AA, OneWorld and JFK

American Airlines is in discussions with its transatlantic Oneworld partners, British Airways and Iberia, to consolidate in Terminal 8 at JFK airport.   This would be a good counter-move to Delta’s intention to renovate and expand at the same airport.

It’s about market share in New York and now we find the SuperLegacy airlines moving to own the most they can in that market.  AA (Oneworld) and Delta (SkyTeam) at JFK and ContiUnited at Newark.  It’s a fight that is sure to get bloody over the next few years.

If AA can move to bring its partners under the same banner and make things even more convenient for connections, it may have a grip on JFK that resembles British Airways’ at Heathrow Airport in London. 

It also makes me wonder what ContiUnited might do at Newark.  While Continental plainly dominates at Newark Airport, it also presently stands to have the least pleasant facilities and since it’s new to the Star Alliance, it may take quite some time to bring its Star Alliance partners under its umbrella at Newark. 

While a number of Star Alliance carriers to have flights to Newark, a number don’t.  And things aren’t well organized at Newark for Star Alliance.  Will they be?  I don’t see how ContiUnited can afford *not* to get their act together at Newark to compete. 

Newark is actually a bit more convenient to Manhattan and that is, after all, where the high dollar traveler is going to or coming from.  It makes sense for the Star Alliance to cooperate and consolidate and ensure good feed to those international flights but they’re going to have to get some airlines to move over, I think.  Airlines such as ANA.  

Others, such as Lufthansa and SWISS and Singapore Airlines are all in Terminal B.  Continental has Terminals A and C.  What ContiUnited really needs is a revised Terminal C and/or a portion of B while giving up A to others. 

But will the other airlines cooperate?  Don’t bet on it.  Keeping Newark in disarray would be a good thing.

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