes the argument for moving flights to Miami from Charlotte specious.

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I was lurking around on city-data today. It amazes me how much stock people put into this GAO report. I read most of the report itself, and the large majority did not even talk about hub operations. In fact, there was only one or two paragraphs about hub ops in which the author basically said that Philly could be in danger becauseof JFK and CLT could be dehubbed in favor of MIA. That doesn't even make sense. How could a mega airport at JFK that is capacity limited (and one which I think is slot controlled) be able to absorb Philly's operation? That's a 450 flight per day operation. Better yet, how could MIA go from a 300 flight per day hub to a 850-900 flight per day hub if it absorbed Charlotte's operations? Charlotte was at max capacity with 2 parallel runways at 550-650 flights per day; how does it make sense for MIA to have 900 hub flights per day, plus all the flights from other carriers it handles, plus handle the multiple cargo hubs (UPS and FedEx notwithstanding a plethora of smaller cargo hubs) with essentially the same runway capacity as Charlotte had prior to the third parallel runway? Moreover, how does it make sense to route domestic connecting traffic through MIA when MIA is in the farthest southeastern corner of the US? Every connecting passenger except those on flights to the Carribean or South America would have to back track. It is a waste of fuel, and MIAs cost per passenger is incredibly high. American would likely lose tons of money trying to shift CLTs operation to MIA. This of course doesn't even consider that Charlotte's domestic O&D is actually higher than Miami. The argument the GAO put forth sounds like one of the arm chair CEOs from a.net put it together; it is not an opinion I would revere. Finally, I will end with this, The new management at American is the old guard from US Airways. They have a very good track record in Charlotte and they are the ones making the decisions. If they say that the CLT hub is safe, I value their opinion much more than I do someone who sounds like their knowledge of airline economics came straight from a.net.

Edited by cltbwimob
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^  I agree with this.  I don't see any way that Charlotte or Philly get downgraded substantially.  I thought that in the GAO report they kind of threw those statements in without any analysis to back it up.  Essentially, it was an alarmist statement trying to say that if the merger goes through a bunch of people will lose their jobs.

 

I do believe we'll lose some flights, but it will be in the range of 50-100.  

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I don't see CLT losing any flights.  The hub is simply too cheap to not take advantage of.  And sorry if I keep repeating myself, but the new AA must compete with Delta's Atlanta hub and CLT is it's only option.  MIA is geographically undesirable for connecting traffic going anywhere other than Central and South America.  Add the fact that it's at capacity and can't be expanded, and you have CLT as the only alternative.  

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I was lurking around on city-data today. It amazes me how much stock people put into this GAO report. 

 

Not to trash the place, but my overall suspicion is that the overall IQ over there is significantly lower than here, and makes me weep for the future of this country.

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city-data posters always seemed to have a pessimistic attitude towards Charlotte (and some other southern cities as well). They find one negative news story and milk every last drop out of it. I agree that there isn't a lot of analysis that backs up the GAO report (I didn't read the whole thing, just skimmed through it). I could see some of the South American or Latin America destinations being moved to Miami, but as others have said it doesn't make geographic or financial sense (especially) to move a significant amount of traffic out of CLT to MIA. It just doesn't. I don't know how you could spin that. American needs CLT to compete with Delta in ATL. 

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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/21/4121651/us-airways-defends-future-of-charlotte.html

There you have it. It appears that those of us on this forum are are more "in the know" than the GAO. Our reasoning seems to be in line with those making the decisions. I still love how the GAO clings to the ad hoc STL, PIT, MEM argument. I wonder when the GAO and those educated by a.net will realize the dynamics that caused those hubs to close are not really germane to the CLT hub.

Edited by cltbwimob
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Not to trash the place, but my overall suspicion is that the overall IQ over there is significantly lower than here, and makes me weep for the future of this country.

I've always likened city-data to the comments section on The CO

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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/21/4121651/us-airways-defends-future-of-charlotte.html

There you have it. It appears that those of us on this forum are are more "in the know" than the GAO. Our reasoning seems to be in line with those making the decisions. I still love how the GAO clings to the ad hoc STL, PIT, MEM argument. I wonder when the GAO and those educated by a.net will realize the dynamics that caused those hubs to close are not really germane to the CLT hub.

Very good, I am very encouraged by this. The argument US is making makes complete sense. American closed STL because of its proximity to Dallas; US closed PIT and LAS (along with the closing of night operations) because of their proximities to PHL and PHX respectively; DEL has slashed CIN because of its proximity to DET, and DEL is about to close MEM because it is right next to ATL. The closest hubs to CLT are DFW, MIA, and DCA... Charlotte is poised to be the Detroit of the new American. I still see a couple of flights being lost to the Caribbean but I see more flights being added to Europe so it would be an overall net gain. 

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Miami cost is $20.00 per passage and Charlotte is $2.00 per passage. I read that Charlotte would Not lose its South American routes because it would be hard to transfer those gates anywhere else. Charlotte location is a fit to service to most of the US, compare to Miami. Who wants to fly all the way to south Florida and turn around and fly back to the northeast or the northwest. To fly to Denver Co. it is much closer from Charlotte that south Florida.

I will say Charlotte will go from 640 USAir flights a day to over 700 New AA a day.

Charlotte has more room to expand that any of the large northeast airports.

Concourse E has 38 Gates, and is entirely used for US Airways Express, operating just over 340 flights per day (making it the largest express operation in the world).

Edited by RiverwoodCLT
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  • 4 weeks later...

I find 2 things about this situation really strange:

1) That some Democrats have voted for it.

2) That the biggest backers of the bill are residents of communities within Mecklenburg County.  It seems like this bill snubs Meck County almost as much as it does the City itself.

 

Anyone have any insight into why this is the case?

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