What would the effects of the proposed AA buyout of TWA (best article so far is today's headliner at www.washingtonpost.com, consult it before writing) on your hometown? I've written elsewhere that it's considerably less dangerous from a consumer standpoint than UA-US as proposed, and it's thus more likely to be approved. So how would things shake out at your hometown?
Here's how Rochester, New York ROC would look:
ROC today (est.):
US Airways, 30 jet flights/ 20 regionals, 44 pecent of traffic
United Airlines, 7 jet flights, 7 regionals, 13 percent of traffic
American Airlines, 5 jet flights, 16 regionals, 10 percent of traffic
Delta Air Lines, 5 jet flights, 7 regionals, 9 percent of traffic
Continental Airlines, 1 Jet flight, 22 regionals, 9 percent of traffic
JetBlue Airways, 5 jet flights, 8 percent of traffic
Northwest Airlines, 5 jet flights, 2 regionals, 5 percent of traffic
Remainder 2 percent: Midway Airlines, 3 regionals;
Air Alliance, 4 regionals.
Post AA-UA-US-TW, again estimated:
United: 33 jet flights, 27 regionals, 51 percent of traffic;
American: 5 jet flights, 16 regionals, 10 percent of traffic
Delta: 5 jets, 7 regionals, 9 percent of traffic
Continental: 1 jet, 22 regionals, 9 percent of traffic
JetBlue: 5 jets, 8 percent of traffic
Northwest: 5 jets, 2 regionals, 5 percent of traffic
DC Air: 1 jet 2 regionals, 3 percent of traffic;
Remainder 2 percent--Midway 3 regionals, Air Alliance 4 regionals.
Doesn't look any different from UA-US, but keep in mind DL-CO and AA-NW would certainly happen and concentrate their blocs together if UA-US went through as proposed.
But with the AA-Big 5 scenario, with five large carriers remaining in the US, the carriers at ROC remain largely separate entities. The low-fare carriers would still be here, unlike if a SuperBig 3 went through. JetBlue's position is in less danger, as are Southwest's and AirTran's in neighboring Buffalo, which have reduced fares some on similar routes in Rochester.
All around, AA-Big 5 wouldn't pose near the oligopoly-concentration and further fare-gouging danger to Rochester as UA-US-SuperBig 3 would. It's worth considering from the standpoint of this medium-size market. How about your market?
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)