Transatlantic air fares set to rise following merger between American Airlines and US Airways
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 14 February 2013
Transatlantic air fares are set to rise following the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.
The two carriers are currently fourth and fifth largest in the USA, but when combined will become the world’s largest airline – with 170m passengers a year and a fleet of nearly 1,000 aircraft.
At present they compete strenuously for British visitors to America. US Airways positions itself as the budget option, usually undercutting all other carriers with its link from Gatwick to Charlotte, North Carolina, and onward connections to dozens of cities. For example, travelling in one week to Salt Lake City, US Airways is substantially below the competition with a fare of £618 return.
With the amalgamated airline more influential in controlling supply, fares are likely to rise. But British Airways customers will find they have access to a wider range of services in the US, as a result of BA's existing code-share link with American Airlines.
This is the third "mega-merger" since 2008, following Delta's tie-up with Northwest and United's amalgamation with Continental. In each case, the brand of the smaller party is swiftly erased - and that is the fate of US Airways. But US Airways' chief executive Doug Parker will take the same position in the combined carrier.
The move will also shift the balance of power of the world's airline alliances. American Airlines is the biggest member of Oneworld, which includes British Airways. US Air is currently in the larger Star Alliance, but is likely to exit once the deal is complete.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
The importance of a valid passport: 'A glimpse of what the UK leaving the EU might be like'
Flight MH370: Endless agony of the woman who lost her husband
America's Deep South: Endless opportunities for a first-class road trip
The best time to book flights – region by region
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...