American to maintain separate operations at San Francisco airport

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American Airlines and its subsidiary US Airways will operate from separate concourses at San Francisco International airport for the foreseeable future, says airport director John Martin.

“We don’t think US Air and American can fit into terminal 2,” he says on the sidelines of a media event for the opening of the new 10-gate boarding area E at the airport.

American operates from six gates in terminal 2’s boarding area D and US Airways operates from three gates in terminal 1’s boarding area B at the airport. However, Virgin America uses the remaining eight gates in D and a major seven-year redevelopment project is planned for B beginning later in 2014.

Martin says that US Airways will move to space in boarding area C, which will be connected to D via a new secure walkway that is scheduled to open by the fourth quarter.

He likens the connection to the one customers of United Airlines will make when connecting between boarding areas E and F in terminal 3.

However, Martin does add the caveat that American could adjust its schedule in order to accommodate all of its operations in terminal 2. The airport does not expect it to do this, he says.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier was not immediately available for comment.

American could consolidate its operations at San Francisco when the new boarding area B opens. Construction is expected to begin on the project later in 2014 with the first phase potentially opening in 2019.

American and US Airways merged on 9 December 2013 and plan to integrate under the former’s name by the end of 2015.

Asked how he expects the merger to impact San Francisco airport, Martin says that the merger is a good thing.

“We have good, rich competition here,” he says, citing service on JetBlue Airways, Southwest and Virgin America.