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I hope that the previous posters are right about this becoming a Miami situation where United actually grows the IAH hub instead of downsizing it. While I'm in favor of international at Hobby bringing more flights and lower fares, if these threats by United/Lufthansa/etc actually come true, and they do cut many of our international routes, not bring the A380 here, and cause more job loss, then I'm not sure that a few extra flights to Mexico/Central America from Hobby are worth it. Hopefully they are just threats with no backbone that will disappear once Southwest does get these flights (and I think they will). Both sides' arguments are ridiculously exaggerated, which is to be expected, but really, 5 international gates at Hobby are going to bring 10000 jobs to Houston? I do agree with United on one thing, which was their initial point to make it sound like this wasn't about increased competition: the customs/immigration lines at IAH can get extremely long, and if international at Hobby does siphon away some of those agents, the waits will be out of control. Hopefully they add some staff at IAH in addition to HOU, then there shouldn't be any problem from the traveler's point of view.

Edited by asubrt
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Carriers won't cut any flights until they see that they are no longer profitable. For them to suggest that they would do that in response to Hobby getting international capabilities is to scare people in the herd to try and create a frenzy of opposition to push their councilperson to vote their way.

Does the US government only assign a specific number of customs agents per city? I'd imagine that's not exactly how it works...

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The study United commissioned is finally available.

Some of the main points not already hashed by the media -

  • United has added more flts to IAH than any of its other hubs since the merger and IAH has grown more since 1996 alone than Hobby has in total current flying.
  • The comparison to the MIA/FLL situation is invalid because it neglects the fact that AA dismantled its San Juan hub during the same period to increase MIA, and that AA Latin traffic is actually down overall from where it was.
  • The comparison to ORD/MDW is also invalid since it ignores that Mexicana ceased operation in this period, that carriers were only backfilling, and total Latin traffic is actually down.
  • Comparison of multi-international airport cities in both Europe and the US show that multi-international airport cities have seen no growth or actually shrunk, while single international airport cities have seen growth.
  • United would pull 6% of current capacity and 4% of planned capacity as a result of loss of connecting traffic to support routes that Houston O&D doesn't warrant and/or are already unprofitable but supported by overall network. Future planned routes that would not be flown include Asia/Pacific, Transatlantic, and South America. Auckland and China are specifically cited as examples of routes that cannot be supported by Houston O&D alone, and would be harmed by shifting connecitng traffic on network supporting flights.

Other details include refutations of fare assumptions and traffic stimulation.

link:

http://keepiahstrong.com/docs/UnitedStudyMay3.pdf

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The study United commissioned is finally available.

Some of the main points not already hashed by the media -

  • United has added more flts to IAH than any of its other hubs since the merger and IAH has grown more since 1996 alone than Hobby has in total current flying.
  • The comparison to the MIA/FLL situation is invalid because it neglects the fact that AA dismantled its San Juan hub during the same period to increase MIA, and that AA Latin traffic is actually down overall from where it was.
  • The comparison to ORD/MDW is also invalid since it ignores that Mexicana ceased operation in this period, that carriers were only backfilling, and total Latin traffic is actually down.
  • Comparison of multi-international airport cities in both Europe and the US show that multi-international airport cities have seen no growth or actually shrunk, while single international airport cities have seen growth.
  • United would pull 6% of current capacity and 4% of planned capacity as a result of loss of connecting traffic to support routes that Houston O&D doesn't warrant and/or are already unprofitable but supported by overall network. Future planned routes that would not be flown include Asia/Pacific, Transatlantic, and South America. Auckland and China are specifically cited as examples of routes that cannot be supported by Houston O&D alone, and would be harmed by shifting connecitng traffic on network supporting flights.

Other details include refutations of fare assumptions and traffic stimulation.

link:

http://keepiahstrong...edStudyMay3.pdf

After a quick 5 minutes of perusing the document, a couple of initial thoughts.

