Collaboration is critical. That doesn’t mean Tom Horton must be a part of the new American if the architects of any deal determine he’s not welcome. Nor does it mean that the entire American team in place today is necessarily the best choice. But if the leadership crown goes to Parker’s Phoenix posse, they would be making a grave error to impose the US Airways style on the new American without leveraging American’s successes and cultural assets.
American has proven adept at managing its regional affiliations, code share partners, joint ventures with British Airways and JAL and a loyalty program that arguably is more valuable than US Airways itself. Its marketing and IT capabilities exceed anything US Airways has ever tried. And American knows far better than its potential new partner how to treat the premium customer who wants warm nuts and lie-flat seats in first class.
I can only hope that the “best of the best” of the two companies will be a part of any new one, because that’s the only way the new airline will compete effectively with first movers Delta, United and Southwest.
|Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 69):|
The irony of the whole situation is that if PHX gets cut (although I doubt it will be reduced to spoke size entirely) then that basically scales down the last of the HP "hub" assets that US acquired in the merger.
|Quoting deltairlines (Reply 71):|
Phoenix could likely become a CVG type operation - right sized from where it is now. Airways right now has about 260 flights a day, going up to 290 when the Flex Flight operation is in place. You have five banks in each direction; you'd likely see this cut down to three banks in each direction, peaking out at about 125-150 flights/day. I tend to think the flex flights would be gone post-merger, with redeyes left to Charlotte, Philadelphia, Miami, Kennedy, O'Hare and maybe Boston (which I doubt, as US can't even keep a year round redeye there).
Keep in mind that with a merger, a lot of the large RJ feed at PHX (CR9s are around 40 flights/day) would likely be cut down to help support ORD and LGA where those planes could be better used early on in the merger process (just as we saw post-HP merger with those CR9s quickly making their way into the CLT market).
Now, I expect a decent AA presence in PHX to remain. There is a market there that will value the First Class, lounges, frequent flyer perks, etc. that American offers and Southwest will not. It just becomes a matter of right-sizing the market to find the balance between keeping these benefits and finding profitability. Phoenix, at least unlike some of the midwestern cities such as CVG, PIT, and STL, has a lot more potential lying ahead of it - it's still struggling with the weight of the Great Recession, but I'd say the potential is there (and I'd love to see it - I loved my year living in Scottsdale).
I pretty much agree on all of the above. PHX is a huge market, with a both a large outbound and inbound demand component, and a respectable business market. But, all that being said, PHX does not require a hub the size of which US now operates there in order to cater to those markets. PHX is a hub of its size today because US, with its limited network, has little alternative. With a merger, several excellent alternatives instantly appear.
|Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 75):|
A lot of LGA passengers show up at 'terminal C' when they really want 'concourse C' at terminal B. So, to be clear, when you say 'C-D', what you mean is 'concourses C and D at terminal B', correct?
I was referring to Concourses C-D in the CTB.
|Quoting Flighty (Reply 79):|
AA's ORD situation is unknown and little discussed.
It's relatively known. It's a huge hub in one of America's largest population centers. Finally freed from union contract strictures, and thus with the right costs and the right fleet, ORD should be a thriving hub. Not to mention, if there is a merger, ORD's location means it may well stand to pick up some additional traffic as network gaps are filled in and hubs optimized.
|Quoting Flighty (Reply 79):|
LAX+JFK are, to put it mildly, question marks. If AA were making money there, we would have seen gigantic AA operations there similar to another DFW. But even when JFK had slots open, AA didn't use them. Didn't want them. Same at LAX - they could expand but they (eventually tire of losing money there).
I don't really see how they are question marks. For starters, it's not as easy as saying "if AA were making money, they'd have gigantic operations." Both JFK and LAX are capacity-constrained (for different reasons) and thus even if AA were making huge money, they couldn't have "gigantic" operations. But either way, the size and scope of AA's operations at both airports reflects their market realities. Both cater to massive local markets, but hyper-competitive ones. AA uses both to connect longhaul and shorthaul networks, and provide key connectivity for partners.
I don't see why any of that, in general, would change with a merger. I see LAX changing very little, as the role it serves is unique and cannot be replicated. JFK I see changing somewhat - lots of peak-time slots there are today being used for 1-per-day connections to international flights. Those I see being replaced with more longhaul (international and transcon) flights catering to the huge local NYC O&D market, while connections are shifted to some extent over PHL. But AA would still maintain a large presence in NYC (JFK and LGA).
|Quoting STT757 (Reply 99):|
They would be around 19.3 million passengers per year combined at EWR, JFK, LGA.
Like I said - a very respectable #3. Again - with a hub in PHL, AA need not duke it out for sheer seat/passenger count in NYC with UA and DL. Both of those carriers need to fight it out for volume in NYC because they both operate hubs of some form in NYC that require volume to drive frequency, and thus support their hubs. AA could focus its NYC presence on catering to O&D, a market AA knows quite well, and as such being #3 - with hundreds of daily departures out of EWR/LGA/JFK to the prime business markets - would be more than sufficient.
|Quoting STT757 (Reply 101):|
Since the surving company will be AA, and they've never shown any indication they were willing to settle in the past 13 years, I'm going to say TLV will not be on AA's route map.
If there's a merger, I expect the "new AA" to be flying to TLV, not only from PHL but possibly also from JFK. If the market is as lucrative as it seems, they'll figure out how to make it work.