Featured Maps: Continental + United Hubs (1 May 2010)

The press has been abuzz over the past week with rumors of a possible merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines. United operates five hubs, at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago (O'Hare), and Washington (Dulles), while Continental four hubs, at New York (Newark Liberty), Houston (Intercontinental), and Cleveland, plus Agana, Guam. The four hubs in the Northeastern and Great Lakes areas are relatively close, but they cover a very populous area. The same is true for United's two hubs in California. The two airlines' hubs in the middle states are relatively complementary.

To visualize how the eight North American hubs relate (Guam is nearly 6,000 miles from the continental United States), the following map shows each of these hubs with a 300-mile range:

Continental+United hubs

Looking at this map, it's easy to see why Ohio told Continental that it will offer incentives to maintain the Cleveland hub. Cleveland Hopkins is not only the smallest of the eight North American hubs of the combined CO+UA—both operationally and by population of the metropolitan area served—but is also a short distance from United's hubs at Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles, in addition to Continental's own hub at Newark Liberty.


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