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Airline merge could mean route changes for flights in and out of Maine

7:20 PM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- As the holiday season approaches many people will be taking to the friendly skies to travel. Now there is mounting concern over whether commercial flight schedules in Bangor could be changing.

On Tuesday federal officials gave the green light for U.S. Airways to continue talks to merge with American Airlines and some travelers already feel that business deal could spell bad news for small airports like Bangor.

If this merge happens both U.S. Air and American have agreed to make sacrifices. After being ordered to do so by a federal court this week, both companies would now have to give up slots for flights at key airports around the country. Reports show that among the losses would be 17 slots pairs at Laguardia Airport in New York City and 52 slot pairs at Regain National Airport in Washington D.C.

That essentially means that flight schedules to those airports could change and non-stop service to certain destinations might be cut.

"Generally what we're looking at now with the DCA {non-stop flight from Bangor to Washington D.C.}..that's a high performer," said Bangor International Airport director Tony Caruso, "the load factors are certainly very strong and it has turned out to be a good destination airport for our customers as well as a connection hub as well."

Officials with both American and U.S. Airways say at this point there could be a silver lining for the merge. Flights may no longer be offered non-stop to certain east-coast hubs like Washington D.C. but there could be more connecting flights to other hubs that would take its place.

Both companies are hoping to close on the merger by mid December. At this point officials say they don't expect to change any routes until January.

NEWS CENTER

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