This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How the American Air Merger Helped Charlotte, Philly and Fort Wayne

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  (TheStreet) -- Since the November merger between American (AAL - Get Report) and US Airways, the combined airline has modestly reduced the number of departures, but modestly added capacity due to bigger aircraft. Seventeen cities lost Washington Reagan National flights due to divestiture, with the result that a few airports gained new service, primarily to Charlotte and Philadelphia.

Fort Wayne International Airport in Fort Wayne, Ind., is among the lucky ones. On Oct. 2, US Airways Express will launch daily service to Charlotte and twice-daily service to Philadelphia.

For the Charlotte and Philadelphia hubs, with 142 and 124 destinations, respectively, Fort Wayne is simply one more destination dot on the map.

But for Fort Wayne, with 10 destinations including five hubs and five Allegiant (ALGT) airports, Philadelphia service provides a long-sought East Coast destination, while Charlotte represents an easy path to the Caribbean, connections throughout the Southeast and an alternative to Delta (DAL - Get Report) in Atlanta.

 "We're really excited about American coming and serving our community," said Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. "We don't have a Northeast connection, so somebody going to the Northeast or flying internationally (eastbound) has to go to Chicago or Detroit. We have been working on trying to get hub connectivity for a long time."

As for Charlotte, "It has a lot of connectivity, both international and domestic, and it provides good connectivity to the Caribbean," Hinderman said. Additionally, Charlotte "will bring some competition in the marketplace," he said.

A comparison of the combined airlines' October 2013 and October 2014 service levels prepared for TheStreet by consulting firm Mead & Hunt showed that departures declined 0.7% to 200,140 during the period, but total seats increased 1% to 20.7 million.

Major influences on the service levels have been the addition of new Boeing 777s to the American fleet, as well as US Airways' divestiture of 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport, resulting in the discontinuation of service to 17 cities, part of the price of the merger, said Jeffrey Hartz, senior air service consultant for Mead & Hunt. Both events freed up aircraft.

Since the merger, American and US Airways have added or scheduled 21 new flights, headed by Dallas to Shanghai and Hong Kong with new 777-300s. But the largest share of the new flights is from hubs to the country's mid-section.

Charlotte has added service to Tulsa, Okla., Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Fort Wayne. Philadelphia has added Charleston, W. Va.; Cleveland; Fort Wayne; Grand Rapids; Lexington. Ky., and Memphis. Phoenix added Cleveland. Dallas and Chicago will add Bismarck, N.D. Also, Miami and JFK will add Viracopos, Brazil, and Miami will add Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

"The majority of the growth has been new routes from US Airways cities, funded with aircraft from DCA," said Hartz, who consulted for the Fort Wayne airport. Before the merger, "US Airways had nothing in the Midwest," he said. "But now, look at all the Midwest opportunities" that can be had, building on American's long presence in the region. 

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
DAL $42.66 1.20%
AAL $34.58 0.44%
AAPL $93.94 0.32%
FB $118.02 -0.46%
GOOG $696.57 -0.23%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,718.72 -172.44 -0.96%
S&P 500 2,058.94 -22.49 -1.08%
NASDAQ 4,762.3140 -55.28 -1.15%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs