pi
Lv 6
pi asked in TravelAir Travel · 1 decade ago

Would Omaha be a good location for an airline hub city?

I was thinking that since it is basically in the middle of the country, it would be a perfect hub location for an airline. The airport would need major expansion, but it would still be a perfect hub location. Think about how easy access would be to cities across the country. It's not too far from any city by plane since it's in the middle of the country? Do you agree with me?

Update:

Omaha doesn't have a large enough population? 1.2 million people live within 50 miles of the center of Omaha. Plus many people use Omaha's airport to travel to and from Lincoln since Lincoln's airport is only served by United and Delta and the prices are more than Omaha. I wouldn't be surprised if people from The whole Eastern portion of Nebraska used that airport. I imagine people from Kansas City and Des Moines and Sioux City and Council Bluffs use it, too. But like I said, over 1.2 million people live within a 50 mile radius of Omaha. I certainly wouldn't call that a low population.

Update 2:

Okay, @dancing_smurf, technically we have 400,000 in the city limits, but 1.2 million in the greater Omaha area. Minneapolis only has like 200 or 300 grand in their city limits, but the surrounding suburbs that are not actually Minneapolis make the population higher. That is how population is figured. Plus Omaha does have have the infrastructure. Two fixed base operators are at the airport and they provide service and whatnot. I'm sure they would love to expand their business. If not, maybe a Lincoln company could expand into Omaha, because LNK is home to a major aircraft service company. Actually, our phone book lists several aircraft service companies. And about the weather? Guess what? 98% of all severe weather we get heads straight for Chicago, so weather should not be an issue. The city has a great economy, too, even through the recent recession, we remained relatively stronger than the rest of the country.

Update 3:

No, we are not exactly a tourist destination, but our mayor is working on that. Some day we should be comparable to Kansas City or Minneapolis. Chicago would be a dream but probably is out of the picture.

Update 4:

I'm glad you mentioned business travel. We actually have many large companies. Five Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here as well as many Fortune 1000 companies. We have TD Ameritrade, Berkshire Hathaway, First National Bank, Woodmen of the World, Union Pacific, ConAgra Foods, Peter Kiewit and Sons, First Data, Mutual of Omaha, West Corporation, Gallup Organization, infoGroup, Werner Enterprises, First Comp insurance, PayPal, LinkedIn, HDR, DLR Group, and Leo A. Daly Co. Pacific Life Insurance also has their regional headquarters here and rumors have been circulating about them even building their own skyscraper downtown to expand. How's that for businesses?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Omaha would not necessarily be a good hub because you don't just want the airport to be a place where people connect. You also want people to have their trip start off in Omaha or have their trip end there as well. I am thinking that is part of the reason why US Airways and Delta cut flights back a lot at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. In the past, Delta had over 600 flights a day at CVG. Now they are down to less than 200. The airline was finding that people were mostly connecting in Cincinnati. People were not boarding from the city or ending their trip there.

    Omaha does not have a large enough population for an airline to set-up a hub. Even though Chicago is not right in the middle of the country, it does have a large population and that has allowed the city to be a hub for 3 airlines; United, American and Southwest.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If Omaha was feasible for an airline hub, an airline would already have been there and a hub would still exist today. Bad weather and the country having too many hubs is not necessarily the reason why Omaha is being overlooked. JetBlue has only been in business 10 years and they set-up shop in New York which sometimes can have really bad weather. Also Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis are hubs for airlines and they sometimes get a lot of snow during the winter.

    Unfortunately not that many people know about Omaha and know what the state of Nebraska has to offer. There is no professional sports team to really draw people to the city. There is no beach or ski resort which would draw a lot of leisure travelers. Besides Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and maybe Omaha Steaks, what other large businesses are there which will have lots of business travelers getting on the airplane? I would think Omaha has to prove that a lot of people get on flights departing or bound for that city to really convince airlines to open a hub there. Right now the airport isn't close to being the top 25 busiest in the country. A plus is that Southwest is flying to Omaha giving the people more choice and affordability.

    Airlines factor a lot of things before they open up a hub. But also know that hubs are expensive to maintain and some airlines seem to be doing a more point-to-point flying instead forcing everyone into one of their hubs. Most people like non-stop flights.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I agree with Keagan, in that Omaha wouldn't be a good location as far as being an airline hub. Unfortunately, as several people have already mentioned, we don't have a lot of tourist attractions here in the Omaha area, with exception of the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park, Baxter Arena, The Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Gerald Ford Birthplace; there are probably a few others that I may not have mentioned, but these are the biggest tourist attractions in the Omaha area, and not a lot of people from outside of the area flock to these attractions. As far as the CenturyLink Center, the only time anyone flocks over there is when the Olympic Swim Trials are going on; TD Ameritrade Park, the only good attractions are Creighton Bluejays Baseball and the College World Series; Baxter Arena on 67th and Center is the home to UNO Hockey and basketball, as well as concerts.

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  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Great Brandini,

    You ask an interesting question and one that I have thought about a few times. Omaha is centrally located and would save airlines money on fuel. There a few drawbacks to Omaha. one is you several large airports within 500 miles such as O'Hare, Minneapolis, and Denver. United has a hub at O'Hare and Denver with American having a hub in O'Hare and Dallas which means you would have to find another airline for the hub due to the fact there would be duplication of services. In addition there are several regional airports that Omaha competes with such as Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Lincoln, Kansas City, Topeka, and Des Moines to name a few. Another drawback is Omaha is small when you look at cities with large airports. My feeling Omaha would have to be near 1,000,000 before it could even consider becoming a hub. Final drawback would be Omaha's infrastructure could support such an expansion. At the moment the skills do not exist in the town to do the work needed on planes, logistics for cargo does not exists, and the business to support a hub does not exist. My feeling if Omaha would ever become a hub the town would need to grow and the airport would have to define itself as a major destination in the area.

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  • Neil
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Well, yes and no. It's not exactly in the "middle" of the country. Omaha has a lot of severe weather (snow in winter, thunderstorms in summer.) The metro population is not tiny, OK, but most of the existing hubs are in metro areas with several times that population. As you note, a major expansion of airport facilities would be required

    But the main thing working against you is that there's really no demand for additional major hubs.Airlines and local , state, and federal governments have invested big piles of money in existing hubs. The central part of the country has hubs at Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Houston, and Dallas. Former hubs at St. Louis and Kansas City already bit the dust.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Omaha might be a good location for a hub, but it would require much airport expansion, and that's not likely to happen since the airport is locked in by the river on one side, and Carter Lake (both the city and the lake itself) on the other. Its not likely that the airport could be expanded to support the operations essential to a hub.

    I would suggest that since American's major departure from St. Louis, that airport is severely under-utilized and that St. Louis would be the logical choice for an airline contemplating a new hub.

    I don't think we'll see new hubs anytime soon, however, as airline capacity has actually been contracting for the past few years.

    Source(s): Frequent Flier (900,000+ miles) and amateur airline industry analyst
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  • Keagan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No. Omaha wouldn't be good for a hub. Usually, airlines want cities that attract leisure as well as business travelers to establish a hub. For example, United Airlines has a hub in Washington since it attracts people from other parts of the country, and Delta and American have a hub in New York since it has business and leisure travelers.

    Omaha would only be a connection point. No one would want to actually visit there unless they have family/friends. Don't expect any kind of hub there anytime soon.

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