by Michael Lowrey
Effective on September 13. Flights times are:
US730 CLT 6:55pm – 7:50am LHR A330-300
US732 CLT 10:30pm – 11:25am LHR A330-200
The returns from London Heathrow (LHR)
US731 LHR 10:05am – 2:00pm CLT A330-300
US733 LHR 2:25pm – 6:20pm CLT A330-200
The addition of this second flight to LHR is not a surprise — the name of the game are airlines in the U.S. working with allies in Europe to funnel passengers over their hubs to destinations on the other size of the Atlantic. In the OneWorld alliance US Airways is now in, that key European ally is British Airways and its big hub is at London Heathrow. The larger aircraft on the earlier flight is not random, as the dawn arrival time in London is much more desirable.
And speaking of European service, the latest on the battle to control the Charlotte – Germany market: US Airways is cutting capacity to Frankfurt this winter. While still daily, the flight will be on an A330-200 instead on the larger A330-300 that’s been used on the route for years. I expect that both US Airways and Lufthansa will continue their flights to Germany through the summer (though without the second summer-seasonal Frankfurt flight US Airways has offered the last few years). The earliest that either airline might drop their CLT- Germany route (if it happens) would be next fall.
A bit of good news is that United is ending its Newark – Stuttgart flight come September 20. The fewer flights there are between the US and southern Germany, the better the odds for Charlotte’s Germany flights, especially Lufthansa to Munich.