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Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by rwoman, Mar 22, 2012.
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USAToday: Charlotte hub would withstand merger, US Airways CEO says
Good news = Great news! Hopefully the market forces do not change too fast, as we all know only too good, this happens rather often in the aviation industry!
I think CLT's low cost structure leaves it better positioned that somewhere like PIT, for example, to survive a merger. I also think geographically, CLT makes sense for a combined AA/US.
CLT definitely makes sense for a merged US/AA because of traffic flowing into and out of the SE. It's also not a horrible connecting point for a lot of western flights toward the east coast. It has a lot of the same benefits as ATL, including similarly favorable weather for winter operations. It's perhaps a bit more susceptible to winter storms, but still a far, far cry from the problems inherent with Philly, Chicago and NY metro.
I've never completely understood why all the talking heads and "analysts" are so absolutely convinced that the Charlotte hub can't be profitable. Is it NYC? No. But sometimes I wonder if any of the experts have ever been to Charlotte.....at least outside of the airport. I'm not the least bit biased because I'm a UNC-C grad, but I find Charlotte to be a very vibrant and growing city with lots going on...... that would create demand for air service.
Plus it would give AA that Mid-Eastern hub it has always wanted but never successfully created at BNA or RDU
Since BNA is my home base, it would be nice to have a club as well as access to a Western hub since We can't get to PHX from BNA. It (when) it goes through, hope the upgrade process stays with US way and not AA!
I'm assuming it's the banks in CLT that help keep a hub operation afloat, no? Besides BofA based in CLT, Wells Fargo's acquisition of Wachovia a few years ago has kept plenty of people going between CLT and major Wells Fargo locations (SFO, PHX and MSP).
I'm sure that's a good part of it. There are currently 9 Fortune 500 companies HQ'd in the CLT area and a number of others with major facilities. Among those HQ'd there are BofA, Ally Financial (CLT is the #2 banking area in the US), Lowe's, Duke Energy, Family Dollar, Goodrich, Chiquita (relocated from Cincinatti not too long ago) and some particularly big industrials.
Wells Fargo will continue to maintain a significant presence in CLT, including their east coast regional HQ, and their capital markets business lines.
Oh, and it's also the home base to most of the NASCAR teams!
In addition that section of the country is seeing a growth in high-tech/bio-tech industry as well as car manufacturing and 787 production.
The Carolinas are definitely seeing very consistent growth over the last decade or so in a number of industries that have good long-term potential. Banking in Charlotte, manufacturing in a number of areas--tons of auto-related businesses in Greenville/Spartanburg area and a lot factories popping up in AL, GA, SC, NC, and TN--plus tech research of several varieties in RTP area, etc.. The furniture and textile industries have always had a huge presence in NC as well, although those industries are in greater flux because of cheaper labor costs overseas.
Aside from Delta's hub in ATL, the CLT hub for US Airways appears to be in the best position to take advantage of this growing regional market. Long term, the SE market could end up playing a bigger role in airline profits and survivability than the more traditional midwestern market. That could mean that a hub like CLT might eventually become as big as some of the midwestern ones--probably not Chicago because of Chicago's enormous O/D, but MSP, DTW, etc.
According to the 2010 statistics (I couldn't find 2011, if they're even out yet), CLT had just over 38 million passengers, as opposed to MSP and DTW, which both had ~32 million. So sounds like CLT has already surpassed both of those midwestern hubs.
Interesting. Thanks for finding and sharing that. Inspired by another thought exercise, I found those numbers, and an interesting thing to note on the regional differences in 2010...
ATL + CLT = 127.58 million
ORD + MDW + MSP + DTW = 149.56 million
If you add IAD and DCA to the "southeast pool", which isn't ridiculous since they're in Virginia, ATL + CLT + IAD + DCA = 169.28 million.
Clearly the NE corridor of Philly, NJ, NY, Boston is the dominant regional market. The SE, excluding Florida, is getting close to the entire midwest market or exceeds it easily if you include the two major Virginia airports. Although I would tend to lump those in with BWI as "mid-atlantic" rather than southeastern airports. The two major TX airports account for just short of 100 million passengers (97.39), making it the 3rd behind Florida's four major (MDO, MIA, FLL, and TPA with 109.64 million) and California's three major 115.21 million. The New York metro three had 103.6 million passengers.
Now, big disclaimer is that the list I'm using only has the top 30, so a market like California likely has a pretty good number of additional passengers that used mid-large airports like Oakland and Orange County.