Airline hubs are airports that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations. This is as opposed to the Point to Point model. Many hubs of the airlines are also situated at airports in the cities of the respective head offices.
Many airlines also use focus cities, which have a good catchment area and function much the same as hubs, but on a smaller scale and may also function as feeders to main hubs. Some airlines also use the term secondary hubs for large focus cities.
A hub in the middle of a route is more effective than at either end as connecting traffic more easily fills the plane - passengers prefer a one-stop (two-leg) route over a two-stop (three-leg) route.
Another use of the phrase airline hub is an for airports ranked as such in the FAA airport categories which are re-evaluated every year based on number of commercial passengers.
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
A fortress hub is an airport where a single airline's share of flights is at or above the monopoly standard of 70 percent of flights in and out of the hub. For example, in 2010 US Airways occupied 85 (plus 1 shared with Lufthansa) out of 97 total gates and accounted for approximately 90% of passenger traffic at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Another example is at Atlanta Airport Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, both Delta Air Lines hubs. New entrants, such as Spirit Airlines at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, AirTran at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Spirit Airlines at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, allege to have been the target of exclusionary practices by the dominant carrier. Some observers argue that the existence of such hubs can stifle competition; Pro Air's battle with Northwest when it briefly flew out of Detroit City Airport is often cited as an example. Northwest was able to out compete the short-lived discount carrier by matching its fares and offering more frequent flights. Although these competitive measures have nothing to do with hub status per se, they are indicative of the measures a hub airline will take to defend its preferred position at a hub airport. The existence of fortress hubs makes possible the use of airline booking ploys such as "hidden city" ticketing.
Examples of fortress hubs for airline alliances include but are not limited to:
- Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo - Srilankan Airlines
- Berlin-Tegel Airport - Air Berlin
- Charlotte/Douglas International Airport - US Airways
- Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport - LAN Airlines
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport - American Airlines
- Düsseldorf Airport - Air Berlin
- Hamad International Airport - Qatar Airways
- Helsinki-Vantaa Airport - Finnair
- Hong Kong International Airport - Cathay Pacific
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport - Malaysia Airlines
- London Heathrow Airport - British Airways
- Madrid Barajas Airport - Iberia Airlines
- Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Hambantota - Srilankan Airlines
- Miami International Airport - American Airlines
- Moscow Domodedovo Airport - S7 Airlines
- Philadelphia International Airport - US Airways
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - US Airways
- Queen Alia International Airport - Royal Jordanian Airlines
- São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport - TAM Airlines
- Sydney Airport - Qantas
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - KLM
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport - Delta Air Lines
- Fuzhou Changle International Airport - Xiamen Airlines
- Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport - Xiamen Airlines
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - Delta Air Lines
- Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-Kenya Airways
- Kaohsiung International Airport - China Airlines
- Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport - Alitalia
- Madrid–Barajas Airport - Air Europa
- Mexico City International Airport - Aeroméxico
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport - Delta Air Lines
- Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport - Aeroflot
- Noi Bai International Airport - Vietnam Airlines
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport - Air France
- Prague Ruzyně Airport - Czech Airlines
- Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport - Shanghai Airlines
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport - China Eastern Airlines
- Soekarno-Hatta International Airport - Garuda Indonesia
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport - Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport - Xiamen Airlines
- Addis Ababa Bole International Airport - Ethiopian Airlines
- Atatürk International Airport - Turkish Airlines
- Athens International Airport - Aegean Airlines
- Cairo International Airport - EgyptAir
- Comalapa International Airport - Avianca
- Denver International Airport - United Airlines
- El Dorado International Airport - Avianca
- Frankfurt am Main Airport - Lufthansa
- Heraklion Airport - Aegean Airlines
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport - United Airlines
- Indira Gandhi International Airport - Air India
- Jorge Chávez International Airport - Avianca
- Munich Airport - Lufthansa
- Newark Liberty International Airport - United Airlines
- OR Tambo International Airport- South African Airways
- San Francisco International Airport - United Airlines
- Singapore Changi Airport - Singapore Airlines
- Suvarnabhumi Airport - Thai Airways International
- Thessaloniki International Airport - Aegean Airlines
- Toronto Pearson International Airport - Air Canada
- Vienna International Airport - Austrian Airlines
- Warsaw Airport - LOT Polish Airlines
- Washington Dulles International Airport - United Airlines
- Zurich-Kloten Airport - Swiss International Air Lines
These hubs are not fortress hubs because the hub airport hosts multiple alliance carriers:
- Beijing Capital International Airport - Air China (Star Alliance) / China Southern Airlines (SkyTeam)
- O'Hare International Airport - American Airlines (oneworld) / United Airlines (Star Alliance)
- Incheon International Airport - Asiana Airlines (Star Alliance) / Korean Air (SkyTeam)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport - American Airlines (oneworld) / Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam)
- Los Angeles International Airport - American Airlines (oneworld) / United Airlines (Star Alliance) / Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam)
- Madrid-Barajas Airport - Air Europa (SkyTeam) / Iberia (oneworld)
- Narita International Airport - All Nippon Airways, United Airlines (Star Alliance) / Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam) / Japan Airlines (oneworld)
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport - China Airlines (SkyTeam) / EVA Air (Star Alliance)
- Tokyo International Airport - All Nippon Airways (Star Alliance) / Japan Airlines (oneworld)
- Heymann, Eric, Hans-Joachim Frank, and Norbert Walter. "The future of the hub strategy in the air transport industry." Deutsche Bank Research (2006).
- Schofield, Adrian (27 August 2012). "Competition Heats Up As Carriers Contest Kangaroo Routes". Aviation Week. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Dr. Mark N. Cooper (1999-01-22). "Freeing Public Policy from the Deregulation Debate: The Airline Industry Comes of Age" (PDF). Consumer Federation of America. pp. 10–11. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-17.
- Source: City of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, May 2005; US Airways, June 2005 A fortress hub is difficult for new entrant carriers to penetrate.
- "Appendix A: Statement of Enforcement Policy Regarding Unfair Exclusionary Conduct". pp. 10–11. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- "Online NewsHour: Air Fares - June 15, 1998". Pbs.org. 1998-06-15. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
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