American Airlines launched service between Flint and LaGuardia last August and, surprise surprise, shortly thereafter Northwest announced the same flights. Incredible! As you are probably thinking, Northwest didn’t want that route, they just didn’t want anyone encroaching on their lucrative New York to Detroit market (Flint is about an hour north of Detroit). Well, if that’s what you were thinking, you were probably right: American announced that they are dropping the route after seeing their planes flying about 40% full.
This was also the first time I’ve seen airport officials (in this case, Flint’s airport officials) complain about new competition. Even they knew that Northwest was only coming in to drive American out. Which is, as I noted 45 words ago, exactly what they did. To be fair, Northwest says they are “committed” to the route, which means that they’ll wait about 60 days before they cancel it.