Southwest vs. competitors at PHL and ATL

Airline hubs, including PHL, are powerful financial centers, generating very hefty revenues for carriers that operate efficiently and are cost-competitive with their rivals. That's the underlying theme in an interesting theoretical article posted on the Cranky Flier Web site about how well Southwest will do financially against Delta in Atlanta once Southwest's merger with AirTran is complete. The article uses Southwest's performance at PHL, including its recent announced plans to cut back service, to suggest that it will face a tough fight at ATL.

Competition at PHL, as has been noted here and in The Inquirer numerous times, is all about how well US Airways performs -- and its service improvements in the last three years, coupled with the marketing power of operating a hub with eight times as many flights as the next-largest carrier (Southwest)  -- say loudly that it is performing quite well these days. Read the Cranky Flier commentary here.