by Michael Lowrey
Cross-fleeting, meaning have a US Airways plane fly an American Airlines route or have an American Airlines plane fly a US Airways route. The idea is to better utilize the combined carriers’ assets, by using the right-sized plane for a particular flight even if it’s from the other airline. Cross-fleeting also has the potential to increase aircraft utilization. The airlines are slowly introducing the concept, but you’ll see an American Airlines 737-800 flying Houston-Charlotte this fall. US airways A319s will also be flying to American’s hub in Miami from places like Newark, Boston, Houston, and Washington Reagan National.
The more interesting cross-fleeting possibilities will come next summer, for European routes.
After the two airlines officially legally become one (as opposed being two separate airlines owned by the same company), we can expect to see the combines carrier move around where different types of planes and the flight crews that operate them are based.