American: Charlotte to Remain ‘Major Hub’
$30 Billion Airport Expansion Plan to Proceed
American Airlines, which inherited US Airways’ Charlotte hub following the merger of the two airlines late last year, said that Charlotte Douglas International Airport will remain a major hub for the combined carrier.
At a city council meeting Monday, airline executives talked about their plans for the hub but said that the actual destinations served will remain under review for at least a year. For its part, the city said it would proceed with a $1.5 billion expansion plan last month.
Terri Pope, the airline’s vice president for Charlotte Douglas, confirmed that the airport will continue to serve the new carrier as a major hub, adding that Charlotte “will absolutely remain a huge piece of American’s future.”
What airline officials didn’t say is what the hub will look like in a year from now. “What that looks like, we’re still planning for,” said Pope.
With over 650 daily flights, the airport is American’s second largest hub, but 80% of its traffic is from connecting passengers.
As it moves ahead with its expansion, the airport is currently completing a new baggage handling system, new parking areas, an expansion of the terminal, and new access roads. A $30 million remodeling of the terminal as well as the addition of a new concourse for domestic flights are in the works as well. The new concourse, which will be built in two phases, will eventually have as many as 25 new gates.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)