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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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On 5/19/2020 at 2:43 PM, Miesian Corners said:

I flew it twice last summer and it was a -300 (and it was full).

CLT-DUB saw a lot of substitutions last summer. Regardless, it was operated on the -200 for the majority of the season. Same goes for MAD/CDG/FRA/MUC. All saw the -300 from time to time as well.

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It looks like AA has resumed CLT-YUL. A quick search says that the only Montreal-US flights operating at the moment are to PHL/ORD/DTW, in addition to CLT. 

I also noticed that AA has somewhat resumed mainline A319 service on CLT-YYZ. Other than the one Delta DTW-YYZ flight on a 717, the CLT-YYZ service appears to be the only mainline flight to Canada operated by a US carrier. 

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12 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

Is this for canadians only? Montréal is the epicenter of Canada covid-19. 

Looks like the border isn't really closed. "Essential" travel from US to Canada is still allowed, some of the examples of essential travel include "work and study"

https://www.cicnews.com/2020/05/tips-to-cross-the-canada-u-s-border-for-immigration-0514385.html#gs.744hgn

I was under the impression the border was truly closed. Just another example of the government and media not being clear about their Corona strategies I guess.

 

Edited by kermit
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The border was never fully closed, so I am not sure why the media keeps stating that as such. CBSA/CBP will simply not permit "discretionary" travel across their respective borders. International air travel into Canada is a different story, and at present the only individuals that are allowed to fly to Canada from a foreign country are Canadian and US citizens, and Canadian permanent residents. 

Canadians (and Americans) are still able to hop over the border to shop for essential goods and to go work/school and basically anything that is deemed an essential service. There are a number of waivers/loop-holes in the restriction. I know folks in Vancouver that made a Costco/Target haul last week in Washington. 

Edited by LKN704

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https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/291421/american-airlines-schedules-777-300er-raleigh-london-service-in-w20/
 

Raleigh, of all places (!!), is getting AA’s 777-300ER! I know it’s stupid but it makes me mad that Raleigh (!!) is getting AA’s flagship. We don’t see it, nor does PHL or ORD. Even if it’s to rotate an AC, I would have guessed that either us or PHL would see it before RDU.  

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That's quite perplexing. I've always known the route was a "premium" market per se (the RDU/LON route carries more local passengers than CLT/LON) but scheduling the 77W on the route seems bizarre to me. It must be for an operational/rotational reason. I just can't see the route justifying that big of an increase (especially in the slower Winter season in the aftermath of a global financial crisis) nor can I see the route justifying an aircraft that is equipped with a First class cabin.

I'm guessing it is either a filing error or it won't come to fruition. 

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5 hours ago, CLT704 said:

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/291421/american-airlines-schedules-777-300er-raleigh-london-service-in-w20/
 

Raleigh, of all places (!!), is getting AA’s 777-300ER! I know it’s stupid but it makes me mad that Raleigh (!!) is getting AA’s flagship. We don’t see it, nor does PHL or ORD. Even if it’s to rotate an AC, I would have guessed that either us or PHL would see it before RDU.  

It could very well be an error, but do remember that Delta and American are competing for premium RDU traffic. AA has a stranglehold on CLT (highest fares of any airline hub), so they figure people will still fly them even if the product is not excellent. AA in RDU might be trying to take away pax from the RDU-CDG flight and I think KL might have a RDU-AMS but I’m not sure. 

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KLM doesn’t fly to Raleigh. To be very honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Raleighs Paris flight is curtailed to seasonal service when all is said and done. 

Waiting to board back to DCA at the C gates right now. Full flight, but airport and concourse is quiet. My DCA gate is the only flight waiting to board at this the end of the C gates. 
 

The C gate refurbishment seems to be complete. However the brand new restrooms (and those on the refurbished A gates) are absolutely filthy, both today and last week. Dirty sinks, dirty brown looking floors. Sad because they are brand new. 

