Citing a bevy of industry experts, the article asserted that US airlines had given up on mergers and were instead "seeking to expand their alliances and trying to extend synergies within current partnerships." We should have known better than to trust anything that uses the word "synergies."
For what it's worth, any number of industry analysts are suggesting that United would be far better off going with Continental, since US Airways doesn't bring as much to the table and has a lot of overlapping hubs with the Chicago-based airline. A new Continental-United merger, on the other hand, would instantly create the world's biggest airline.
That's a little too glib since hubs can be consolidatedwhich is after all the point of a cost-cutting, efficiency-boosting mergerplus US Airways' presence in the Western US nicely complements United's Midwest and Pacific routes. And while it's true that objectively Continental is probably a better fit, keep in mind that the industry consensus was that JAL would dump American/oneworld for Delta/SkyTeam because they were an objectively better fit. That prediction, of course, turned out to be the exact opposite of true.
The punchline to all this? Go back and check out the very last paragraph of that ever-so-slightly-wrong Reuters article. Here's the link again. We won't spoil the surprise for you, but like we said..."oops!"
[Photo: PhillipC / Flickr]