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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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There was a similar story re:airports in Washington Monthly a while back:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/terminal_sickness035756.php

Cincinnati's hub was always a double edged sword. For many years they had the nation's highest fares as Delta had a stranglehold on local flights. However, they fortunately were able to get Delta to guarantee the costs of a lot of the expansion, so they aren't stuck with it. It wasn't in the article, but Indianapolis also took a huge financial bath on a United Airlines maintenance center there that closed years ago and for which the still owes many millions in bonds.

Definitely a lack of non-stop flights (and non-stop flight frequency), even domestically, is a big issue for business in these smaller cities. It's one of the many ways that scale issues work against them. (Of course scale issues also work for them in some regard).

I would think this is a good example of a potential basis of cooperation with Chicago. Airlines themselves may be bad because people will generally connect through any hub they can depending on what is cheapest, not necessarily the closest one. But in many ways these smaller cities need to connect to global networks through global hubs. This is a way the fortunes of Chicago and its Midwestern tributaries are linked. It also links Chicago's role as the capital of the Midwest to its global ambitions.

Here's more out of Cleveland. Looks like local government attempting to preserve their hub, which I would say seems doomed to fail unless all of northeast Ohio commercial air service is consolidated at Cleveland:

http://www.theplus.us/Know/2012/July/United-for-the-Hub.aspx

http://www.unitedforthehub.com/

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