^my only thing to add to this is, would AS rather put a hub more center where all their (regional carrier's) E175's can fly to both coasts, especially the west coast? It can't make west coast to CLE/IND/CMH, etc. They seem to be adding a lot more of those planes, so to me it would make more sense to put a hub somewhere that can use them to anywhere.
Other options: MCI (although they have layout issues), STL (although they basically have a WN hub) and MSP (although I don't know if they could make another hub work), might make more sense because they have a larger passenger count/location. MKE also has smaller counts so it might be too small, but location wise it would work. All those would be in range for E190's both ways I would think.
All that said, I am not sure I see them putting a hub that isn't on a coast.
The density of the US population is still on the East Coast. CLE is the perfect location (over CMH, IND, MCI, STL, etc.) as its close to the East Coast--less than 500 miles from NYC---yet has a big population base---much bigger than CMH or IND or the others---at 4.5MM. All trips to the west of CLE could be mainline service---and feeder routes from the east could be E175s. Plus, CLE is a far bigger business city than CMH/IND---so greater support for biz class fares.
I agree with what you are saying, but CLE already has flights to SEA, SAN, SFO, LAX, and PDX so they are going to be less likely to add significant service to the west coast. Which population base are you talking about, Cleveland's metro is shrinking and is only 14,000 larger than CMH and 51,000 larger than IND which are both growing rapidly. CLE already has an overabundance of flights to the Northeast on UA, DL, B6, NK, and AA. This is not to say AS shouldn't go to CLE, because I still believe they can add routes there, I just don't see it viable as a hub for AS. MKE and even CMH seem more ideal, MKE only has WN on flights to LAX , SFO, and SAN, and AS already has flights to SEA and PDX from MKE, plus MKE is relatively weak on service to the east coast (plus the added bonus that both coasts could be served by E175s). CMH is a better than CLE in that there are no non-stops to SEA, PDX, or SFO. AS already has service to IND, and it is very unlikely they would set up a major operation there. I guess I will take your word for it, that CLE is a bigger business city than CMH/IND but do you have any evidence to back that up.
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