You’ve probably read as many articles about the merger between American and US Airways as I have, and with both airlines having just wrapped up the SEC mandated quiet period that was imposed in advance of the July 12 US Airways shareholder vote, there hasn’t been much merger news lately.
For me the upside of the quiet period has been that it’s allowed me to get caught up on some of my reading.
I came across two interviews with US Airways executives that I thought were worth sharing.
The first was an interview with Andrew Nocella, US Airways’s senior vice president of marketing and planning who has also been named as the chief marketing officer of the new American Airlines. He sat down with Brian Sumers of Inside SoCal to talk about how the merger will impact the Los Angeles market.
Discussing the US approach to the LAX market:
US Airways has been “a somewhat niche player in the marketplace we knew we couldn’t be big in every market. We focused efforts in the places where we thought we could be most profitable. In this particular case, Los Angeles is a great spoke for US Airways today. It’s a profitable operation for US Airways so we are very happy with it.”
And in the future:
Los Angeles is a top business market – No. 2 in the country behind New York. We intend to make sure we will keep the operations in all nine (new American) hubs going forward. Los Angeles and New York are a very important to the strategy.
The strategy of a stand-alone US Airways is different than the strategy of a merged US Airways and American. Times change and we will adjust our business philosophy and strategies accordingly.
It’s the first interview (that I can recall) where an US exec has so plainly said that running an airline the size of American is very different than running an airline the size of US.
You can read the entire interview here: US Airways and American merger: What it might mean for Los Angeles
Another article worthing mentioning is one from Jay Boehmer at Business Travel News, it’s the most detailed outline of merger planning and timelines that I’ve read.
He quotes Robert Isom, US Airways COO and future COO of the new American:
“the underlying premise of the principle is to favor AA’s approach. “US Airways is about half the size of American,” he said. “For the most part, for passenger- and employee-facing systems, we’re probably going to rely on bigger carrier systems. There is no need to go out and train everyone. You want to minimize disruption.”
“A relatively small portion of integration work will be guided by a desire to more quickly “harmonize to best-of-breed,” wherein new policies, procedures and systems would be introduced, executives said. “You’ll see a lot of this around product offerings, policies and certain aspects of amenities,” said Isom.
Hmmm…..I would love to know how they define “best-of-breed”.
To read the rest of the interview go here: Merger Planning Underway As AA, US Airways Embark On Long Journey
Both articles are worth reading. Let me know what you think!
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