American Airlines Expanding? Is There Labor Peace Post-Merger? What About That Expanded American-JetBlue Relationship?

American Airlines continues to be in the news on a number of fronts.

They announced a bunch of new codeshare agreements.

They announced a profit for the month of January.

Oh, yeah.  And, they announced they’re merging with US Airways.

They’re also looking to drastically expand service to Sao Paolo, Brazil.  One of the knocks on American has been its lack of global network, specifically in Asia.  But, a hallmark has been their Latin America presence.  Should the DOT grant their application, this can only strengthen their position.

On a separate potential expansion note, Dave Barger (CEO of JetBlue) is sending love notes to American via public sources.  No doubt I would be thrilled to see an expanded relationship with JetBlue, specifically a codeshare agreement for routes where the two (and potentially US Airways) don’t compete.  While JetBlue and USAirways do have a bit of overlap (JFK-PHX, for example) there really isn’t much at all unless you consider LGA and JFK the same for purposes of competition.  Then, you get into competing routes between cities like New York and Boston.  Ultimately, since JetBlue has more codeshare relationships than United does for not having planes in good shape this still seems likely to me.

And, finally, under the heading of “It’s about bleeping time”, US Airways’ flight attendants decided after 8 years it might be a good idea to have a contract.  There were some healthy raises as part of the deal, but the red meat here is that they’ve now combined the two old unions (of America West and US Airways) into one consolidated list for scheduling.

That doesn’t mean that integrating them with the American flight attendants will be a slam dunk, but it’s a big step closer. The other shoe that still needs to drop are the US Airways’ pilots unions.  I expect that will happen as well.

All positive news for the new American.  I still wish a little bit that it wasn’t the new American and they were going it alone, but that ship has sailed.  Here’s hoping Doug doesn’t take away the parts of American I’ve grown to love.


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