Which Of The Big 6 Airlines Might Merge?

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There’s no wonder airline CEO’s want consolidation. Mergers lead to less competition, fewer seats, and higher prices.
They also mean less pressure to maintain the value of their miles.
Here’s a quick look at America’s “Big 6” carriers merger prospects:
Airlines are listed in order of size.


AA: Likely to look for a merger partner only in response to another merger or to break up a merger. Very likely to try to block any mega-mergers via anti-trust pressure.

Main Hubs: Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Miami (MIA)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Boeing

Alliance: OneWorld.

Key strengths: World’s largest airline. AAdvantage is the first, the largest, and arguably the most generous frequent flyer program in the world.

Most likely partners: Continental, Delta.


United: Desperately seeking a partner since emerging from bankruptcy. CEO Glenn Tilton is the industry’s biggest proponents of consolidation.

Main Hubs: Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), S. Francisco (SFO), Washington D.C. (IAD)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Airbus and Boeing

Alliance: Star Alliance.

Key strengths: Trans-Pacific presence. Mileage Plus is right behind AAdvantage in terms of worth/size.

Most likely partners: Anyone!



Delta: Investors are pressuring to look for merger candidates.

Main Hubs: Altanta (ATL), Cincinnati (CVG), NYC (JFK), Salt Lake City (SLC)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Boeing

Alliance: SkyTeam.

Key strength: Trans-Atlantic presence.

Most likely partners: AA, Continental, Northwest.


Continental:
Northwest own a “golden share” of Continental that means Northwest will have to approve any Continental merger move that requires shareholder approval.

Main Hubs: Cleveland (CLE), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Boeing

Alliance: SkyTeam.

Key strengths: Trans-Atlantic presence. NY area hub with full domestic/international network.

Most likely partners: AA, Delta, Northwest.


Northwest:
Worst labor relationships in the industry, considered a last-resort partner by other airlines.

Main Hubs: Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis (MSP), Memphis (MEM)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Airbus and Boeing

Alliance: SkyTeam.

Key strength: Trans-Pacific presence.

Most likely partners: Continental, Delta, United.


USAirways: Still struggling to overcome effects of the American West-USAirways merger.

Main Hubs: Charlotte (CLT), Las Vegas (LAS), Philadelphia (LAX), Phoenix (PHX)

Primary aircraft manufacturer: Airbus and Boeing.

Alliance: Star Alliance.

Key strengths: —

Most likely partners: United.

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2 Comments On "Which Of The Big 6 Airlines Might Merge?"

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dy

Interesting thought I had, what happens if airlines merge? What happens to mileage?

Dan/Ctownbochur

In the past, mileage has pretty much been honored by the new airline.
But they don’t have to!

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