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US Airways to Build Mini Hub at Ft. Lauderdale

US Airways is expecting to announce that it is building a mini hub at Ft. Lauderdale airport. The hub will quintuple their presence at the south Florida airport while allowing the carrier to expand into Caribbean and Latin American markets such as San Salvador and Panama City. It’s a fascinating move for an airline that has no cash to spare, mainly because of the costs associated with launching new routes and making them profitable. Only American Airlines has any sizable service to Latin America from Ft. Lauderdale, so the opportunity is there. If US Airways can get its financial house in order (a big IF), this hub will give them a nice base to build from—without the intense lowfare competition faced on domestic routes.

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  1. My guess on US Air’s logic:
    -want to own Latin America/Caribbean routes for the Star Alliance (or at least with United)
    -routes are too far from Charlotte for their new Embrarer RJs
    -plenty of wealthy business customers they want to “own” in the Northeast own 2nd houses in Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach (or at least leisure there often), and they want to provide them frequent low cost service (matching low fare competitors) by subsidizing it with connecting international travelers

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