Business, consumer and economic tidbits from DNT reporter Candace Renalls. Click here to view previous posts or additional resources.
United merger would benefit Duluth
A blog post here last week speculated on the impact a possible United Airlines-US Airways merger would have on Duluth, since United serves Duluth.
The two major airlines, which have dallied with the idea of a merger for a decade, are back in merger talks as they seek consolidation to cut costs.
No need to fret about Duluth, it turns out. On Tuesday, I was able to ask the man in Duluth who's most-in-the-know.
"I think it would be good for the Duluth market,” said Brian Ryks, executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority.
Such a merger would expand United’s network and allow the airline to compete better with Delta Air Lines, which merged in 2008 with Northwest Airlines, Duluth’s main provider since the 1930s.
The merger would create the country’s second largest airlines behind No. 1 Delta.
Ryks doesn’t see United pulling out of Duluth as a result of a merger.
“It gives them all the more incentive to stay in Duluth where they’ll be competing with the 800-pound gorilla,” he said, referring to Delta.
For Duluth travelers, a merger would open up the world. It would combine United’s coverage in the Midwest and trans-Pacific flights with US Airways’ strength on the East Coast and in the Western states, The Wall Street Journal pointed out last week.
“It gives them more opportunity to compete,” Ryks said of the increased air coverage.
But if United were to pull out of Duluth, it would be for a more practical reason: its Chicago flights — which started in December — weren’t successful enough.