1. With regard to connecting traffic (such as traffic between Baltimore and Mexico City they discuss in an example on P. 15. United needs to realize, they will have that competition with Southwest no matter what happens with the HOU decision. Therefore, it is essentially irrelevant to the decision. Face it, United, Southwest is going to service these Latin American markets. If they don't service them from HOU, they will service them from ATL, AUS, Orlando, who knows? But passengers from Baltimore and everywhere else on Southwest's system will be able to fly Southwest to the new Latin American destinations. It will not matter to them whether the connection is through ATL or HOU. That competition will have almost exactly the same effect on United's connecting traffic development through IAH whether the Southwest flights are connecting in HOU or in ATL or in AUS. Hey, United! We deregulated airlines in 1978! Time to get used to it.

2. On page 1 they proudly proclaim that "Since the 2010 merger with Continental, United has added 12 new nonstop routes from IAH, more than it has added from any other hub and the same number it has added at Newark Liberty (EWR), Denver International Airport (DEN) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) combined. Then on page 10 (Exhibit 6) they have a chart that shows that, yes, they added 12 new non-stop routes at IAH. And it shows they added 8 new nonstop routes at EWR, 5 at DEN, and 3 at ORD. Hmmm... where I learned math, that adds up to 16. So . . . at the new United, 12 = 16! Kinda makes their snearing attitude towards the HAS study statistics a little hard to take.

The vast bulk of their study is about how they cannot afford to have to compete with Southwest on these flights to Latin America. It has nothing to do with opening up HOU for international service. Their arguments regarding the degradation of their network would apply just as strongly if Southwest was proposing to move their entire operation to IAH and start international service from there. (I know it is not possible. But I would LOVE to see Southwest call United's bluff and announce a wholesale move to IAH and ask for a new FIS at Terminal A to accommodate international arrivals. Just imagine the high comedy of watching United come up with new arguments!)

And fwiw, I am not even a fan of Southwest. I prefer to avoid them. I have been a Platinum OnePass card holder with Continental for years and am now whatever United calls the comparable level. I just prefer to let markets, and not governments, choose winners and losers.

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got this from Ellen Cohen---

soooooooooooooooooooooo now the opportunity to go and express your opinion. . . . . . . .

Dear Friend,

The City of Houston is currently considering a proposal that would add international service to Hobby Airport. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines are both major stakeholders in the decision, but they are not in agreement regarding the expansion. Whatever is ultimately decided could have a major impact on our City.

Public meetings are scheduled through the next several weeks so that the City can share information on this issue and solicit feedback from the community. Please don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the Hobby expansion and to weigh in on the proposal at one of the following upcoming meetings:

City Council Chambers

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

9:00 a.m.

(MAP)

  • Presentations by HAS consultants, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines
  • Public Comment

Doubletree Hotel JFK

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

15747 JFK Boulevard

Houston, TX 77032

(MAP)

  • Presentation by Aviation Director Mario Diaz
  • Public Comment

Marriott Houston South at Hobby Airport

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

9100 Gulf Freeway

Houston, TX 77017

(MAP)

  • Presentation by Aviation Director Mario Diaz
  • Public Comment

Sincerely,

Ellen Cohen

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Funny thing about "studies". They always seem to favor the group that hires them. I wonder why that is?

Clearly true for the United study, but to clarify, the original study showing large benefits for Hobby internationalization was commissioned by the Houston Airport System with independent consultants completely unaffiliated with Southwest.

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CNN/Fortune has a good article on the subject. Their premise is United moving it's headquarters to Chicago is biting them in the butt b/c now they have lost their political clout.

I don't like this, could mean a farther drive to an airport for me:

This would, invariably, force Continental to lower prices on competing routes or to even pull out of some them completely if Southwest is able to put enough pressure on its margins.

Wow

Southwest could target 85% of United's international routes out of Houston if the city signs off on the expansion at Hobby.

Yikes

United says that a Southwest expansion could force it to lay off hundreds of workers and could force it to end its support for the $1 billion expansion at Intercontinental that is already underway. The airline would also discontinue plans to introduce air service to four new international destinations and would not add to additional frequencies in existing markets in Houston over the next three years, a United spokesperson told Fortune.

http://features.blog...thwest-houston/

Are GHP leaders' pockets getting any deeper in this?

