Transport Airports

How US Airway’s Charlotte hub became one of the most successful airports in the country

Excerpt from The Street

Dec 17, 2012 10:37 am

Skift Take

Charlottte consistently gets planes off the ground and to the gates on time, but would an AA merger exponentially increase the success of the airport with more departures and more passengers, or could overcrowding ruin the good thing that it has going?

— Samantha Shankman

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Daniel Betts  /

US Airways Boeing 737 jets line up at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Daniel Betts /

With creditors in the American bankruptcy case apparently in the late stages of evaluating a merger, many in the airline industry except US Airways and American to combine early in the coming year. That would make Charlotte the second biggest hub for the world’s largest airline.

But even without a merger, Charlotte is growing. Next year, non-stop service to London Heathrow will begin March 30…On May 5, Charlotte-Sao Paulo, Brazil service will begin… US Airways has said that a merger would mean about 50 additional daily departures, as it would push more passengers through Charlotte.

Throughout the year, Charlotte’s operational performance was strong. Pope ticked off metrics including a best-ever, 11-month 68.1% rate for aircraft departing by D-0, or exactly as scheduled; a best-ever 79.2% for aircraft arriving on time, and a best-ever 73.4% rate for successful aircraft turn times, as measured against a base of how long it ought to take.

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