AAvgeek744 wrote:ADrum23 wrote:dfdubflyer wrote:
Ditto. I had lunch with Don Carty a few years ago around the time of the bankruptcy/merger and he told me he feels that shutting the Nashville hub was one of American's greatest mistakes and something he and Crandall very much regretted.
His opinion was that if they had kept BNA in the system they would have had a southeastern hub to allow them to better compete with DL/US. He said basically that they were right on the long-term prospects of Nashville and just got a little spooked too quickly and he said their mistake was doing Raleigh at the same time. He said he felt fine about nixing Saint Louis.
But would they have kept BNA after inheriting CLT after the US merger? CLT is a bigger market and better positioned for a n/s hub.
And why does he regret closing BNA over RDU?
That's making an assumption AA would have merged with US. There are a zillion scenarios that could be made had airlines not gotten so big with little competition. Had CO, NW, and US stayed around, the U.S. airline business would look very different. This is why I'm so anti-merger.
What we saw (the AA/US Airways merger) likely would have still played out even if AA had a BNA hub, however, the question would have been whether to keep the BNA or CLT hub. Unfortunately, I think CLT would have won out because it is better situated for east coast n/s traffic and it likely would have been a bigger hub than BNA (even if the BNA hub had continued, do you honestly think it would have grown to 400+ flights a day with several nonstop flights to Europe? I have my doubts).
I am torn on the mergers. On one had, they have brought a lot of stability to an otherwise extremely volatile industry (we'll see if that lasts come next economic downturn), but on the other hand, it has lead to less competition and shielding of bad airlines (United) that might otherwise have gone out of business (or at least would be on the ropes by now) had the mergers not happened.