Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

northernbizzkit1

The Future of FedEx in Memphis

Recommended Posts

I follow along at the airliners.net forums on what they speculate is going on with the Memphis airport (especially with Northwest these days...yikes), but what really gets me is that there is a certain someone from Indianapolis who doesn't seem to hide the fact that he despises MEM. On one of my recent post hunts, I saw that he was claiming that FedEx is going to make Indianapolis the main hub in the next 10-15 years...is this possibly true? I have talked to numerous FedEx pilots and airline industry sources...and my brother haha...and they all have said that it would be proposterous and is certainly a lie. I would think this since FedEx has already broken ground on a mass expansion into more fields and the site of the old TANG base at MEM. I believe that FedEx will continue to stay and increase the Memphis presence since they have so much invested in the city...what do you guys think? Fact or fiction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I doubt it.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. :)

It's possible that Indianapolis could become a hub larger than Memphis.

That doesn't mean that FedEx is pulling out of Memphis, nor that the Memphis hub won't continue to grow.

The only thing I think it means is that Indianapolis may grow faster than Memphis.

Example, FedEx is opening up a hub at Greensboro. No doubt Greensboro will grow faster than Memphis for the first few years, since it's basically starting from scratch.

None of that means FedEx is scaling back its Memphis operations.

Beyond that, Memphis is the only hub that's capable of the A380--the new superlarge cargo plane that debuts in 3 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, I could see FedEx sending some more domestic routes to Indy and putting Memphis up with more international routes with the new A380...hmmm, could Anchorage be affected in a bad way due to the lack of need for a fuel stop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, I could see FedEx sending some more domestic routes to Indy and putting Memphis up with more international routes with the new A380...hmmm, could Anchorage be affected in a bad way due to the lack of need for a fuel stop?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, Anchorage looks to be a loser in all this. Doesn't mean it still won't be a big hub though. I mean the majority of cargo carriers aren't going to be flying the A380.

About NWA--any thoughts? Memphis has been a hub for them for about 20 years now, and is presumably profitable. If they went into bankruptcy, I doubt they'd pull out of Memphis. The airline would essentially become a regional Midwest carrier with no southern presence. And they wouldn't have the cash to re-hub to another city, which would cost a fortune.

On the other hand, if NWA merged with some other airline, Memphis as a hub may well be doomed.

That might not be a bad ending anyway. Memphis would lose the "prestige" of having umpteen flights to everywhere, but 99% of the citizens of Memphis could care less about prestige (they want the streets paved, the garbage picked up, etc. lol) They want cheap airfares, and presently don't get that.

Look what happened to Nashville when American pulled out. Sure, Nashville lost the "prestige" of a London flight, but Southwest moved in and the vast majority of Nashvillians enjoy much better service than they had. Nashville may not have the 10 nonstops to Chicago it had before, but I bet it's got many on Southwest at half the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FedEx is doing something here in Nashville. Building something around 75k sq feet on the "old" side of the airport. Nothing big, I'm sure, but a few jobs scattered here and there. That's my FedEx entry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been talking all weekend about the Memphis hub...if NWA remains the same as it is today, I see the Indianapolis/Milwuakee focus cities or one of the other hubs (probably Minneapolis since Detroit is so massive) closing before Memphis simply because they all overlap each other with the small market operations. Memphis (trying to be as unbiased as possible here) simply is one of the better things going for Northwest right now. Think about it...NWA has a clutch on so many little cities in the area right now where they actually are the source of packed planes. In the winter, while Minneapolis, Detroit, and the focus cities are shut down due to snow and frequent ice storms, Memphis is operating full time due to pretty humid winters. At the same time, MEM has recently lowered its landing fees to accomodate NWA much more than they have been. Also, the terminals and runways are being expanded and upgraded to help with the A380 and for more international flights from the 787 (Tokyo-Narita, Paris, and many South American/Mexico routes are being mentioned)...plus, with the recent 10-year anniversary of the Memphis-Amsterdam flight (the one nobody thought would work for little old Memphis), Memphis has shown that it is capable of holding so much more. Polls have been taken with travelers who prefer the convenient connections at Memphis as well as the great food (the new concessions are wonderful...I ate at my favorite Italian restaurant's airport location while waiting for a flight on Sunday)...should NWA not merge, things should fare well for Memphis. If it does combine with Delta, we're screwed. Delta would certainly keep Atlanta and Detroit open...Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Cincinatti seem to be the unsure ones...but Memphis would certainly close, in my opinion, as a hub. Other talks include American merging with NW...I've heard that St. Louis would close, and Memphis would remain open with Dallas and Memphis operating the southern legs...I feel that Minneapolis would close simply because you'd have Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit right against each other in the flight pattern...o well, it's certainly confusing. But I am praying that the negotiations with the mechanics fare well and keep NW a legacy on its own. If not, I favor a merger with American over Delta...but the airline industry is simply hard to speculate. Northwest was the one the everyone was saying was the good one with great management and funds, yet they just posted major losses...American was supposed to be in the hole...and they earn a $56 million profit. It's confusing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FedEx is doing something here in Nashville. Building something around 75k sq feet on the "old" side of the airport. Nothing big, I'm sure, but a few jobs scattered here and there. That's my FedEx entry.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I looked around on airliners.net and found that FedEx is building a bigger center at BNA that should be completed in the next two years. It is supposed to have a daily flight by a 727, A300, and a MD-11 or DC-10...not too bad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are absolutely no plans to downsize MEM in favor or IND or any other domestic airport. Whoever is saying that up in Indy is most assuredly not an insider at FedEx. As the original post stated, FedEx has one major expansion underway - ramp on Winchester Rd. capable of parking 8 A380s, plus an A380 hangar. There's also the planned conversion of the TN Air Guard base into additional aircraft parking (some hangars/buildings will be retained, others demolished).

