As promised, an analysis US Airways’ growth possibilities in the south and southeast.
Charlotte is US Airways’ main hub for serving secondary markets in the southeastern and southern U.S. Most of the new domestic destinations that the airline has introduced from CLT in recent years are also to the region. Since 2008, the airline has added daily, year-round flights from Charlotte:
So a beach market plus a failure in Tuscon. And, yeah, lots of places from Florida to Texas but nothing new in the Midwest or Northeast.
Figuring out what’s possible in the SE from CLT is fairly simple. Delta Air Lines has a huge hub in Atlanta. Let’s compare the number of seats offered on DL to ATL with US to CLT to secondary markets in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and eastern Texas. The numbers are for Thursday, June 24, 2010:
|Ft. Walton Beach, FL||VPS||600||260|
|Panama City, FL||ECP||584||—|
|Daytona Beach, FL||DAB||494||210|
|Baton Rouge, LA||BTR||420||150|
|Muscle Shoals, AL||MSL||68||—|
The critical points I take from this:
And what else could US Airways add in the future? The options are pretty limited. There’s always Panama City, but that flopped two years ago. Shreveport is a significantly smaller market than Baton Rouge. It’s also 80 miles further away. And beyond that, nothing is even remotely plausible.
So if US Airways is going to add markets domestically from Charlotte, it’s going to have to change what it’s been doing. There’s pretty much nothing left for it to add in the southeast. There are some places in the Northeast and, especially, Midwest, that could work, but the airline has so far avoided adding flights to those sorts of markets from CLT.