No one’s quite sure what impact American Airlines’ Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing will eventually have on flights out of the carrier’s prime hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International. Industry observers are predicting an eventual contraction of AA’s route system. DFW is the airline’s prime hub.
Meanwhile, 373 miles south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, in Houston, there seem to be squadrons of new flights taking wing. Consider:
- United just launched nonstop Bush Houston Intercontinental flights to Lagos. There’s no competition on the nonstop to Nigeria, a flight that consumes a full 11 hours, 35 minutes.
- Beginning Feb. 16, 2012 United intends to lay on a second daily Bush Houston Intercontinental flight to Edmonton. A 737-800 will ply the 1,886-mile route two times each day, save Saturdays.
- In June 2012, discount airline Southwest will be launching nonstop Houston Hobby flights to Raleigh/Durham, Houston Hobby flights to Kansas City, and Houston Hobby flights to Seattle/Tacoma.
- No one offers nonstop Houston Hobby flights to either Raleigh/Durham or Seattle/Tacoma just now. Frontier fields nonstop Houston Hobby flights to Kansas City already.
What’s the future hold for Southwest in the Bayou City? Bigger things, contends Genaro Peña, Houston Airport System’s air service development director. “With the purchase of AirTran in place, we’re expecting to see the Southwest presence in Houston expand even further.”
Air service to Houston is very much a tale of two airports. United is in the process of growing its megahub at Bush Houston Intercontinental. The airport is located some 23 miles north of downtown. Houston Hobby is more than twice as close to downtown, a mere ten miles south. That puts it in comparatively close proximity to the vaunted Texas Medical Center.
What’s your preferred Houston airport: Hobby or Bush Intercontinental?
Story by Jerry Chandler
(Image: Josh Hallett)Jerry Chandler