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Point-to-point transit: Wikis


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Point-to-point transit refers to a transportation system where a plane, bus or train travels directly to a destination rather than going through a central hub as opposed to the spoke-hub distribution paradigm in which the transportation goes to a central location where passengers change to another train, bus or plane to reach their destination.

In the airline industry, Southwest Airlines in the United States is a primary example of an airline that still uses the point-to-point transit model. Currently, however, Southwest Airlines actually uses a hybrid system, flying point-to-point routes, but also connecting passengers through several smaller hubs at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Las Vegas McCarran, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, Chicago Midway, Baltimore/Washington, and a few others. It is doubtful if there is any true point-to-point airline, as most have at least a "homebase" airport where most flights originate or depart, which becomes a de facto hub, whether that is the intention or not. The United States airline industry was point to point until deregulation in the late 1960s/early 1970s when they switched to the hub concept.


The advantage of a point-to-point system is that it may minimize connections and travel time, but only if the airline serves the destination via the origination point.


One of the disadvantages was pointed out above; if the city pair is not served, passengers are simply out of luck, as there is no way to get to a destination using that airline's route network. Secondly, the frequency of flights may be reduced because a point-to-point system requires a large number of combinatorics, as the number of city pairs is increased by many magnitudes.

Point-to-point routes by major hub carriers

Some heavily hub-oriented carriers operate a limited number of point-to-point routes that do not connect with either a hub or focus city. This is notable because they are exceptions to the route structure and network.

  • American Airlines operates San Francisco/Honolulu, Austin/San Jose, Austin/Orange County, Austin/Seattle
  • Continental Airlines operates Los Angeles/Honolulu, Seattle-Tacoma/Anchorage, New York-LaGuardia/Aruba, Los Angeles/Kahului [from March 7], Orange County/Honolulu [from March 7]
  • Delta Air Lines operates Los Angeles/Honolulu, Orlando/Cancun, Orlando/Hartford, Orlando/Boston, Seattle/Kahului, Los Angeles/Sao Paulo, Honolulu/Osaka, Honolulu/Seattle, Nagoya/Saipan, West Palm Beach/Hartford, New York-LaGuardia/Nassau, New York-LaGuardia/Fort Myers, New York-LaGuardia/Bermuda, New York-LaGuardia/New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia/Tampa, Fort Lauderdale/Los Angeles, Los Angeles/Sydney
  • United Airlines operates Hong Kong/Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong/Singapore, San Diego/Honolulu, and from Tokyo-Narita to many Asian cities.


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