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Will a Scuttled Airline Merger Hurt Smaller Carriers?

It appears this merger may not be in the bag quite yet. ( More...

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PhotoFinish 1
Ignore the first part about asset sales. AA will not sell assets gates/ slots at key airports to raise cash if the merger doesn't go through. If anything they'll need to bulk up. They'll need to grow their network and frequency to be more competitive with Delta, United (with or without US merger).

But that second part of article about the impact of merger (and also the failure to merge) on smaller carriers is right on the money. I've written as much here on FA.
PhotoFinish 1
In fact, instead of selling slots or gates to Akaska, I've said AA should merge with Alaska to increase their west coast presence, particularly the northwest where Akaska is strongest and AA least represented.

A combined AA-US would have too much bulk on the east coast and would need to sell assets and/or close some hubs, but a new stronger AA with reduced costs wouldn't to shrink their operation at key slot restricted airports. They would be in a position to want to grow their business at these airports that are crucial to attracting and maintaining key frequent flyer business travelers.


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