This afternoon, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) made the following statement on the US Airways-American Airlines merger:
"Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is one of the greatest economic engines available for creating jobs and growing businesses in the Charlotte area, and I am committed to supporting the airport, its infrastructure, and the airlines who serve Charlotte. Doug Parker has announced that Charlotte's status as a hub won't change, and some analysts believe the hub will actually grow. This is certainly good news.
At the same time, businesses and leisure travelers are not likely to benefit from this merger, as it will result in less competition and could result in significantly higher fares. Presently, there are many round-trip flights within the United States which cost in excess of $1000, including a $1,400 round-trip, one-hour flight from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. The market must dictate what fares are reasonable, but Congress will be watching to ensure consumers are protected.
Much attention is focused today on the airline merger, but the new intermodal facility is also vital to our region's economic future. This forward-thinking freight hub will create thousands of new jobs over the next 20 years and will benefit from a strong and growing airport. My focus will be on supporting the airport and its ability to create jobs, which includes the airlines, the intermodal facility, and infrastructure."