uptownliving

Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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If USAirways is able to sign new contracts with its workers this summer...then they will be able to compete with Southwest and still make a profit. We will just have to wait and see.

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If you want truly low fares, then you better hope Southwest and JetBlue create quite a following and don't just become a couple flights a day to say they serve Charlotte having to connect through one of Southwest's hubs like Midway or Nashville (and yes, Southwest has a quasi-hub system, just not to an extent like other airlines). :)

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These "rumors' coming from an accredited source by chance? :) Very exciting! I can't wait for low air fares!! I always fly United, guess I'll have to use up all of my air miles so I can switch to another carrier when they come next year! 8-)

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I would certainly fly more if this is the case. So Charlotte will definitely see a jump in ridership. Sure, USAir will see a drop in passengers. People may get laid off but Charlotte's economy is so resilient right now that those people should be swallowed up by other industries and these other airlines. I think all in all it will be a good thing because people like me who rarely fly will start to much more frequently. This will boost the number of people flying in and out of Charlotte Douglas every day. We certainly won't see a decrease in the number of foreign cities we are connected to so that won't be a loss. I just hope that we can maintain the same direct connectivity to national cities if USAir had to downsize operations. I think we will though, those flights are there because the corporations need them. As long as there is the need there will be a carrier willing to fly the route direct.

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If you head out there you can see it under construction...hard to miss. It should be open by this time next year.

I believe that CATS has not made a final decision on the West route...but it does look like it will be a Rapid Bus route.

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Estimates have shown that the airport line wouldnt be used as much as others b/c Douglas is a big transfer hub - most people never leave the airport when flying through Charlotte. I think rapid bus is a good option - especially if rail isnt viable.

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The first slash was annouced earlier this week with USAirways cutting 30% of PIT flights in October. At the same time they have beefed up CLTs schedule even adding new destinations. In October the PIT hub will be half the size it was just 3 years ago.

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I think this is the 10th year that S&P has said that USAirways is in a precarious position and is on the brink of failure...lol.

IF USAirways is able to get new contracts from its unions this summer, then I predict that CLT will have more flights and passengers, and lower ticket prices than it does now.

IF USAirways is not able to get new contracts then I predict the airline will disolve and CLT will see a decrease in service to probably around half of what it is today, but at the same time the ticket prices will go down and O&D will go up....just look to see what happened at RDU. It is possible since CLT has the lowest costs of any hub airport that another airline would think about opening a hub or at least a "focus" operation here...possibly Continental, or United if it survives bankruptcy. It is also possible that America West would like to make Charlotte a focus city if USAirways fails.

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It really sucks to be in the position you are put in if you fly frequently out of CLT. You want to see cheaper fares but you hate to see US Airways go under because of the job loss. In the mean time while this all shakes out, I believe I'll be driving to GSP alot. Independence Air is offering some pretty good fares for the time being. I can get a fare to Lansing, MI(random location) for almost 700 bucks cheaper than anyone out of Charlotte is offering right now.

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QC, I agree that it really would hurt the local taxpayer if USAirways were to go under and lay off all its employees. It would be a $1Billion dollar hit to the local economy. Can you image what that would do? Our local taxes would have to go up to compensate for a loss that large. It would be Pillowtex times 4. Anyone who wishes that would happen to this town has to have no heart.

Edited by uptownliving

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I know there are a couple of other cities that have runways over freeways. I think DFW does though.

Greensboro was going to have its 3rd runway, now under construction over the freeway. Bryan Blvd. is a freeway/expressway that connects the Airport with downtown Greensboro. The plan was to build a tunnel under the runway and and have Bryan Blvd. go under ground. That plan change and instead of having the highway under the runway, they are re-routing Bryan Blvd, north of the runway. That section is now under construction.

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In the spirit of Atlanta/Charlotte love, here is the new overpass being built across I285 for the fifth runway.

From the folks at the AJC :D

image_109301.jpg

That is absolutely insane. They need to quit building on to Hartsfield and build a new airport, or expand a smaller one.

------------------

Wasn't the BofA tower evacuated on Septamber 11th?

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OBSERVER EXCLUSIVE

2nd low-fare airline coming to Charlotte

Independence Air to pressure US Airways with flights to Dulles

TED REED

Staff Writer

A second low-fare airline is headed to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

Independence Air will announce today that it plans to begin eight daily roundtrip flights between Charlotte and its hub at Washington Dulles International Airport starting Oct. 1.

The flights will bring a new level of competition to Charlotte/Douglas, which has the country's highest airfares. Independence will join low-fare carrier ATA, which offers four daily roundtrip flights to its hub at Chicago's Midway Airport.

From Dulles, Independence Air will offer connections to about two dozen Northeast and Midwest cities, including Newark, N.J., Boston, Detroit and Cleveland.

Charlotte/Douglas is the largest hub for US Airways, which carries about 90 percent of the airport's passengers. The carrier's dominance has generally discouraged low-fare competitors from entering the market, keeping fares high. "We think Charlotte is a great market that will respond well to low-fare service," Independence spokesman Rick DeLisi told the Observer. "We think there is an unsatisfied demand for low-fare service not only to Washington but to the other markets we serve."

