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American flyers will feel little impact from the merger for up to a year as the airline works towards introducing route changes and integrating staff and fleet.
American Airlines executives are working to add new destinations from Charlotte as the newly merged company integrates its routes with US Airways.
American executives have said the combined airline’s daily flights at Charlotte Douglas International Airport could increase from about 650 to 700, The Charlotte Observer reports. Charlotte is the combined airline’s second-busiest hub after Dallas/Fort Worth.
The airline is examining whether it’s feasible to add new flights from Charlotte to small and midsize cities in the Midwest. Executives said they plan to take until at least late 2015 to review the company’s route structure.
“For you in Charlotte, there’s not a lot you should expect in terms of changes other than I know we’re looking at some cities American serves but US Airways did not,” American President Scott Kirby said in a conference call with industry analysts Tuesday. “We have a lot of work ahead.”
Fort Worth, Texas-based American on Tuesday reported combined quarterly revenue of $9.98 billion, which beat analysts’ forecast by about $90 million. Excluding restructuring costs related to its bankruptcy reorganization and last month’s merger with US Airways, American said it would have earned $436 million, or 59 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That also beat analysts’ forecast by 4 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.
American lost $2 billion in the quarter including the restructuring charges and other one-time items.
The airlines will keep their own names and continue to fly separately until they receive a single operating certificate from the federal government, which is expect in late 2015.
Customers should expect tighter confines aboard planes and new fees in coming months.
American is seeking more “ancillary revenue,” Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said. Ancillary revenue refers to charges such as baggage fees and upgrades to roomier economy seats. Airline executives also expect to add more seats inside planes, increasing capacity by as much as 17 percent on some jets, by installing seats which take up less space front to back.
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