GAO: Charlotte Douglas May No Longer Remain a US Airways Hub


by WCCB Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC--Queen Charlotte has been watching over a lot of growth at Charlotte Douglas
International over the last 20 years, "I know that it's always here and you know we always see it,"
said South Charlotte Resident Christina Eldael.

Now, there could be more change at her home. The Government Accountability Office says Charlotte's status as a hub isn't guaranteed following the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. The GAO says the new airline could shift its regional operations to Miami. "They're just kind of laying out what they see in their crystal ball and as we all know predicting  anything decades in the future is pretty chancey," said UNC Charlotte Political Science Associate Professor Eric Heberlig.

Heberlig says the GAO has no legal authority to do anything. Any business decision will depend on US Airways, "Charlotte is a key part of the new American Airlines...CLT will be a key hub in the combined airline's glonbal network. But, Heberlig says that's no guarantee. "They'll take the deal they can get now. When things make sense for them to do something else, they'll do it,"
said Heberlig.

As for the statue of Charlotte's royal namesake, "Everybody deserves a vacation every once in a she just gets to move," said Arts & Science Council Program Director Nicole Bartlett.
Queen Charlotte is waiting for a new home and holding court until construction is complete.
Proving change is constant at Charlotte Douglas, "It should be somewhere, where people can appreciate it," said Greensboro Resident Karim Eltokhy.

The merger isn't final until its approved by the Department of Justice and shareholders of both airlines. A process that still could take more than a year.


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