Edited by lockmat
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CNN/Fortune has a good article on the subject. Their premise is United moving it's headquarters to Chicago is biting them in the butt b/c now they have lost their political clout.

I don't like this, could mean a farther drive to an airport for me:

Are GHP leaders' pockets getting any deeper in this?

It's a stretch to believe that the GHP is being bribed. Given how ridiculous United's study was, I'm inclined to doubt any threat that they may make.

I'd be interested to see a copy of the agreement between United and the Houston Airport System regarding the terminal expansion. There is hopefully a clause that would address the penalties for one party or the other abandoning the project mid-way through.

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It will increase demand overall between the two airports but since United will have to share the market, their share compared to what they are getting now will not actually increase, correct?

And although this will increase demand, aren't airlines barely getting by right now cureent gas prices. If they are forced to cut their prices bc of competition, it will cut into their margins even more. They will probably have to cut more services or do something to offset things, right?

I've seen several articles mentioning that Houston has the highest average air fares in the nation for the last several years. And since Continental/United owns 80% or so of IAH flights - this has to be one of their most profitable hubs. If they are forced to cut prices - they will still run the planes because they will still be profitable - just not as profitable as before. Basically Houston has been subsidizing flights in other places. IAH might lose some puddle-jumper flights - like to Shreveport, Corpus Christi, etc. but basically United is crying because their gravy train in Houston is threatened.

And they know they have no one to blame but themselves.

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I wonder what those 4 additional international destinations are? One is Auckland presumably, but I haven't heard any others seriously mentioned. I guess smart money would be on Santiago, Munich, and Beijing/Shanghai, or maybe somewhere in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean.

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Blog post is up

Debunking United's anti-Hobby arguments

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2012/05/debunking-uniteds-anti-hobby-arguments.html

At the end of the day, every argument United is making against international service at Hobby could also be made against domestic service at Hobby ("it weakens IAH", "it drains traffic to support our routes", etc.), but nobody in this city (excluding United employees) would think we were better off if we closed down Hobby and eliminated the Southwest competition. When seen through this lense, all of United's arguments crumble.

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I have watched most of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs session the other day. One thing United reps said diverting international travel from IAH to Hobby would do is force some Greenspoint/north side area business to relocate. What a joke! Have they heard of the Energy Corridor, the Galleria and Westchase district?

A couple of the council members also confronted them that Houston residents pay more for one way flights to locations than places like Chicago, San Antonio, Austin etc pay for initiating their flights in those cities and using Houston as a layover and still being substantially lower than Houston.

United also said that usually a flight's profitability comes down to two or three seats. That has to be a lie.

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I went to the public hearing last night. I left after about 1/2 hour because it was just a stream of United employees parotting the lies and nonsense pumped out by their management. Felt sorry for the city council members who had to continue to sit through that nonsense for another 1 1/2 hours.

There was one slightly amusing moment. The first speaker was a 20-year United pilot. When they cut him off at the end of his 2 minute allotted time, he stood there and glared at them as if to demand they allow him to finish his pointless rant. They didn't. Pilots aren't used to being told no. ;-)

Edited by Houston19514
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Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

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Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

It's only big deal to United. Southwest is gonna kick their you-know-what with cheap prices. On their flights originating from Houston, United make most profit per mile on Caribbean, Central and South American destinations. They will lose a big chunk of that slice. Another factor that I think is important but hardly mentioned is that Hobby is closer to majority of Hispanic population in Houston, so even if United were to match SW in price (which I seriously doubt), many people will still prefer to fly out of a closer, smaller Hobby Airport compared to IAH. This seems to me to be the reason why United want SW to bring her proposed international business to IAH. United's 'Keep IAH strong' mantra is just a load of crap.

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Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

A lot of the "competition" for international flights isn't. IAH is a big Star Alliance hub because of United. Most of the Star flights over Atlantic (Luftanhsa, Air Canada, United, etc) are in a protected joint venture arrangement (Just like AA and BA have on NY-London flights). They basically share airplanes and revenues. And then you have code-shares with other Star Alliance partners out of IAH - where there are agreements in place with United. So the level of competition is a lot less than it appears.