One-way fares between Charlotte and Dulles will range from $59 to $122. Tickets will be sold without restrictions that typically require Saturday night stays, advance purchase and roundtrip flights. One-way fares on one-stop flights to connecting cities will range between $79 and $199.

As an introductory promotion, Independence will sell $29 one-way fares between Charlotte and Dulles, and $69 one-way, one-stop fares to connecting cities. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 15 for travel between Oct. 1 and Dec. 19.

Fares at Charlotte/Douglas were ranked the nation's highest in a U.S. Transportation Department survey of ticket prices in the third quarter of 2003. In that survey, the average one-way fare between Charlotte and Washington was $299. The survey combined fares to both Dulles and Reagan National Airport.

Independence Air's arrival will mean more problems for US Airways, which is trying to cut $1.5 billion in annual costs to compete with low-fare carriers. It is negotiating to wrest $800 million in annual savings from its labor unions, arguing that it can't survive if lower ticket revenues aren't matched by cost savings.

On May 8, Southwest Airlines began flying to US Airways' Philadelphia hub. US Airways responded by matching Southwest's fares. With six daily flights between Charlotte and Dulles, it is likely to match Independence Air's fares on that route as well.

Independence Air began operating from Dulles to eight cities on June 16, flying 50-seat regional jets. In November, it plans to begin adding Airbus 319 jets, seating 132 passengers on longer routes to Florida and the West Coast.

Formerly known as Atlantic Coast Airlines, the carrier was -- until June -- primarily a partner of United Airlines, feeding flights at United's Dulles hub. The two carriers parted after United filed for bankruptcy protection.

It has expanded rapidly and will serve 37 cities from Dulles by Oct. 1. It began flying to Greensboro on Sunday and will announce today that it is adding service to Huntsville, Ala., as well as Charlotte, on Oct. 1. Atlantic Coast Airlines Holdings Inc., the parent of Independence, said last week it lost $27.1 million in the second quarter, largely because of start-up costs for Independence.

"Much uncertainty remains," airline analyst Ray Neidl of Blaylock & Partners said in a recent report. He said independent flying is more risky than flying as a contractor for a major carrier, though potentially far more lucrative.

Independence Air will have grown to 600 daily departures by the end of the summer, when airline traffic normally falls off, analyst Jamie Baker of Morgan Stanley said in a recent report. Baker said the number of airline seats at Dulles has risen 172 percent this year and questioned whether there is enough demand to support Independence Air's growth.

It's too soon to gauge the impact on US Airways' operations in Washington, US Airways marketing chief Ben Baldanza told analysts last week.

New Arrival

Independence Air will fly eight daily flights between Charlotte/Douglas and Washington's Dulles International Airport.

Starts: Oct. 1.

Charlotte departures: 6:20 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Dulles departures: 6:20 a.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Key cities with connections at Dulles: Cleveland; Chicago; Boston; Buffalo, N.Y.; Dayton, Ohio; Newark, N.J.; New York; Portland, Maine.

One-way fares: To Dulles, $59 to $122. To other cities, $79 to $199.

Introductory fares: To Dulles, $29; Other cities, $69. (book by Aug. 15, fly Oct. 1 through Dec. 19).

Booking: www.flyi.com or (800) 359-3594. Tickets will be available after today's announcement.

Charlotte hiring: About 15 to 20 baggage handlers, customer service agents and ramp service workers.

Source: Independence Air

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Well that is good news. USAir doesn't really fly to Dullas as it code shares that with United, but it will none the less put price pressure on USAir's flights to National airport. Too bad that Dullas is not connected to The Metro.

Metro,

I believe that a Metro link is planned/under construction?

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Well that is good news. USAir doesn't really fly to Dullas as it code shares that with United, but it will none the less put price pressure on USAir's flights to National airport. Too bad that Dullas is not connected to The Metro.

US Airways does fly from CLT to Washington Dulles. They have 6 daily flights (4 on Sat). Also, United flies the route 4 times daily.

It's still good news for Charlotte though. Finally there's another LCC airline in town. The only other one is ATA with 4 flights to Chicago-Midway. Hopefully this can help lower fares some and increase local traffic (O&D).

In other CLT aviation news, US Airways is going to start flying to Barbados and Liberia, Costa Rica from CLT in February 2005. Once those flights start CLT will have nonstop flights to 27 international destinations (124 destinations total).

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Today was a great day for CLT Douglas...new low fare and International service all announced on the same day. Look for more of both in the future.

I can remember being in the airport back in 1994 when the NCAA Final Four tourney was in town and I overheard a lady chuckle when she said "Charlotte Douglas International...its barely international, they only have 4 international flights a day"/// well we have come a long ways in 10 years with 27 international destinations.

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USAirways currently has 6 flights a day to Dulles from Charlotte.

1 ERJ -US Express

2 A319

3 B733

United Airlines Express has 4 CRJs a day from CLT to IAD

iAir will have 8 CRJs a day from CLT to IAD

USAirways has 8 flights a day from CLT to Washington National

3 A319

1 A320

2 A321

1 B733

1 B734

So come October, there will be 26 flights a day between Charlotte and Washingoton, not couting BWI flights. I am sure that all of these will be discounted from what they are today.

I love Washington DC and at these prices I would consider flying rather than driving.

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