C25231A7-870A-4433-9F3E-DFB08E9CD445.jpeg

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Going past the 777 at D11 right now. I can’t seem to figure out what they are doing with it. The plane’s power is on (the navigational lights on the wings were blinking) and it is connected to the ground power unit. 
 

There were some cargo equipment parked next to it, maybe they were practicing loading/unloading cargo containers?

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21 minutes ago, LKN704 said:

Going past the 777 at D11 right now. I can’t seem to figure out what they are doing with it. The plane’s power is on (the navigational lights on the wings were blinking) and it is connected to the ground power unit. 
 

There were some cargo equipment parked next to it, maybe they were practicing loading/unloading cargo containers?

To my knowledge, they have been doing a lot of ground familiarization with the 777. They had it on a couple B/D gates a few weeks ago. I got some really nice pictures of it on D12/D10 and one when it was going down 5/23. 
 

It also did some laps on RWY 5/23 about two weeks ago. 
 

It appears the 772 is having a splendid time before it resumes service in a few months lol. 

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19 hours ago, LKN704 said:

KLM doesn’t fly to Raleigh. To be very honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Raleighs Paris flight is curtailed to seasonal service when all is said and done. 

Waiting to board back to DCA at the C gates right now. Full flight, but airport and concourse is quiet. My DCA gate is the only flight waiting to board at this the end of the C gates. 
 

The C gate refurbishment seems to be complete. However the brand new restrooms (and those on the refurbished A gates) are absolutely filthy, both today and last week. Dirty sinks, dirty brown looking floors. Sad because they are brand new. 

C25231A7-870A-4433-9F3E-DFB08E9CD445.jpeg

Between that and the fact that they paid for and installed fancy soap dispensers only to stop using them and install generic plastic ones on the walls and mirrors I'm not sure who news these decisions.

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On 5/24/2020 at 4:24 PM, LKN704 said:

KLM doesn’t fly to Raleigh. To be very honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Raleighs Paris flight is curtailed to seasonal service when all is said and done. 

Waiting to board back to DCA at the C gates right now. Full flight, but airport and concourse is quiet. My DCA gate is the only flight waiting to board at this the end of the C gates. 
 

The C gate refurbishment seems to be complete. However the brand new restrooms (and those on the refurbished A gates) are absolutely filthy, both today and last week. Dirty sinks, dirty brown looking floors. Sad because they are brand new. 

C25231A7-870A-4433-9F3E-DFB08E9CD445.jpeg

They have signs in the bathrooms to report problems/cleanliness, text or call them and they usually send someone quickly. Or tweet at CLTAirport they're usually responsive.

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American will launch BOS-Jackson Hole, WY this winter. 

While completely unrelated to CLT, I see this as a good sign that they believe leisure travel is gradually returning. I doubt they would launch a brand new route out of Boston that is 100% leisure (albeit high-yielding leisure, 100% different clientele than say Cancun) if they did not believe so. 

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So I keep seeing article after article about the horrible financial shape American Airlines is in, especially compared to its peers. It seems many have marked it for death. If AAL goes down, what becomes of CLT? Do we remain a hub for another airline that picks through American's remains? Or do we end up with desolate concourses, like so many other former hubs?

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It is extremely unlikely that AA goes under, and I say that as an AA shareholder who has a decent amount of confidence in the company. I don't necessarily agree with some of the decisions that Doug has made within the last 3-4 years but I have confidence in them. A chapter 11 filing remains a possibility I guess, but Doug Parker said today that it isn't an option. Granted he seems to have said that in a somewhat egotistical way (just like he said a couple of years back that AA will never lose money again). I am not an industry analyst, but some would say that AA was at a competitive disadvantage in the late 2000s, having not filed for bankruptcy like Delta/Northwest/United/US Airways did in the mid to late 2000s. 

In the very rare chance that AA goes under, I think it would be quite possible to see United  and/or JetBlue come in and fill the void left by AA. Such an operation wouldn't be as large as the current AA one, but rather a 300-400 flight/day operation. Internationally, you would likely see BA resume London service and Lufthansa start Frankfurt service. Again, this is an extremely unlikely scenario. 

