Charlotte’s rising prominence

It’s no secret that through the years Charlotte has risen through the ranks to become US Airways’ predominent hub. But this chart included in an investor presentation today illustrates the importance of Charlotte’s traffic flows.

Charlotte now accounts for 36% of US Airways’ capacity, part of a broader strategy to centre 99% of its flying at the most profitable points in its network, and where it is strongest – Phildadelphia, Charlotte, Phoenix, Washington National (thanks to the years-long efforts to trade slots with Delta) and its Shuttle markets.

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As Charlotte has gained more emphasis in the US Airways network during the last couple of years, Philadelphia, which was once the carrier’s strongest transatlantic gateway, has diminshed.

Back in 2010 US Airways offiicials when announcing new transatlantic seasonal service from Charlotte cited the maturity of Philadelphia with respect to the overseas markets served from the hub.

Charlotte has also served as US Airways’ gateway to Latin America after launching service to Rio in late 2009.  The carrier also in 2010 said it would remodal part of the Charlotte hub to accomodate more international flights.

The dedication to Charlotte stands against a mild feud US Airways has been having with Philadelphia during the last couple of years. Philadelphia’s anchor carrier opposes a roughly $5.2 billion expansion project that includes construction of a fifth runway.

US Airways in its recently releases annual report warned the overall capacity enhancement project at Philadelphia airport could result in huge cost increases for airlines serving the airport.

Previously, US Airways has said the costs of the planned fifth runway at Philadelphia would make it the most expensive built outside of Japan.   

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