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Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

A recap from my blog posts...

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2012/04/learning-from-fll-vs-mia-for-swahou-vs.html

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2012/05/debunking-uniteds-anti-hobby-arguments.html

and throwing in a little humor...

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2012/04/hobby-to-close-iah-turned-over-to.html

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Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

Just getting to this thread...

I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel?

Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?

If I'm correct, I believe their beef is also that Southwest wants international flights at Hobby instead of IAH. Not saying they'd be okay with them if it was at IAH instead, but I think that's the crux of their dissatisfaction.

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If I'm correct, I believe their beef is also that Southwest wants international flights at Hobby instead of IAH. Not saying they'd be okay with them if it was at IAH instead, but I think that's the crux of their dissatisfaction.

Nah, that's just a totally disingenous arguement on their part.

"We have no problem with Southwest flying international. Just do it from IAH" they say in most ingratiating tone, knowing full well that Southwest has one of their larger operations in their entire system at Hobby. Which you don't just pickup and move. I'm pretty sure that IAH doesn't have the room for the full Southwest Hobby operation to move over even if Southwest wanted to spend the millions to do so. And Southwest can't just open a new operation at IAH - they need the feed from the large operation they already have at Hobby to support their south of the border push.

United knows this when they made their wonderful offer to share IAH (as if it's their airport anyway). But it's one more part of their PR campaign to try to make themselves look like the poor picked on hometown carrier beaten instead of the carrier that's actually trying to preserve their fortress hub and prevent any meaningful competition on their most lucrative routes.

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Nah, that's just a totally disingenous arguement on their part.

"We have no problem with Southwest flying international. Just do it from IAH" they say in most ingratiating tone, knowing full well that Southwest has one of their larger operations in their entire system at Hobby. Which you don't just pickup and move. I'm pretty sure that IAH doesn't have the room for the full Southwest Hobby operation to move over even if Southwest wanted to spend the millions to do so. And Southwest can't just open a new operation at IAH - they need the feed from the large operation they already have at Hobby to support their south of the border push.

United knows this when they made their wonderful offer to share IAH (as if it's their airport anyway). But it's one more part of their PR campaign to try to make themselves look like the poor picked on hometown carrier beaten instead of the carrier that's actually trying to preserve their fortress hub and prevent any meaningful competition on their most lucrative routes.

Exactly right. That is why I have said in the past that I would LOVE it if there was a way Southwest could call United's bluff and announce they are moving their operation to United and will fly international flights from a newly-expanded Terminal A, with a new FIS at Terminal A. How much fun would it be to watch United rework their arguments to justify their opposition to THAT? LOL

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An article supporting various points mentioned here:

Cincinnati, Ohio and Houston/ Bush had the highest air fare averages at $504 and $494, respectively.

While Long Beach finished second to Atlantic City, it closed the gap, as the East Coast airport's average flight cost rose from $167 to $189 over the course of the quarter. Las Vegas was third at $267

http://www.presstele...urce=rss_viewed

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United and Star have a TON of competition across the Atlantic out of IAH. They compete with British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch, Air France, Qatar, and Emirates.

Where United has almost virtually no competition is to points South out of Houston.

AeroMexico only flies to Mexico City and United kills them on frequency. No other airline flies between Houston and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Leon/Guanajuato, Merida, Cozumel, Tampico, Caracas, Panama City, Managua, Bogota, Quito, Lima, San Jose, San Juan, Montego Bay, etc...

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United and Star have a TON of competition across the Atlantic out of IAH. They compete with British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch, Air France, Qatar, and Emirates.

Where United has almost virtually no competition is to points South out of Houston.

AeroMexico only flies to Mexico City and United kills them on frequency. No other airline flies between Houston and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Leon/Guanajuato, Merida, Cozumel, Tampico, Caracas, Panama City, Managua, Bogota, Quito, Lima, San Jose, San Juan, Montego Bay, etc...