I do believe however this event will go down as a textbook example of how the industry was unprepared for such an event on a global scale. Just in the middle of March the industry was still claiming that they had plenty of cash on hand and that they were prepared and could easily absorb the impact the loss of travel had. They should have recognized what was happening to the airline industry in Asia, particularly that of Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong and essentially prepared for the worst. While I have no idea what they were doing internally at the time, they were still in a relatively rapid growth mode in early March, publicly speaking. 

Edited by LKN704
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1 hour ago, tozmervo said:

So I keep seeing article after article about the horrible financial shape American Airlines is in, especially compared to its peers. It seems many have marked it for death. If AAL goes down, what becomes of CLT? Do we remain a hub for another airline that picks through American's remains? Or do we end up with desolate concourses, like so many other former hubs?

 

1 hour ago, LKN704 said:

It is extremely unlikely that AA goes under, and I say that as an AA shareholder who has a decent amount of confidence in the company. I don't necessarily agree with some of the decisions that Doug has made within the last 3-4 years but I have confidence in them. A chapter 11 filing remains a possibility I guess, but Doug Parker said today that it isn't an option. Granted he seems to have said that in a somewhat egotistical way (just like he said a couple of years back that AA will never lose money again). I am not an industry analyst, but some would say that AA was at a competitive disadvantage in the late 2000s, having not filed for bankruptcy like Delta/Northwest/United/US Airways did in the mid to late 2000s. 

In the very rare chance that AA goes under, I think it would be quite possible to see United  and/or JetBlue come in and fill the void left by AA. Such an operation wouldn't be as large as the current AA one, but rather a 300-400 flight/day operation. Internationally, you would likely see BA resume London service and Lufthansa start Frankfurt service. Again, this is an extremely unlikely scenario. 

I do believe however this event will go down as a textbook example of how the industry was unprepared for such an event on a global scale. Just in the middle of March the industry was still claiming that they had plenty of cash on hand and that they were prepared and could easily absorb the impact the loss of travel had. They should have recognized what was happening to the airline industry in Asia, particularly that of Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong and essentially prepared for the worst. While I have no idea what they were doing internally at the time, they were still in a relatively rapid growth mode in early March, publicly speaking

 

Here are some good articles on the topic:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4349880-american-airlines-overstated-bankruptcy-fears

https://www.google.com/amp/s/seekingalpha.com/amp/news/3578099-american-airlines-ceo-dismisses-bankruptcy-talk

Disclaimer up front :  I could be wrong in my understanding, but my take is that the bankruptcy fears are based largely on a misreading of the debt issues that American has.  Many seem to latch onto the fact that American has so much debt relative to its peers, but overlook the fact that the debt doesn’t mature for several years.  That coupled with what looks to be an over pessimistic outlook on return to air travel.  Early indicators suggest that a good number of passengers are returning to the skies even though we are still very much on the middle of the pandemic.  
 

I think based on what I can see, AA has a tough road, but it is manageable.  I am long on AAL stock which btw has recovered quite sharply over the past few days.

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On 5/29/2020 at 10:19 AM, CltFlyer said:

A bit of good news in these rough aviation times.   It appears that Southwest will be starting flights to Denver beginning on December 17th.  There is  no mention of it in the media press release, but it is bookable on Southwest.com

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southwest-airlines-extends-published-flight-schedule-through-jan-4-2021-301067061.html

 

Weird that it isn't mentioned in any media release.

While I would have much rather seen PHX/LAS/STL launched due to the lack of competition on those routes, new service is new service and is something to be happy about, especially in these times. Southwest also seems to be prioritizing DEN right now over LAS and PHX. The only routes ex LAS to the East Coast outside of BWI and to Florida are to ALB/BUF/RDU, all of which are legacy stations. There was a time that basically every Eastern market had at least one nonstop a day to Las Vegas, ditto for Phoenix. 

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