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Why IAH and not DFW

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  • Why IAH and not DFW

    Hello,

    My first post here and I hope not too silly.

    I recently transplanted from NYC to Dallas some four years ago and have become a huge advocate for growth (in particular in the int'l arena) from DFW. However I have noticed a disturbing trend with regrds to int'l service from DFW..stagnation. Granted we are seeing KL next year and occasonally, AA will toss us a few bones (mainly Latin America), but we are falling way behind our rivals down south in Houston. Why is this? Not to offend any Houston members on this forum, but let's be honest, Dallas (not so much Ft Worth), is far more affluent, cultured, educated (more MBAs and PHds here than Houston from what I have read), a larger professional workforce, larger population, ect..... All the elements that one would think would attract an increase in int'l traffic. Yet Houston/IAH seems to keep trumping us. Over the last 5 months 3 new int'l operators (2 cargo and 1 pax) have launched services to IAH and more are coming. Qatar is set for the summer of '08', Korean is believed to making ready to ramp up IAH ops in the last quarter of '08' all the while dumping DFW. Not to mention all the recent doubling up or upgrading of equipment of European ops from longtime IAH stahlworths like KL, LH, AF and BA.

    The real kicker is that a lion's share of the int'l traffic in and out of IAH seems to be local, while a sizable portion of our int'l traffic are connections

    So, why IAH over DFW? Oil....? sure to some degree, but that can not be the sole reason.

    Curious,

    Mark
    Last edited by BigBoeingNYC; 2007-12-08, 23:51. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Re:

    The way I've read over the years (and of course I'm no expert on this issue, but from what I know), international traffic is mostly dependant on ethnic diversity and economics. The greater the population of a certain ethnicity, the greater the number of passengers you'll have of that ethnicity passing through your airport. Houston has that much more ethnic diversity (the largest Indian, mid-east and Pakistani population of any Texas city, and comparably larger than Dallas), thus you're seeing EK and QR coming into the picture at IAH. Also, having major oil corporations helps a lot, and oil is again tied to the middle east, no doubt the new service will be aimed at business travellers as well between IAH and DXB or whatever the airport in consideration may be.

    Sure, Dallas has great ethnic diversity as well, but Houston has larger populations of the same ethnicities and a greater overall metro population when compared to Dallas. It is for the same reason that Indian carriers AI and 9W are looking at Houston before Dallas. Then again, even though Houston has a large East Asian population, China Airlines is disconinuing its 343 service between IAH and TPE via SEA because of low yields, so it depends, but I'm giving you the overall picture. I don't know about PIA though, doesn't seem to be listed on the airport's website.

    I don't doubt though that with the super-long range jets continuing to come into airline fleets and more marketing of DFW to carriers like QR, EK and AI, which btw, is also considering DFW for flights to/from India, DFW will get new int'l pax service.

    On the other hand, DFW is bagging the goods when it comes to international air cargo, with EVA Air Cargo, China Airlines Cargo and a couple others either starting new service or adding frequencies.

    Comment


    • #3
      While I concur that ethnic populations play a larger role in route decisions of certain airlines, I believe that there are other forces at play here:

      The Dallas/Ft. Worth area has neither the population (of ethnic passengers) nor the business interests (of the large oil industry) that the Houston area does - as of such, the passengers travelling through the area are going to be mostly connecting passengers (connecting through with American Airlines) onto other destinations. I doubt that there DFW is a major O/D market. This statement leads to another view.

      AA has such a strong presence at DFW, that most other airlines cannot operate out of the city. The only option for most carriers would be to either codeshare with other carriers (or with AA) or operate only a few frequencies to the city. The presence of DL was the only real form of competition with AA, but that has now expired. AA does very well at providing for the needs of passengers in the DFW area in that they keep connecting passengers moving through the city, they cater to Business passengers wishing to stay in Dallas, and also connect the city with select international destinations in order to cater to both O/D and connecting services.

      Thus, expansion at DFW will be limited to either OneWorld carriers, through their alliance with AA or airlines that have destinations that are not covered by AA.

      As for IAH, while we may see new carriers coming online, I could argue that these are missed oppurtunities by CO. However, considering that CO simply does not have the aircraft to expand, I can see why. CO seems to have alot of international expansion from EWR.

      As for expansions - yes, they are a great idea, but we need to see how these routes do as competition is added to the route. Remember, as for now, we have EK flying to the city. In the future we will add QR, and as more carriers come online, we will see added competion and possibly a few carriers exiting the market. EK and QR are going to be catering to two markets - the O/D passengers (mostly travelling to IAH for business - namely the Oil Industry) as well as doing that which they do all to well - catering to their connecting passengers that often connect onto India and Pakistan. With the arrival of PIA and AI, we are sure to see the loss of possible passengers in favor of AI and PIA in that both airlines will be offering non-stop services.

      There is alot to consider, but do not worry - in the future I believe that things are going to heat up for DFW. As more aircraft arrive, or rather, as profits increase, AA will begin looking to improove service and possibly expand. MIA is doing well, but competition is getting stiff out of the area and other markets should be considered.
      Whatever is necessary, is never unwise.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re:

        ^Seems PIA has stopped IAH service completely.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Foxtrot
          ^Seems PIA has stopped IAH service completely.
          I wonder why? Lack of planes? Or problems at PIA? I mean, the route would have been great for them, right? Has the political sittutation in Pakistan reduced the amount of passengers to Pakistan? Or maybe with the arrival of EK, they though that they would not be able to compete? Well, either which way, I think that IAH would have been a great move for them.
          Whatever is necessary, is never unwise.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AA 1818
            I wonder why? Lack of planes? Or problems at PIA? I mean, the route would have been great for them, right? Has the political sittutation in Pakistan reduced the amount of passengers to Pakistan? Or maybe with the arrival of EK, they though that they would not be able to compete? Well, either which way, I think that IAH would have been a great move for them.
            According to my Houston contacts, PK's flights were going out almost empty from day 1. According to the stories that I have heard, PK put $0.000 into marketing the flights locally, much of Houston's sizable Pakistani community were unaware of PK's presence at IAH. There was also allegedly an issue concerning US Customs at IAH giving arriving passangers on this flight a hard time. So much so that a local Pakistani business leader began to advise visiting Pakistanis to avoid the IAH flight and arrive via JFK or ORD and connect to IAH, in protest. It is my understanding that the IAH service was folded in '06'. The EU's banning of most of PK's widebody Boeing (742/743) and Airbus fleet from European airports certainly did not help matters, considering that almost all of PK's N.Am service was routed via MAN. It should be noted that ORD was pulled this year and my old stomping grounds, JFK, reduced to a twice weekly service. My understanding is that PK is in some serious financial troubles and many routes to Europe and N.Am have been or are to be axed.

            Mark

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