The airlines merger: Bitter past is prologue
Culminating US Airways' shafting of taxpayers as that carrier and American Airlines combine, their merger, now a done deal, remains a bad deal for airline passengers in general and for the Pittsburgh region in particular.
Federal judges green-lighted the merger by approving a settlement of antitrust litigation filed by the U.S. Justice Department and six states' attorneys general, including Pennsylvania's. The new American Airlines agreed to relinquish some landing rights at seven airports, but with 80 percent of the market now controlled by just four major carriers, that will do little to address diminished industry competition that inevitably means higher fares.
The Pittsburgh area will lose US Airways' flight operations center in Moon — built with $4 million in public subsidies — and its approximately 700 jobs. It's a painful echo of US Airways' pillaging of the public purse for Pittsburgh International Airport's heavily subsidized rebuilding to the airline's specifications, only to strip it of hub status, hundreds of flights and thousands of jobs.
US Airways' heavy maintenance facility at the airport may fare better, with its 675 unionized workers' Airbus expertise needed as the merged carrier adds 260 such aircraft over the next nine years. But that's little comfort for Western Pennsylvania. And claims by credibility-challenged Doug Parker, the merged airline's CEO — who engineered Pittsburgh's shafting as US Airways CEO — that fares won't rise are just as little comfort for passengers nationwide.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Death on the range: A fatal lapse
- Saturday essay: Mother’s message
- Police vests & big hearts
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?
- Sunday pops
- The Thursday wrap
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances