I think NW
has done a fantastic job of strategically expanding in a chaotic and unfriendly marketplace. They have carefully evaluated marketplaces to build service to underserved communities with low LCC penetration.
The bottom line, however, is that the entire domestic market is experiencing profound overcapacity right now. Fundamentally this will not change if USAirways ceases operations. Yes Philadelphia would lose a hub carrier, but it already has a growing LCC presence and I have a hard time believing that NW
would dump capacity into a region that is chronically overserved and hosts a wealth of low-yield markets. And even though CLT
would experience a huge loss with the demise of US, I think any response by NW
would be cautious at best. These ideas that NW
would move into Philly, buy a bunch of US A320s and A330s, and run the hub as it is now are bizarre. This would subvert the entire reality that the industry desperately needs to reduce capacity.
has always been the most careful, strategic airline in the business and it will continue to be. I am sure they are preparing a billion contingency plans in the Pacific for a possible UA
failure. But NEVER expect anything dramatic from NW
. Their midwestern sensibility is why they're still around!