by Michael Lowrey
The UPoR had an article on that this topic last week. It includes an extremely odd quote:
Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst at Hudson Crossing, said Charlotte will lose out on possible future growth without a merger, especially in international markets such as Latin America and Asia where American already has a large presence.
“It would be very difficult for US Airways to replicate any of this,” he said of American’s route network, which also includes more West Coast and Midwest destinations.
“It’s much more difficult for Charlotte-area residents to reach Asia if the merger doesn’t go through,” said Harteveldt. “While US Airways has worked to get some access to Central America, it offers a much more limited route network to South America than American.”
Er, no. American Airlines is actually rather weak in Asia, offering a grand total of nine flights:
Dallas/Ft. Worth-Tokyo Narita twice daily
Los Angeles-Tokyo Narita
New York-Tokyo Haneda
That’s it. United and Delta both offer far more flights to the Far East from the U.s. Both also operate hubs in Tokyo.
If American and US Airways are allowed to merge, Charlotte would be competing with hubs in six larger cities for international flight offerings by the combined carrier. Combined with CLT’s poor location, it’s hard to imagine Asia service amounting to much beyond perhaps eventually maybe a Tokyo flight.
CLT may actually get a Tokyo flight sooner if the two carriers don’t merger. US Airways doesn’t currently serve the Far East. Indeed, they don’t even have any planes with enough range to get there from the East Coast. That will change in about five years, when the airline gets the first of the 22 Airbus A350 it has on order. We can expect to see a Philadelphia-Tokyo flight then. If that does well, Charlotte-Tokyo flight could follow.
Bonus observation: By comparison, Delta Air Lines offers exactly one flight to the Far East from Atlanta, daily service to Tokyo Narita. The carrier no longer serves China nonstop from Atlanta. (To be fair, Delta’s alliance partner Korea Air Lines flies daily from Atlanta to Seoul.)
Bonus observation II: There’s another possibility for Asian service from Charlotte: Tel Aviv. Yes, Israel is in Asia and US Airways’ current Philly-Tel Aviv flight does well enough that there are persistent rumors that the carrier will add a second flight, either from Philly or from Charlotte. Not sure I completely see it but not impossible either.