Right. Almost everywhere a competitor flies over the Atlantic - United also flies - Amsterdam, London, Paris. United also does Frankfurt and Lagos which their competitors don't. United's biggest gap over the Atlantic is to the Middle East.

The lock on Mexico and Central America is exactly where Southwest would be flying. So that is why United is fighting so hard.

This probably won't change a bit the price of a ticket to London. But it will change the price of one to Cancun.

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http://abclocal.go.c...ocal&id=8672739

Mayor, Southwest Airlines agree on Hobby Airport expansion

"United said earlier this month it might cancel $700 million in improvements to Terminal B at IAH and it might drop some service from Houston."

They are throwing a temper-tantrum.

I've had my kids tell me they hate me and want to run away from home. For some reason - they are still there.

United will cut routes if they are losing money on them. (and sometimes even then they won't for network reasons). Houston is one of their money-makers. They will stay.

And if they don't - in the last couple of years, IAH has added flights from Emirates, Qatar, Singapore and cargo flights from Cathay, Korean and Luftahnsa. Turkish Airlines is also making noises about coming to IAH. Any of these would be a better flight than United.

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They are throwing a temper-tantrum.

I've had my kids tell me they hate me and want to run away from home. For some reason - they are still there.

United will cut routes if they are losing money on them. (and sometimes even then they won't for network reasons). Houston is one of their money-makers. They will stay.

And if they don't - in the last couple of years, IAH has added flights from Emirates, Qatar, Singapore and cargo flights from Cathay, Korean and Luftahnsa. Turkish Airlines is also making noises about coming to IAH. Any of these would be a better flight than United.

indeed, if United were to step away from flights at IAH, others would step in REALLY fast to pick them up.

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Today's announcement is great news. Even better was the fact that at least 7, and possibly 9 council members were at the announcement press conference. (I think 8 were willing to join the Mayor at the podium at the end of the press conference.) Looks very good for approval of this deal at next week's council meeting.

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Agree, I'm all for Southwest going international from Hobby. Great to have some competition on flights to Latin America.

And in general I'm excited to see Southwest expanding and going international. Can't wait to see the 727's in Southwest colors, that'll be interesting.

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Agree, I'm all for Southwest going international from Hobby. Great to have some competition on flights to Latin America.

And in general I'm excited to see Southwest expanding and going international. Can't wait to see the 727's in Southwest colors, that'll be interesting.

Who's flying 727s around? I'd love to see that period.

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http://abclocal.go.c...ocal&id=8672739

Mayor, Southwest Airlines agree on Hobby Airport expansion

"United said earlier this month it might cancel $700 million in improvements to Terminal B at IAH and it might drop some service from Houston."

Yeah, I read that as well. Their game plan seems to be if they can't convince otherwise, resort to bullying. Besides, what is the connection with Terminal B and international flights?

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Yeah, I read that as well. Their game plan seems to be if they can't convince otherwise, resort to bullying. Besides, what is the connection with Terminal B and international flights?

The Terminal B expansion is/was(?) to include a new FIS facility to accommodate future international growth by Continental, then United. United is saying that since the plans and funding were based on the understanding that IAH would be the only international facility, they will have to scale back the expansion in light of the new reality. Hard to argue with this particular point... Would you still contribute the same $700M+ to a project when the landscape/original assumptions have changed? At the very least, they will probably delay that part of the expansion until they have a better idea how their hub dynamics are affected by a new intl facility across town. It remains to be seen what, if any, service United cuts at IAH when the Hobby expansion is inevitably approved. The timing of the Denver-Tokyo annoucement was very interesting. Is this now the first 787 route? It's not scheduled until next March, but it's already showing in their schedule and out for sale, while Houston-Auckland still hasn't been loaded.

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http://www.fly2houst...919712/0/83280/

Details about the agreement/plans...

When finished, the City will own the improvements debt free. In return for its investment, SWA will have preferential scheduling rights and pay no rent for its use of four of the five new international gates, and will also pay no rent for its use of the customs facility. The fifth additional gate and the customs facility will be available for use by all other airlines at Hobby, but unlike SWA, the other airlines will pay rent.
City Council consideration is expected May 30, 2012. Construction is planned for the spring of 2013. In the interim, the City will work closely with SWA and Washington to obtain the necessary federal approvals as well as a commitment for an adequate number of customs and border patrol agents at both of our airports.
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Let me know if I am wrong but these are my thoughts on prices.

SWA presence will bring United prices down but for the most part they won't be lower than United. They will be the same.

My thinking is based off domestic experience. The last handful of domestic flights I have taken I have compared SWA to United and the prices were the same. Will international flights do the same?

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The Terminal B expansion is/was(?) to include a new FIS facility to accommodate future international growth by Continental, then United. United is saying that since the plans and funding were based on the understanding that IAH would be the only international facility, they will have to scale back the expansion in light of the new reality. Hard to argue with this particular point... Would you still contribute the same $700M+ to a project when the landscape/original assumptions have changed? At the very least, they will probably delay that part of the expansion until they have a better idea how their hub dynamics are affected by a new intl facility across town. It remains to be seen what, if any, service United cuts at IAH when the Hobby expansion is inevitably approved. The timing of the Denver-Tokyo annoucement was very interesting. Is this now the first 787 route? It's not scheduled until next March, but it's already showing in their schedule and out for sale, while Houston-Auckland still hasn't been loaded.

Yes, I believe Terminal B was to include a FIS facility. It's also United's regional jet facility. If they delay that part of the expansion - what has been hurt - you don't get to ride a regional jet to Mexico? Instead you have to ride a larger jet (737 - all Southwest flies once they ditch the 717) - doesn't sound like too bad of a trade-off to me.

And if we lost the Houston-Auckland route - it wasn't because of this - that would be United using that as a cheap excuse. It's because the route would not make money. It's always been thought to be a marginal route - that's why it had to wait for the 787 to arrive - any other airplane that had the legs to fly the route would be too large - and empty seats flying to the other side of the world = money losing route.

If the Auckland route does not appear - it's definately not due to Southwest - I don't think they would be flying a 737 there with 4 or 5 stops anytime soon. And if it is such a critical route that people are clamouring for - Air New Zealand has the planes to fly it and there service would be a lot better than United.

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I think it will depend on how much of a dent Southwest dings CONT passenger count.

One thing I've been curious about is what IS the largest plane that can fly out of HOU?

If you are talking about WN, the largest plane that they operate is a 738 (which are configured for ETOPS). If the international terminal is approved, I could see Y4 or CM taking interest.Volaris operates A320's and Copa has E-190's and 737/8's. The longest runway at HOU is 7600 ft., so I would imagine anything larger than a 757 would be hard to operate profitably (due to weight restrictions, fuel, etc).

Edited by urban909
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I doubt Copa - they used to be owned or partially owned by Continental and are still pretty chummy with United. Aren't they in Star Alliance now too? I think if anything they would come to IAH and cooperate with United.

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If you are talking about WN, the largest plane that they operate is a 738 (which are configured for ETOPS). If the international terminal is approved, I could see Y4 or CM taking interest.Volaris operates A320's and Copa has E-190's and 737/8's. The longest runway at HOU is 7600 ft., so I would imagine anything larger than a 757 would be hard to operate profitably (due to weight restrictions, fuel, etc).

There is no way Copa is going to operate out of Hobby. They're ties with United are just too strong (they're even entering the Star Alliance later this year). Plus, they're happy to devote their fleet to Panama City - LatAm routes and let United feed it from IAH. I don't see them ever coming to Houston.

I can see Volaris, VivaAerobus, Allegiant, and maybe Spirit operating out of HOU.

Edited by Hartmann
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There is no way Copa is going to operate out of Hobby. They're ties with United are just too strong (they're even entering the Star Alliance later this year). Plus, they're happy to devote their fleet to Panama City - LatAm routes and let United feed it from IAH. I don't see them ever coming to Houston.

I can see Volaris, VivaAerobus, Allegiant, and maybe Spirit operating out of HOU.

You are right...I got Interjet and Copa mixed up in my head. Apparently my multi-tasking skills aren't quite working as well as I would like today.

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