More merger turbulence?

Feb. 25, 2013 @ 05:51 AM

Piedmont Triad International Airport officials are trying to gauge the potential impact from a merger involving two carriers that serve their passengers.
US Airways and American Airlines became the latest two major carriers to announce plans to combine. Earlier this month, the two airlines unwrapped an $11 billion deal to create the world’s largest carrier, surpassing Delta Airlines. The merged airline will adopt the American Airlines name.
Airport officials plan to meet with US Airways executives this week as part of a previously scheduled aviation industry visit, said Henry Isaacson, chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.
“Typically, mergers come about because the two entities want to effect some savings. So there are usually contractions in service,” Isaacson told The High Point Enterprise.
When Delta and the former Northwest Airlines merged four years ago, the airport ended up losing a handful of direct flights, Isaacson said.
“We would hope that it would be minimum and business would be conducted as usual,” said Isaacson, an attorney and civic leader from Greensboro.
Along with Delta, US Airways is one of the primary carriers at PTIA. Of the 54 daily flights from the airport, US Airways provides 17. American Airlines provides five daily flights, according to airport statistics.
US Airways provides direct service from PTIA to airports in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., while American serves Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth through its American Eagle carrier. Between them, US Airways and American Eagle offer 40 percent of daily direct service from PTIA.
Isaacson said that airport officials have impressed on PTIA carriers the importance of continuing to serve the Piedmont Triad market.
“They understand what our needs are,” Isaacson said.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528