Fortress Hubs and Open Markets in the US



In the third of our series with Blue Swan Daily on the world’s Top 100 airports, we’re looking at how airlines dominate some hub airports and not others, and specifically the situation in the US.

At Los Angeles International Airport 69 airlines operate scheduled services with the largest, American Airlines, having only a 15% share of capacity. This makes LAX the least dominated airport of any of the US airports in the Top 100. On the opposite coast, LaGuardia Airport also benefits from a wide spread of airline operators with the largest, Delta Air Lines, operating only 18% of capacity.

This is a very different type of airport to the “fortress hub” which a number of the large US airports are identified as. This is typified at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport where Delta Air Lines operates 72% of all capacity, and at Houston George Bush Airport where United Airlines operates 52% of capacity. Other airports dominated by a single carrier include Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Minneapolis/St Paul and Dallas/Ft Worth, among others.

For an airport operator, it’s probably preferable to be an open market than a fortress hub, benefitting from a broad range of airlines selling their wares and competing for customers.

You can read the full story in depth here on the Blue Swan Daily website.