US Airways antitrust lawsuit may endanger CLT
Posted on 16 Aug 2013 by Justin Ruckman
Boyd said the Justice Department antitrust lawsuit lacks merit, but could result in several bad scenarios for Charlotte and CLT. The first, and most obvious, would be the denial of the merger, which has been expected to bolster the city’s dominant airline. US Airways, without consolidation, would slide back into the uncertainty of standing as a carrier lacking much room for growth without access to another airline’s network.
Another possibility: consumer groups involved in the antitrust suit could push the government and airlines to make concessions such as the possible shedding of the Charlotte hub.
The thinking could run along the lines of viewing the CLT hub as one a competing airline could take over in the interest of spurring competition and helping consumers. Boyd said that thinking is flawed. “If that happens, (CLT) goes back to 40 destinations. You’re Pittsburgh,” he said, referring to a shuttered US Airways hub that never recovered after the airline reduced service following a 2005 merger.