I know consolidation has been discussed on A-Net to death but I don't think this exact question has been discussed so specifically, at least as far as I can tell.
The question is: From UA
's perspective, which airline makes a better merger partner, CO
ROUTE SYSTEM The irony is that both CO
have very similar looking route systems. I think both would make good partners since they both have a New York area hub with a strong European network; a UA
weakness. They also both have a southern gateway, also a UA
They are both in the New York area and both airports seem maxed IMHO. Is DL
operation is stronger to Europe but is there more competition? Which is the preferred hub? Advantage DL
They are both southern hub gateways, but very different because of their geographic location. Because most of South America and the Caribbean sit to the south and east of the US, ATL
seems like a better hub because it can more directly feed the US (especially the East Coast) to South America and the Caribbean. Likewise, IAH
is better suited to feed Mexico from the West Coast but is equally suitable from the Midwest and the East Coast. Central America's location seems about wash for IAH
. Splitting "Latin America" into separate regions (Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, South America) which hub would be better suited for UA
? Advantage DL
They are both "Ohio" hubs and I think that with UA
hub, both would be downgraded to a focus city; correct? I assume DL
is much bigger; correct?
, I would assume this would become a focus city.
GUM I think CO
's Micronesia system would complement UA
's pacific and Hawaii network beautifully. I would hope to see direct flights from SFO
to GUM in the future as I am surprised that CO
does not have any direct flights to GUM from the mainland even though it is within the 772ER's range. I guess CO
's hub locations aren't suited for such a flight; maybe a future 787 flight. Advantage CO
have little overlap with either CO
so they would virtually remain unchanged. I think they would all be boosted by the additional feed from either CO
's network; especially the Asia routes.
has overlap with EWR
but IMHO is strong enough to remain a UA
A focus city for DL
would become a stronger hub for UA
. Advantage DL
FLEETS The other irony is that CO
have very similar fleets, almost identical IMHO and not too different from UA
except for the narrowbody fleet and the engine type. Is the engine type really a problem? Look at DL
, they have RR
, and CF....
Narrowbodies. This is the biggest obstacle. DL
's older narrowbodies are MDs and their new fleet are 737NG. CO
's older narrowbodies are 737classics and their new fleet is 737NG. Of course, UA
's older fleet is 737classics and their new fleet is the A320 family. With such large fleets of all types, is this really such a big obstacle? Couldn't they create a system like AA
where certain hubs are a base for a fleet type. Eventually, this could be narrowed down to 2 types, A320 and 737NG. Slight advantage CO
because of the 737classic commonality?
both have PW
engines. Advantage DL
both have GE
except that DL
has a mix of PW
for their 763ER fleet; why is that? UA
of course has PW
engines. Advantage DL
will have GE
once the 772LR is delivered. UA
has ordered the GE
, surprise surprise. PW
isn't even offered for the 787. Advantage CO
since they already have an order in for the 787.
747 Only UA
has this type which is large enough to sustain itself. I wonder if there are any DL
routes that could use a 747, like ATL
Please keep this thread on track by sticking to the original question. I don't want to get into discussions about politics, management styles, "it will never happen", unions, etc. I would like the discussion to be primarily route network and fleet discussion; understanding that there is a lot more to a merger...