TEXT - Fitch says American & US Airways merger could affect hub operations

Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:03pm EST

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Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: American Airlines Merger with US AirwaysFeb 13 - Fitch Ratings has published a new special report titled 'American and
US Mergers Could Affect Hub Operations'. The report provides an update on issues
affecting airports currently providing large scale connecting traffic operations
for the two carriers. 

A merger of two of the largest U.S. based carriers, American Airlines and US 
Airways, would be the fourth major consolidation of domestic airlines during the
past five years. In Fitch's view, such events are material to the U.S. airport 
sector from a credit perspective as consolidation allows for opportunities to 
make changes in route networks and hub arrangements. As seen in recent mergers, 
some hub airports will likely be strengthened through industry consolidation 
while others are weakened.

To the extent a merger consummates between American and US Airways, the combined
carrier would effectively maintain six hub airports in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, 
Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Phoenix. Separately, the combined carrier 
would maintain a sizable presence in markets like New York, Los Angeles and San 
Francisco. While geographic location and separation helps support a rationale 
for hubs, it is still fair to ask whether maintaining as many as six hub 
airports at the same level of operations will be necessary to maintain an 
efficient single network. 

The full report is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
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