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Would an US+AS merger have made sense in the late 2000's?

Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:47 pm

Just hear me out, but I think this could have made some sense in around 2007-2012. In those five years Alaska was pretty much the only major player in SEA, PDX, and ANC, and a healthy presence in LAX, and DL hadn't invaded SEA yet. Their fleet consisted of the 734, 73G, 738, 739 non-ER, and the MD-83. US Airways was in healthy financial standing, with hubs in PHX, PHL, CLT, LGA, and DCA, and a fleet of the E-190, 733, 734, A319/20/21, 752, 762, and A332/333. If they merged, here's what I think could happen to the hubs assuming US Airways was the surviving name.

CLT: A competitor to ATL. Pretty much filling the same role it does now. Probably the largest hub.

PHL: TATL gateway. Same role as it is today.

SEA: Domestic hub, about 250-300 daily departures. Or, US could make SEA a TPAC/TATL hub, as SEA had room for that at the time, and SEA has good demand for those flights, something that PHX lacks.

PHX: Same role as currently.

LAX: I can see two possible opportunities. One being keeping LAX as it is, and the other being making it a small hub, right as UA is pulling back, and DL and AA aren't too big in LA.

PDX: Probably staying as it is currently, with the outside chance of NRT/LHR service.

ANC/LGA/DCA stay the same as they are currently.

What do you think of this hypothetical idea? There's still no mid-continent hub, but it gives US more power in the West Coast and opportunities to serve Asia from cities that have significant demand for those flights. Also, what would eventually be an E-190, 737 Classic/NG, A32X, 757, and A332/3 fleet seems like a good fleet combination.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 am

Re: Would an US+AS merger have made sense in the late 2000's?

Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:41 pm

US would have dismantled AS as they did with PSA. The East Coast corporate culture was very different from the West Coast culture.
Posts: 817
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: Would an US+AS merger have made sense in the late 2000's?

Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:08 pm

The HP/US merger was completed in 2005 so there was no "East Coast" corporate culture in PHX.
The biggest obstacle would have been financial. While it slowly regained profitability, US was not in a financial position to take on another merger.
It likely would have faced additional DOJ/DOT review as well.
As proven, it took years to rid itself of an inefficient and aging fleet, and trying to digest these 3 airline employee groups would have been very difficult.
Many forget that HP and Doug Parker virtually saved US from complete shutdown in 2005 and that it took years to get back to making money.
AS would not have happily accepted the potential merger as well so its all a mute point. It didn't happen because it simply couldn't happen.
watch what you want. you may get it.

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