Will a United-Continental Merger Be Good for DIA?

September 13 2010, 11:24 AM

Continental Airlines is recalling the 132 pilots who were furloughed in 2008, as other pilots retire and to handle an increase in business, particularly more international flights. Higher fares and fees have helped pump up revenue for the airline industry, reports The Associated Press, yet the fate of Continental is also linked to United Airlines.

The two carriers are expected to merge, and the deal might not be so hot for Denver International Airport, writes The Denver Post, which obtained an internal Continental document outlining the possibility of 19 percent fewer departures once the carriers join. Airports in San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland would also face related cuts in service. But Continental chief executive Jeff Smisek says the information in the document is merely a "best guess."

Mike Cameron, president of the 800-client Christopherson Business Travel, says the deal shouldn't change much for Denver because DIA is the second-largest hub of the largest airline in the world and the airport is critical to its business. Meanwhile, Nan Lester, a travel manager, worries about "a giant" carrier that could drive up costs for consumers.