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northernbizzkit1

Memphis International Airport

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With the merger apparently hitting some rocks right now, who knows the future of MEM as a hub.

I suspect that whatever happens with NWA, MEM will toddle on off into the future as some sort of hub/focus much as it has since the fifties with Chicago and Southern/Delta/Southern/Republic/Northwest.

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I think Memphis is fine right now as some reports are that the deal is off. I wouldn't get too worried if I used MEM often to be honest. NW has a strangle hold on the market in MEM and that's to be expected. But I suppose if Southwest wanted in there, they could do it with or without NW. They have taken on markets where there are much larger hub operations like Philly and Denver etc. I think if there were a merger, it would benefit MEM if either the hub stays or it goes. But that's just my humble opinion. Memphis is a great market for a strong LCC and I would suspect that if the hub was to disappear at some point, a LCC would come in and really take up the slack. You make some good and very valid points in your post.

Thanks. I too think MEM is fine either way.

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MEM retains its status as the world's busiest cargo airport for the 16th year in a row...growth was at 4%, a decent improvement from the 2.6% seen in 2006. Experts still expect Hong Kong to overtake MEM in the next few years; however, it's good that the MEM growth is over the US average of 2-3% cited in this article:

MEM Retains Lofty Title for Cargo

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The merger of Delta & Northwest has been officially announced.

It seems clear that the merger of Delta & Northwest will eventually mean the end of a passenger connecting hub at Memphis. In spite of what the merger announcement says about retaining all hubs, simple economics dictate that not all of the 2 airlines mutliple hubs will survive.

The MEM hub operation will not end overnight, but it will happen gradually (maybe even faster if oil prices continue to rise). Memphis will surely be at least a focus city for the "new" Delta Air Lines and should continue to have good service -- especially to the other key hubs, especially Atlanta. As the feeder connections are reduced at MEM, the Amsterdam flight will certainly end.

It also seems clear that Cincinnati (CVG) will loose its hub. The "new" Delta will have US hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York JFK and in Salt Lake City. There is simply no way that MEM or CVG will survive given the cost of fuel and the extremely weak financial situation of airlines today. This merger is all about efficiency and survival.

Memphis has always been NWA's smallest hub and existed primarily to transfer passengers to destinations in the south. Memphis and Cincinnati are both very weak origination & destination (O&D) markets resulting in both having high air fares for locals. For years, Northwest has screwed Memphis travelers with some of the highest air fares of any city in the USA....Delta did the same thing in Cincinnati.

Much of the MEM flying will gradually migrate to Atlanta where the airport is now much better able to handle more traffic due to a newly constructed runway. Much of Cincinnati's flight schedule will eventually move to Detroit. Across the airline industry regional jet flying is being reduced because of high fuel costs, so overall traffic at ATL will not increase so much due to the increased operational efficiencies this merger is designed to create.

NWA has never been a great corporate citizen in Memphis -- in many ways they treated Memphis like a poor step-child, when compared to the corporate support given to Minneapolis and Detroit.

I will certainly hope to welcome Southwest, and other low-cost carriers, to Memphis....competition will be a very good for this city and its travelers. Lots of positives can from come from such scenarios -- a good example is to look at how Nashville benefited when American Airlines closed its hub and Southwest and other carriers moved-in to fill the gap.

As far as Memphis Intl Airport is concerned, FedEx is the only thing that really matters in this city.

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Oh well,

What you say certainly makes sense, but no one really knows for certain. One positive thing about MEM as a hub is that it has been consistently downsized over the years to what is the right "fit" for the city.

Even though ATL may not see some crippling increase in congestion, eliminating the MEM hub would certainly increase that congestion. So, I think it's reasonable to speculate that MEM may still have a role to play beyond a focus city, particularly as I said because MEM has already been downsized/rightsized.

In any case, as I've said before, MEM has been a hub city throughout the whole Southern/Republic/Northwest saga--a good 30 yr. or longer, probably one of the longest running hubs in the US.

Edited by sleepy

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Well, farewell hub status.......

I kind of like KMEM having a "hub" status...... oh well. Hopefully, something good will come out of this merger. As said before, maybe something similar to Nashville. I wonder how long it will take for a low-cost carrier to get established at KMEM once the traffic starts to slow.

Southwest is alreadyin Nashville , so I was thinking they were too close, but what if Frontier started some major operations in Memphis. Isn't Denver their only city with a ton of operations out of it? :dunno:

Edited by Fellowmann20

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Well, farewell hub status.......

I kind of like KMEM having a "hub" status...... oh well. Hopefully, something good will come out of this merger. As said before, maybe something similar to Nashville. I wonder how long it will take for a low-cost carrier to get established at KMEM once the traffic starts to slow.

