How the US Airways-American Merger Lawsuit Could Benefit Airports
Airline consolidation means less steady service for small airports, like Columbia Regional. KOMUnews / Flickr
Merger or not, small airports lose, because consolidation means a decrease in service, but so would American’s bankruptcy exit plan.
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to block the merger, which it said would hurt competition and increase prices for consumers by leaving four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market.
That could mark the end of an industry move toward consolidation, Fitch said, and more carriers would mean increased routes more services and competition.
Small regional airports face the biggest threat from service cutbacks that are connected to airline consolidation. However airports that do a lot of business with American may suffer if it scales back operations as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan. Fitch said larger international airports could also benefit because US Airways and American may both need to enhance their international service to compete with United and Delta.
Six states have also filed legal challenges against American parent AMR Corp., and US Airways’ Group Inc.
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