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Old 01-10-2007, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Indian Trail, NC
295 posts, read 1,194,752 times
Reputation: 133

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As someone who is relocating to Charlotte for several reasons ... one of them being the airport hub and the availability of multiple direct flights to a multitude of locations every day ... I'm concerned about the future of Charlotte-Douglass International Airport.

With the merger attempt by US Airways with Delta and the fact that US Airways has a major hub in Charlotte while Delta - a larger airline and the airline whose name will be retained if the merger is completed - has its major hub in Atlanta. Atlanta is a larger city. Delta is a larger airline. The Atlanta airport is larger than the Charlotte airport.

You see where I'm going with this. Does anyone have any insight as to what is likely to happen or at least what the local media is talking about in regard to the hub situation. I've got to believe they (the media) are talking about it quite a bit ... especially since today US Airways announced they were increasing their bid for Delta.

Last edited by Samohtal; 01-10-2007 at 09:30 PM.. Reason: incomplete thought
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Cornelius
2,314 posts, read 2,116,855 times
Reputation: 287
From what I keep hearing USAir has promised to keep the hub here.
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:22 AM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
905 posts, read 3,068,338 times
Reputation: 712
"If" this merger is completed Charlotte will be a shadow of what it is today. Anti-trust concerns are being raised. In a recent interview US Airways executive Scott Kirby he said they would be willing to give up gates in Charlotte to get the merger approved. That does not bode well for Charlotte. US Airways says they will maintain a hub here but instead of like 8 flights a day to Asheville they will have maybe 4 and the other flights will be routed to Atlanta and they will use larger planes. That would mean we probably would loose flights to larger metro areas as well.

Thankfully other airlines are growing their service here, most recently JetBlue and AirTran. That has helped to pull down prices. I saw an article recently about Southwest having an interest in Charlotte. The article was from about 2000 when United wanted to buy US Airways, Southwest said they would be very interested in gates if US Airways had to shed gates in Charlotte. Southwest would be great fares would continue to fall.

If US Airways were to pull out all together I think it would be unlikely another airline would come into Charlotte and replicate the service we have today. 500+ flights a day to 122 non-stop destinations. Its possible someone might come in and establish a hub but I think the chances are less than 50% that would happen. The airport does have the facilities and very low operating costs. However Charlotte has the lowest origination and destination(O & D) traffic of any major hub, meaning fewer people begin or end their trips in Charlotte. Meaning Charlotte is a connection point for about 75-80% of all boardings in Charlotte. O & D is necessary for a successful hub. An airline makes more money flying a passenger from Providence to Charlotte than flying a passenger from Providence to Charlotte and connecting them to Miami.

If you look at other cities that are no longer hubs ie: Raleigh-Durham, Nashville, Dayton, and St Louis no one has come in a put in a true hub. Some of them are focus cities but not hub status.

I for one would hate to see all those flights go, its great to be able to get on a non-stop flight to almost anywhere. Without a US Airways hub goodbye non-stop flights to London and Frankfurt and the Carribbean. The hub also is very appealing to companies looking to relocate the Charlotte. Without a hub of this magnitude it might make the difference in a company relocating here or not.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Crown Town
2,742 posts, read 5,994,314 times
Reputation: 1667
Well you won’t have to wait long to find out US Air’s future. It is being reported online today that US Air is requesting an official decision by February 1 from Delta and its creditors. As was mentioned before, US Airways management has categorically stated they will keep Charlotte as a hub location. They said the city would not lose any of its destinations or direct flights. “However”, it could and probably will lose the frequency of those flights. In other words, you would still be able to fly directly to the same place you can today, but you’ll have fewer options regarding departure times.

On the flip side, there is also talk of US Airways possibly merging with Northwest in lieu of Delta. A merger with any other airline would surely provide a favorably outcome for Charlotte because the only other airport/airline that threatens the city’s airport in the southeast is Hartsfield/Delta.

Personally, I don’t think the US Air/Delta combo will ever happen. Legislators are already getting their ducks in a row to protest it for antitrust purposes (US Air would by far be the dominate carrier on the East coast), and Delta’s stockholders, management and creditors all seem to be firmly against it.
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Indian Trail, NC
295 posts, read 1,194,752 times
Reputation: 133
I hope you are right, blue. It may not be an overwhelming reason why I'm moving there, but its sure a big plus.

I doubt my company would have agreed to move me to Charlotte if it didn't have a hub airport.
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