You Can’t Believe Everything You Read About The American Airlines/US Airways Merger

I’ve been keeping mostly quiet about the potential American Airlines/US Airways merger.  Sure, there was a story recently about how they could announce the merger next week.  But, that story could have easily come out a month ago, or a month from now.  So, I chose not to write about it since there wasn’t much in the way of new information.

But, then I came across this piece in the St. Louis Business Journal.  Among other things, it covers such facts as:

Post-merger, American would have hubs at seven of the nine busiest airports in the U.S. and suddenly become a major player in Boston and Tampa, Fla., as well as at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. American also would gain a strong presence in Europe and Latin America.

The emphasis is mine.  The only presence American gains in Latin America is the one it already has.  To my knowledge, the only destinations US Airways serves with their won metal are Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.  Not what I would call a large network.  They serve more destinations in Europe than they do in Latin America, it’s not a huge list but there are at least a few compliments to AA(Munich and Brussels) with lots of overlap albeit from different US cities, like Frankfurt (US serves it out of Charlotte, AA out of DFW) London-Gatwick (AA serves Heathrow), Dublin, Madrid, Manchester, Paris, Rome and Zurich.

Lots of changes coming if the merger closes, which is likely.  But, the increase in American’s reach in Europe and Latin American isn’t really one of them.




  1. And counting LGW there is debatable in terms of reach. AA used to serve LGW, but dropped it (within the past 5 years) and I can’t imagine that they’d be likely to keep any US service there, unless very unexpected things happen in terms of the London-area airport development. LGW just doesn’t have the connections.

    1. JAbrams, I agree. First time I went to London I flew into LGW on AA. You’re right, not much in the way of connecting traffic, especially considering the BA relationship as well.

      1. Several European and North African cities served by BA via LGW only… BOD, NAP, ACE, ALG, DBV, FAO, GOA, JER, GND, AGP, POS…some onward long haul too such as MLE, CMB, MRU.. Some cities have more frequencies from LGW than LHR such as ALC.. To name just a few.

        Granted these tend to be lower yield destinations. But BA even serves some US markets from LGW, again those tend to be holiday markets.

        So perhaps not the core routes that AA would be looking for. But a few hand picked routes could work,I guess I’m just suggesting there’s a non-zero chance that AA/US continues to serve LGW.

  2. Wait.. you mean stories in the media about airlines can be WRONG?

    And while it’s true that AA’s operation at LGA would be bigger, folding in the US Airways Shuttle plus their hub flights, it’s odd to focus on the LGA presence when US Airways traded away the bulk of their LGA operation to Delta.

    Plus when one talks about DCA, any informed discussion should at least give nod to the possibility that the combined entity would be forced to divest some slots there since (a) the airport is slot controlled and (b) US Airways is by far the dominant carrier there already, and indeed when they did their LGA swap with Delta were forced to give up some of the slots to make the overall deal work… the feds will be loathe to let them GROW even further at DCA…

    1. Gary, hard to believe. You’re absolutely right about LGA. Not a big fan of LGA so I’ve tried to block it from my memory. And, you bring up a good point at DCA. AA doesn’t have many gates there, but they probably will have to deal with control issues there as a result of the merger.

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