The three largest US airlines are all the result of mergers in recent years. While Delta Air Lines appears to be thriving, the effort to create strong and healthy airlines at the other two large merged airlines is taking time.
Both their mergers are more recent, with American and US Airways only fully operating under a single name in 2016. Meanwhile, it’s five years since Continental and United came together, flying with the Continental tail and the United name on the fuselage. Like any successful marriage, compromises have been made by both parties but questions still linger about how united the airline really is.
Seems that UA has not yet delivered the potential it offered due to ongoing labour issues, missed revenue targets and changes in the boardroom. Late 2016 saw UA announce lots of measures to turn the business around - has it finally shed off its demons and put a plan in place to fulfil its potential?
United has, however, managed to bring its cost per ASM down, and now all three of the major carriers, Delta Air lines, America and United have a cost per ASM of around 14.3-14.4 cents.
American Airlines, the largest of the three airlines, has not made progress in 2016 on costs but passenger revenue per ASM fell considerably between 2014 and 2016, the period of the merger.
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