Southwest is alreadyin Nashville , so I was thinking they were too close, but what if Frontier started some major operations in Memphis. Isn't Denver their only city with a ton of operations out of it? :dunno:

I was also thinking about Frontier having major operations here or possibly moving the HQ here then I saw this article.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/04/11/us.fr...=rss_topstories

Frontier has a full plate right now.

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I was also thinking about Frontier having major operations here or possibly moving the HQ here then I saw this article.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/04/11/us.fr...=rss_topstories

Frontier has a full plate right now.

Wow, even the smaller carriers are having problems........ I have a solution. Its called Alaska, Midwest, and Gulf of Mexico.

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Before jumping into the hot topic, I must say that I'm very impressed with the look of the new parking garage. This is a very attractive "front door" for MEM, and I think it shows that MEM is moving in the right aesthetic direction. Now let's find some new designs for terminal improvements!!

OK, on to the NW/DL merger. If/when it is approved by the DOJ, I honestly would not jump to the conclusion that MEM is out the door. I'm not going to be ignorantly optimistic like some officials in the CA who spoke of how MEM is safe and is guaranteed to see growth with the merger; however, I'd ask everyone to be slightly realistic. ATL is approaching max capacity (contrary to what some earlier poster seems to believe). Further, while MEM and ATL slightly overlap, ATL is definitely entrenched in the Southeast whereas MEM is further to the west. This could enable MEM to capture westbound traffic rather than cause travelers to backtrack through ATL. At the same time, MEM is the most marginally profitable NW hub due to extremely low costs.

IMO, it is not a question of MEM against ATL; it is one of MEM against CVG (Cincinnati). In this duel, you have to compare a SLIGHTLY higher O&D market at CVG as opposed to better weather and much lower operating costs at MEM. Furthermore, you have CVG, DTW, MSP, an IND focus city, and one could even say JFK all overlapping each other with the "new" Delta as opposed to just ATL and MEM overlapping. Further, DTW, MSP, and JFK could easily absorb CVG traffic. ATL can't exactly do this with MEM. I personally don't feel 100% secure in the MEM hub status, but at the same time, I feel a lot more comfortable with this merger than some residents in Ohio should be feeling.

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I was also thinking about Frontier having major operations here or possibly moving the HQ here then I saw this article.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/04/11/us.fr...=rss_topstories

Frontier has a full plate right now.

Their initial foray into MEM certainly indicates interest here. I am hoping for a rapid recovery in their financials, and hopefully they'll resume their MEM plans.

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Before jumping into the hot topic, I must say that I'm very impressed with the look of the new parking garage. This is a very attractive "front door" for MEM, and I think it shows that MEM is moving in the right aesthetic direction. Now let's find some new designs for terminal improvements!!

OK, on to the NW/DL merger. If/when it is approved by the DOJ, I honestly would not jump to the conclusion that MEM is out the door. I'm not going to be ignorantly optimistic like some officials in the CA who spoke of how MEM is safe and is guaranteed to see growth with the merger; however, I'd ask everyone to be slightly realistic. ATL is approaching max capacity (contrary to what some earlier poster seems to believe). Further, while MEM and ATL slightly overlap, ATL is definitely entrenched in the Southeast whereas MEM is further to the west. This could enable MEM to capture westbound traffic rather than cause travelers to backtrack through ATL. At the same time, MEM is the most marginally profitable NW hub due to extremely low costs.

IMO, it is not a question of MEM against ATL; it is one of MEM against CVG (Cincinnati). In this duel, you have to compare a SLIGHTLY higher O&D market at CVG as opposed to better weather and much lower operating costs at MEM. Furthermore, you have CVG, DTW, MSP, an IND focus city, and one could even say JFK all overlapping each other with the "new" Delta as opposed to just ATL and MEM overlapping. Further, DTW, MSP, and JFK could easily absorb CVG traffic. ATL can't exactly do this with MEM. I personally don't feel 100% secure in the MEM hub status, but at the same time, I feel a lot more comfortable with this merger than some residents in Ohio should be feeling.

I don't know. As a garage, it's nice. But it's no front door. That image obscures the architecture of the terminal. Maybe it's not reflective of the final arrangement, but I'd like the garage to complement the architectural uniqueness of the terminals (and hopefully as time goes by, we see either an expansion or renovation of the exterior of the concourses as well), not obscure it. It's like you have to go through a wall of trees to see a mansion.

It seems that with CVG, Indy, Minneapolis, and Detroit so clustered together, there would be some reduction amongst those four.

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Their initial foray into MEM certainly indicates interest here. I am hoping for a rapid recovery in their financials, and hopefully they'll resume their MEM plans.

