Charlotte airport could lose hub in merger, says government report

Charlotte airport could lose hub in merger, says government report

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by DIANNE GALLAGHER / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianneG

WCNC.com

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 20 at 5:20 AM

WASHINGTON D.C. -- A proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways could reduce competition for nearly 1,700 flight options and cause Charlotte to lose its hub, according to testimony from a government watchdog agency.

The Government Accountability Office presented findings from its 25 page report at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

The GAO noted "Miami could be a better hub than Charlotte in the Southeast." It also added that 59 of 116 domestic airports served by US Airways from Charlotte are also served by American from Miami. 

Captain James Ray, of the US Airline Pilots Association, said the report is wrong. 

"Charlotte is very safe," Ray told NBC Charlotte over the phone. "We've never heard a thing about this. In fact, we've heard just the opposite.  Everything we've heard and believe is that Charlotte will grow.  As a hub, one of the crown jewels of US Airways and the new American will be Charlotte, North Carolina."

Ray said Miami "makes no sense whatsoever as a domestic hub" because of its geographic location.

Airline heads also disputed the GAO findings at the Senate hearing.

 

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