FedEx is growing the IND hub, but it is beyond the realm of possibility that IND would outgrow MEM. For that to happen, FedEx would have to add lots of domestic flights (highly unlikely since U.S. air express market growth is nearly flat), OR it would have to expend lots of capital to build up the IND hub for no other reason but to replace operations at MEM. That would be an utterly stupid financing decision...waste several billion dollars to replace a perfectly serviceable U.S. hub while all the growth is occurring in Asia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked around on airliners.net and found that FedEx is building a bigger center at BNA that should be completed in the next two years. It is supposed to have a daily flight by a 727, A300, and a MD-11 or DC-10...not too bad!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

FedEx has not flown mainline aircraft into BNA previously due to its proximity to MEM. Most frieght was always trucked, except for late pickup stuff which was flown in on a feeder flight (Cessna 208, Fokker F27, etc.) A jet flight is now being added to Indy, most likely a 727 or A310.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been talking all weekend about the Memphis hub...if NWA remains the same as it is today, I see the Indianapolis/Milwuakee focus cities or one of the other hubs (probably Minneapolis since Detroit is so massive) closing before Memphis simply because they all overlap each other with the small market operations. Memphis (trying to be as unbiased as possible here) simply is one of the better things going for Northwest right now. Think about it...NWA has a clutch on so many little cities in the area right now where they actually are the source of packed planes. In the winter, while Minneapolis, Detroit, and the focus cities are shut down due to snow and frequent ice storms, Memphis is operating full time due to pretty humid winters. At the same time, MEM has recently lowered its landing fees to accomodate NWA much more than they have been. Also, the terminals and runways are being expanded and upgraded to help with the A380 and for more international flights from the 787 (Tokyo-Narita, Paris, and many South American/Mexico routes are being mentioned)...plus, with the recent 10-year anniversary of the Memphis-Amsterdam flight (the one nobody thought would work for little old Memphis), Memphis has shown that it is capable of holding so much more. Polls have been taken with travelers who prefer the convenient connections at Memphis as well as the great food (the new concessions are wonderful...I ate at my favorite Italian restaurant's airport location while waiting for a flight on Sunday)...should NWA not merge, things should fare well for Memphis. If it does combine with Delta, we're screwed. Delta would certainly keep Atlanta and Detroit open...Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Cincinatti seem to be the unsure ones...but Memphis would certainly close, in my opinion, as a hub. Other talks include American merging with NW...I've heard that St. Louis would close, and Memphis would remain open with Dallas and Memphis operating the southern legs...I feel that Minneapolis would close simply because you'd have Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit right against each other in the flight pattern...o well, it's certainly confusing. But I am praying that the negotiations with the mechanics fare well and keep NW a legacy on its own. If not, I favor a merger with American over Delta...but the airline industry is simply hard to speculate. Northwest was the one the everyone was saying was the good one with great management and funds, yet they just posted major losses...American was supposed to be in the hole...and they earn a $56 million profit. It's confusing!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think NW will probably maintain a hub operation of some kind in MEM as long as the airline remains in its current state - that is, no merger and no liquidation due to bankrupcy. Two primary reasons for this belief...(1) the hub is relatively inexpensive to operate, and (2) they have nowhere better to fly those aircraft. It also helps that their main regional partner, Pinnacle, is based here. A merger would most likely close down MEM as a hub, perhaps not as a focus city. If the merger is with Delta, ATL is the southern hub; if with Continental, they have Houston; if American, DFW. It would be highly unlikely that NW would merge with United (their existing networks overlap too much), but if that happened MEM would be okay since United is weak in the south.

It is also possible that the hub could be downsized to something approaching Nashville's Southwest operation IF Northwest becomes more of a point-to-point carrier vs. its current hub and spoke network. But this is unlikely to happen since NW has its fortress hubs in MSP and DTW.

Any drop-off of MEM's NW hub is likely to invite more low-cost carrier activity here, and conversely any additional low-cost carrier activty endanger's the profitability of the MEM hub for NW. In other words, Memphis will either get to keep its NW hub, or see lower airfares. Probably not both at once, however.

The MEM hub does get good reviews for connection times, but the concourses are cramped and unattractive. They need to widen most of the B concourse and raise the ceilings...maybe put skylights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think NW will probably maintain a hub operation of some kind in MEM as long as the airline remains in its current state - that is, no merger and no liquidation due to bankrupcy.  Two primary reasons for this belief...(1) the hub is relatively inexpensive to operate, and (2) they have nowhere better to fly those aircraft.  It also helps that their main regional partner, Pinnacle, is based here.  A merger would most likely close down MEM as a hub, perhaps not as a focus city.  If the merger is with Delta, ATL is the southern hub; if with Continental, they have Houston; if American, DFW.  It would be highly unlikely that NW would merge with United (their existing networks overlap too much), but if that happened MEM would be okay since United is weak in the south.

It is also possible that the hub could be downsized to something approaching Nashville's Southwest operation IF Northwest becomes more of a point-to-point carrier vs. its current hub and spoke network.  But this is unlikely to happen since NW has its fortress hubs in MSP and DTW. 

Any drop-off of MEM's NW hub is likely to invite more low-cost carrier activity here, and conversely any additional low-cost carrier activty endanger's the profitability of the MEM hub for NW.  In other words, Memphis will either get to keep its NW hub, or see lower airfares.  Probably not both at once, however.

The MEM hub does get good reviews for connection times, but the concourses are cramped and unattractive.  They need to widen most of the B concourse and raise the ceilings...maybe put skylights.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly what I was thinking. NW won't downsize because that would be a low fare airline's invitation to ease the strangle hold they have on the Mid-South.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.