I hope so.
I hope so.
AA and US Airways boards have agreed to merge; announcement on Thurs.
Reading the airliners.net thread I felt good about Philly's chances going forward. Philly is the only airport of its kind-outside of EWR (Newark) with such close access to the Northeast. It already is a megahub for US Airways, and is positioned to be the same for the new AA. Laguardia and JFK.will primarily focus on the O&D market for AA, while Philly should be the main hub (it was pointed out many times-with numbers to back-that JFK is not technically a "hub", although very busy). Some trans-atlantic flights will leave PHL for JFK, and vice versa, where it makes sense.
Reading that thread, I don't think AA will abandon Philly, even if the city went ahead with the expansion; the airport, its assets and location are too important. For similar reasons, I doubt UPS would leave to, although they have more flexibility.
I read through a US presentation included as part of their SEC filing. It descibes repeatedly PHL's importance as a domestic connecting hub for the merged airline. There's a lot less detail about PHL regarding international service. The presentation mentions that adding the US network to AA's increases service to Europe. It also mentions that they will offer BA connections through PHL and CLT to 10x the number of destinations in the eastern 1/2 of the country than BA curently has from JFK. Also, LGA/JFK are cited as important markets for domestic O/D and international. They propose to take DL head on at LGA/JFK for NYC corporate contracts which will require a strong international presence at JFK. In short, they aren't going to de-hub PHL and they aren't going to deemphasize LGA/JFK either. I still expect US/AA to use PHL as a TATL connecting hub. The question is at what scale and my guess is that it's going to be fluid over the next few years as they try to optimize routes, fleet etc.
It was mentioned many times in the Airliners.net thread that currently PHL and JFK/DCA serve two different markets-the NYC airports the huge NY O&D traffic, while PHL is primarily a connecting hub between the NE and the rest of the country. Because the NYC airports have little to no room to grow, and also have lots of competition, whereas AA will have little competition at PHL and be able to serve domestic and international traffic on all directions, DCA/JFK should complemented rather than compete with PHL. Some TAFLT will move to JFK, while some domestic routes will come to PHL. However, PHL should keep a few TAFLT (the popular flight to Tel Aviv an example), while losing flights to smaller markets-MAD, for example.
Airliners.net also had people predicting bad things for PHL; not that they're right. The bad news brigade would argue that JFK doesn't have to absorb all the PHL-connecting TATL people, maybe there is money to be made in sending them through ORD or DFW.
PHL might get more British Airways service, that's cool. Some predict Lufthansa will exit PHL now but that's not necessarily true, LH was here before any alliances with US Airways. If memory serves they were here before US Airways existed.
Time will tell.
"All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away... All that is solid melts into air...." Marx and Engels
Last edited by Juniataexile; 02-15-2013 at 04:19 PM.
Bringing this back to the topic of airport expansion ... it will be interesting to see what post-merger AA's position is on reconfiguring the airfield a year or so from now. It seems as though the recent two year agreement was designed to allow everyone to delay making a decsion about the airfield until after the merger is completed. Ultimately, even with eventual improvements to ATC, it isn't going to be possible to increase capacity in any meaningful way without airfield reconfiguration. AA may be content to keep future operations at roughly current levels, then again they may not. Assuming that they don't completely screw up the merger (not a given), the good news for the city is there should be a much higher probability that PHL will remain a major hub for the foreseeable future which makes major captial expenditures less risky.
This is taking forever..but what is new? lol
But at least we know what going to happen next at 2PM today.
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Will GPS guided planes solve the congestion issue and we'll need additional runway? Or is this just some pet project for politicians?
What's keeping FAA's NextGen air traffic control on the runway? | GCN
Delays Threaten FAA's $40B Air Traffic Control Overhaul | Law360
Nation Needs Costly But Safer Air Traffic System | Hartford Courant
If investment is available for the airport now, I say go ahead and start using it as it may not be there when the FAA catches up. Not to mention that a lot of the improvements will enhance the airport even if the increased traffic doesn't arrive.
"It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
Jonathan Safran Foer