Almost all airlines have a place they call home – the main hub, where they station crew and have their maintenance base. The United States is home to the world’s largest single airline hub, but also to more nomadic low-cost point-to-point models of operation. Let’s take a look at where the US’s major carriers like to park their wings.
American Airlines and its regional service branch American Eagle operate out of ten hubs across the country. However, its largest is that of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in Texas, where it also has its headquarters. American’s operations span several terminals and make DFW the second-largest single airline hub in the world.
Under normal circumstances, DFW is also the third busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements and tenth in the world in numbers of passengers.
You would imagine Alaska Airlines to have its major hub in the state where it was inaugurated and for which it is named. While it does maintain a hub at Ted Stevens International Airport, five miles southwest of downtown Anchorage, the sixth-largest carrier in the US could be forgiven for not keeping its main activities at an airport serving a city of 288,000 people.
Anchorage remains one out of Alaska’s five hubs across the US, but its main home is at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington. The city of Seattle, where SEA is located, is also where Alaska Airlines has its headquarters. Before the crisis, the airport was considered one of the fastest-growing in the US.
Ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant is the ninth-largest commercial airline in the US. It operates out of eleven hubs across the country, but its main home is at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), Nevada. The other main low-cost carriers, Frontier, Southwest, and Spirit, all have hubs at the airport, but none of the three main US legacy carriers are present.