With the recent completion of the merger of Continental and United, American is left a distant third in the Airline race. Some of the reasons to be concerned about American are:
First, American was just recently awarded antitrust immunity for transatlantic flights, meanwhile United, Continental and Delta have been enjoying the benefits of their ATIs for quite some time.
Second, While United, Continental and Delta have been growing their operations and route network, American has been scaling back. Some examples of route issues that American has suffered:
- American canceled their Moscow service after just four months of operating
- American continued to delay their Beijing route until finally launching it a few months ago
- American recently announced a second scale-down of their San Juan hub. Once a huge presence, American is slowly dwindling away making it nothing more than a destination.
- In comparison to Delta and United, American's route network is very weak in Asia and Europe.
Third, American was attacked by Delta large scale earlier this year when Delta launched their Double MQM promo for Nashville, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham and St. Louis. With the exception of Pittsburgh, the other three have been American focus cities for quite some time with a substantial membership base.
So the question becomes, how is American going to survive? Is American the 'ugly girl' left at the dance? Will American try to merge with US Airways who is the only other US major airline stand lefting in the corner?