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Posted: 3:52 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, 2013
By Jacqueline Fell
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
LATEST: Justice Department, 6 states challenge merger of US Airways, American
There are new concerns Monday about business at Charlotte-Douglas Airport. There is a key hearing on the American Airlines, U.S. Airways merger this week.Channel 9 spoke with a leading travel expert about the potential impact in Charlotte.Consumer Travel Alliance Director Charlie Leocha said the Department of Justice in Washington should not approve the merger.Leocha said no only does the flying public stand to lose, Charlotte-Douglas Airport could as well."We are losing no matter which way we look at it," said Leocha.He said the American Airlines; U.S. Airways Merger will drive up ticket costs and reduce competition.Eyewitness News wanted to talk with him about what it means for the Charlotte-Douglas Airport, U.S. Airways' biggest hub."Charlotte is an interesting situation," he said.Miami International Airport is American Airlines' biggest hub and Leocha suspects will be competing with Charlotte."I think Charlotte has a chance to pick up more connecting routes domestically, they may, however, lose some of their international travel," said Leocha.He said Charlotte may be in better shape than Miami.Doug Parker will be the new American Airlines CEO if the merger is approved and Leocha said Parker has been known to look at how much airports are costing him."They're one of the most efficient hubs and low-cost hubs in the nation, and Miami happens to be one of the most expensive hubs in the nation," said Leocha.Leocha also pointed out long waits, up to four hours at a time, in Miami for customs and border protection lines.He said if the merger goes through and the new airline wants to offer better service, it will choose Charlotte.
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