Whether you've seen it on the radio or heard it on the news, the consolidation merger between American Airlines and US Airways has been well discussed over the past six months. The two companies formally merged in December, creating American Airlines Group Inc. With nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries worldwide, the new American Airlines offers flights to more destinations and worldwide connectivity through the oneworld alliance. For ILM, we believe that this merger will be very beneficial for not only our passengers, but also for the entire state of North Carolina.
Before the merger, both US Airways and American Airlines seemed similar to many other commercial airlines, such as Northwest (merged with Delta), Continental (merged with United), and AirTran (merged with Southwest). All of these airlines had experienced operation difficulties that led to their mergers. Alone, US Airways and American Airlines may not have survived the ever changing airline industry, but together, it allows American Airlines to reclaim the title of "The World's Largest Airline.”
For ILM, the merger will ultimately provide our passengers with more options. The new American Airlines is expected to maintain all existing hubs that are currently served by both airlines. These nine hubs include the following cities: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Phoenix, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Operating under the American Airlines name, the existing US Airways aircraft fleet will undergo a new look to solidify their branding over the next year.
Because we have so many international customers who fly out of ILM, this merger also means more flexibility. As I previously mentioned, the merger will now provide connecting service to 330 destinations in more than 50 countries. For our passengers who travel internationally, this type of connectivity is a great improvement compared to that offered by American Airlines or US Airways alone (if they had not merged) and by other airlines.
In addition to an improvement in international connections, the new American Airlines plans for major growth of the Charlotte Douglas Airport, making it one of the fastest growing hubs over the next 10 years. This is excellent news for all of ILM’s passengers who travel domestically and internationally. CLT is currently the eighth-largest airport in the United States and is one of ILM’s main gateways. This merger will offer passengers a great alternative to other congested airports such as ATL.
While the aviation transportation system is shrinking overall, ILM's future appears to be bright. Because of the US Airways/American Airlines merger, we are more confident than ever that our passengers will love having more flight options, fewer layovers and an increase in flexibility on what is now the world's largest commercial airline!
Jon Rosborough became director of the Wilmington International Airport (ILM) in November of 1998. As the fourth largest airport in North Carolina, ILM serves over 800,000 passengers annually and offers service on both Delta Airlines and US Airways/American Airlines, ILM services 4 non-stop hubs which allow for convenient domestic and international travel. ILM prides itself on offering award winning customer service and convenience with multiple flight options, easy security screening, and close parking. For more information about ILM, please visit www.flyILM.com, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/flyilm , or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ILMairport.
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