LAX director says the ‘New American’ likely will remain strong in L.A.

What will the American/US Airways merger mean for Los Angeles.

What will the American/US Airways merger mean for Los Angeles.

Apparently no one at the U.S. Department of Justice asked Los Angeles World Airports executive director Gina Marie Lindsey her opinion before the Feds reached a settlement with American and US Airways.

The settlement agreement the carriers agreed to this week requires the combined airline to give up two gates in LAX’s Terminal 3. US Airways was to take those gates next year when it moves out of Terminal 1. The L.A. Airport Commission asked Lindsey on Thursday about those gates, and I think I sensed some sarcasm in her answer.

“US Airways is supposed to give up two gates,” she said. “Interestingly enough, it’s two gates they didn’t really have.”

Board members asked Lindsey if she was concerned the merger might hurt LAX. She said she is not worried.

“I think we have a pretty good sense from American that L.A. is very important to them,” she said. “We don’t see any pulling back on their commitment to L.A.”

Brett Snyder, who knows the Southern California market better than anyone, wrote this week on his crankyflier.com blog that American probably only will pull back on some of its marginal routes. It’s hard to know exactly what those routes would be, but your mid-level U.S. cities might be targets — Indianapolis, Hartford, Columbus. (Apologies to residents of those cities, but I don’t believe your yields can match Miami, Chicago and New York.)

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