When I was back in my hometown in December for a conference, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the future for US Airways. Bankruptcy, etc. Over dinner when I got home I speculated to the KP Spouse about whether or not Pittsburgh would be an attractive city for Southwest Airlines. US Airways is having a fire sale, basically, and Southwest had already bought some of ATA’s gates at Chicago-Midway, so I thought there might be a synergy. It can satisfy both point-to-point and longer-haul markets. Lots of flexibility.
Then Southwest and ATA announced code-sharing.
Then in early January (and I missed it in the early quarter flurry), Southwest announced that indeed it is entering the Pittsburgh market in May!
Geez, I could be a corporate strategist or something … or maybe I just got lucky on this one. Still, it makes me wish I had mused publicly so I could say Advantage: Knowledge Problem!
Which reminds me that yesterday I wanted to rant about the Air Transportation Stabilization Board’s bailout of US Airways, as discussed in this business travel article. How pathetic! Economists who study the industry tend to think that some consolidation would actually improve consumer welfare, and that US Airways is the airline that provides the least value to consumers, and here’s the government bailing them out. And furthermore, bailing them out in the face of beneficial competition from healthier and more efficient competitors like Southwest. Yep, that’s our tax dollars at work … Instead, why not let Southwest, JetBlue, and others buy the gates, buy the planes, and get on with it?
End of rant.
I found all of this out while perusing some of the websites at Pittsburgh Webloggers. One in particular who I think will keep me well informed about the to-ing and fro-ing there is Pittsblog, the Pittsburgh blog of University of Pittsburgh law professor Michael Madison. Professor Madison also discusses law and technology at madisonian theory.