Aviation Press Releases
February 14, 2013
Hometown Airline Merger Could Mean More Flights for Phoenix Sky Harbor
Today US Airways and American Airlines announced their intent to merge the two airlines. No major changes are expected immediately. In fact, it could be more than a year before the airlines actually merge, following today’s announcement.
US Airways currently has about 250-300 departures (depending on the season) from 50 gates in Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4. American Airlines has about 20 departures from three gates in Terminal 3.
Executives at US Airways have publicly stated that they have no intention of giving up their Phoenix passengers, even after they move some administrative jobs out of their Tempe headquarters building. With such a strong demand for air service in Phoenix, Sky Harbor is a significant player in the airport arena and critically important to the industry. In the unlikely event that US Airways chooses to forfeit any of their market share in Phoenix, Sky Harbor will approach other airlines, which will likely come and meet the demand.
US Airways has also indicated that a merger opens up new opportunities for routes and aircraft available to fly to additional domestic and new international destinations. Sky Harbor is hopeful that some of the un-served international routes with strong demand will be at the top of the new airline’s list to serve.
“In my conversations with the leadership at US Airways, they have been very clear that Phoenix is critically important to the airline and they intend to keep Sky Harbor as a hub,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “While other cities in the country may have had challenges in merger situations, they did not have the passenger traffic that we do here at one of the nation’s top ten airports and that makes all the difference,” he added.
The newly merged airline will eventually operate in Terminal 4 but passengers won’t see changes for some time. Other airlines will eventually have the opportunity to expand the three gates that American will ultimately vacate in Terminal 3.