Here are my general thoughts:
- Credit Rating - The combined economics of the two airlines should garner a stronger credit rating, which would lead to a stronger position in lease negotiations (for aircraft and real estate), and more importantly provide easier access to debt and equity, from institutional sources.
- Fleet Commonality - Both carriers operate a very similar fleet, centered around newer Airbus A319 and A320 types, and supplemented by older Boeing 732, 733, and 734 types. In addition, both carriers have extensive regional fleets, with Canadair 200, 700 and 900 aircraft, EMB 145, and a variety of turboprop variants operating up and down the East Coast with US Air
- Dissimilar Route Networks - Neither carrier poses a substantial threat at the other's fortress hubs, and in fact, the flights that currently exist into those hubs would cross feed traffic to the other carrier's network. I would not expect much Sherman Anti Trust motion from the government, as was the case with United and US Air, because as the route maps below show, there is not much overlap to worry about:
I am sure there are a myriad of contractual, union and other issues that would hold up a deal like this, but on its face, does it have merit? It just seems that America West completes US Air, and vice versa. US Air would stand to see a substantial boost to their trans Atlantic business, and the America West component would have the ability to establish a stronger presence in Mexico - and venture further south. The ability to buy planes in bulk would have the major manufacturers clamoring to get a deal with the new airline, as it will soon be time to phase out the older aircraft in both fleets.
So lets here it, what do you folks think?