Now since it seems apparent Delta & NWA will merge what does this mean for Pinnacle Airlines? They seem to be quite about this whole thing. They seem to be doing well and their numbers are increases. Hmmm could they possibly buy Frontier Airlines? This may seem unrealistic, but it may not be a bad move for Pinnacle.

Edited by The Memphian

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I agree with Clobber, they could make the garage look more in tune with the terminal, but at any rate, if they were to stick to that design I would be fine with it. It looks really nice, and it kind of goes with One Beale with the glass facade. If anybody hasn't read the rest of that news letter they should. It has an article with the progress going on around the airport and a pdf file on facts about KMEM as well.

Edited by Fellowmann20

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I don't know. As a garage, it's nice. But it's no front door. That image obscures the architecture of the terminal. Maybe it's not reflective of the final arrangement, but I'd like the garage to complement the architectural uniqueness of the terminals (and hopefully as time goes by, we see either an expansion or renovation of the exterior of the concourses as well), not obscure it. It's like you have to go through a wall of trees to see a mansion.

I agree. From what I can tell it will obscure the uniqueness of the terminal, which to some may be dated, but to some - like me- is a strong image of the terminal's architectural value. I have no issue with the garage, but if it is going to obscure the terminal I would prefer to see in the final design the use of non-transparent glass on the facade so it looks more like a building and less like a well lit parking garage. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice design for a parking garage and we could do much worse, but I do think the design could be improved upon with a few tweaks to be a much nicer final project. Problem is that it would also probably be more costly, so I realize this limitation as well.

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I agree with Clobber, they could make the garage look more in tune with the terminal, but at any rate, if they were to stick to that design I would be fine with it. It looks really nice, and it kind of goes with One Beale with the glass facade. If anybody hasn't read the rest of that news letter they should. It has an article with the progress going on around the airport and a pdf file on facts about KMEM as well.

I like the glass; I guess I wish it was split down the middle so you can see the terminal or somehow when approaching, it framed the rest of the property somehow. I dunno. It's much better than I expected in and of itself.

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I agree. From what I can tell it will obscure the uniqueness of the terminal, which to some may be dated, but to some - like me- is a strong image of the terminal's architectural value.

I think the original terminal design is great. It was built 45 years ago and to me still has great architectual integrity in the sense that it offers the best of that era. When it was built, it garnered all sorts of rewards. The terminal problems seem to be mostly interior design problems.

Building that parking garage in front of it to me is like putting vinyl siding on an old house to make it appear more "updated", then realizing twenty years later your mistake.

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I think the original terminal design is great. It was built 45 years ago and to me still has great architectual integrity in the sense that it offers the best of that era. When it was built, it garnered all sorts of rewards. The terminal problems seem to be mostly interior design problems.

Building that parking garage in front of it to me is like putting vinyl siding on an old house to make it appear more "updated", then realizing twenty years later your mistake.

I have to disagree. This design is very modern, plus the parking is needed. I believe it makes the entrance to the airport much more appealing. This is where the parking garage had to be built, and the designers have done a great job of making it appealing to the eye...

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I like the design of our airport. I see a few hints of that design within the new garage but I think if the garage has to be built... it should not screw up the original building.

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It's too late now, but maybe they could've incorporated the martini glass theme in a classy non-cheesy manner. It's like putting up tall gorgeous flowered hedges in front of the columned entrance of a house. But, if that's the only place to put it and there was no way to build it without obstructing the view . . . I guess it's the next best option. It in and of itself, for its purpose, is nice.

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McAllen??? Lubbock I know, is McAllen in West Texas I presume?

Found the 40% increase in capacity at MEM to serve the hub network an intersesting figure I had no idea would be developing after the merger. Seems like increased capacity if filled with customers making connections will work out nicely. The addition of the flight to JFK is nice too, I might use that sometime.

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McAllen is in south Texas in highly populated Hidalgo County near Harlingen and Brownsville (the latter in Cameron County). The metro area population is around 950,000 and Matamoros and Reynosa across the border also contain about a million people. American and Continental currently serve Miller Intl Airport in McAllen (MFE). Southwest and Continental Express serve nearby Valley Intl Airport in Harlingen (HRL) and FedEx serves HRL direct from MEM as well. Continental Express is the only air carrier at Brownsville Intl closer to the coast.

Pinnacle used to fly the CRJ200 from MEM to MFE until a few years ago. Hopefully Delta will market this service better than NWA did. If this is the start of Delta's "Southwestern Strategy," perhaps we might see new service from Memphis to one or more of Amarillo, El Paso, Midland-Odessa, Albuquerque, Tucson, Laredo in regional jets and Longview, Lake Charles, and Texarkana in the Saabs.

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^Near Brownsville, okay gotcha. This sounds like a good area for Delta to have expanded into then, Texas and the Southwest as a whole offers a host of great markets to expand into as you listed.

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