That was simply not the case. If I remember correctly there were no overlapping routes. How can there be competition when there were no common routes? AA was feeding passengers onto the QQ system and vice versa. It was a mutually beneficial relationship.
An airline doesn't need to overlap another airline route-for-route to be considered a competitor. Reno Air was a growing airline with lower costs in a region in which you correctly note AA had market share and wanted to grow that market share. Do the math. AA wanted pax on AA planes, not on Reno feeders. Reno was growing, and direct overlap (on more than just RNO-ORD) was sure to develop.
Well, lots of people originating on the East Coast do business in both Southern California as well as Northern California. Because UA, and to a much lesser extent, DL had north/south flights on the LAX/SFO corridor, many (high fare, premium traffic) passengers flew on those two carriers instead of AA because they did not have to fly multiple carriers on their itinerary.
Again, AA wanted increased West Coast market share. Yes, grabbing Reno also bought them more MD-80's to use as they pleased elsewhere on the West Coast, which they did as others have noted. That was part of the picture too.
AA's purchase of Reno Air was about improving the AA NETWORK, and thus the desirability of AA in general, to the million-mile+ road warriors flying on the competition. It was about stealing from UA and DL, not destroying QQ. What happened to the dedicated professionals of Reno Air was very unfortunate and I, as well as the vast majority of the AA family, wish it could have been avoided.
That's hilarious....it's kind of like Michael Corelone saying "what happened to the dedicated professionals of the Barzini, Tattaglia, etc. families was very unfortunate, and I, as well as the vast majority of the Corleone family, wish it could have been avoided. Blood is bad for business."
AA's purchase of Reno was predatory and destructive, hurting both the Reno area and all the people who benefited from Reno's lower cost structure and (from what I read, I never flew them) quality service. If AA just wanted more MD-80s to fly around the West Coast and feed transcons, they didn't have to destroy an airline and a medium-size city's successful business to do it.
There was more to the Reno Air purchase than that; stamping out an uppity upstart was part of the picture. Crandall, now as then one of the most brilliant people in aviation (even if now retired), would not have missed that implication.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)