The Charlotte Business Journal reported yesterday that international passenger traffic at Charlotte Douglas International is down this year while overall traffic is up slightly.

“Slightly more travelers made their way through Charlotte Douglas International Airport from January through April than during the first four months of last year, even with a drop in the number of passengers flying abroad.”

That’s not surprising. Charlotte has gone from the big fish in a little US Airways pond to a still sizable but smaller fish in a much bigger American Airlines pond. I expect London will figure heavily in Charlotte’s international future, with continued nonstop service to Frankfurt and Paris as well. I also think one could make the case for a flight to Madrid (think Iberia), at least seasonally. But South America and other secondary European cities are not likely to work within the context of a much larger network as part of American Airlines.

Charlotte remains one of my favorite places to change planes, and will almost certainly continue to be a key part of American Airlines’ domestic network. However, I’d expect more tweaking and trimming as the American and US Airways networks become one with some (certainly not all) of the Caribbean flying from CLT possibly being on the target list.

-MJ, June 12, 2015

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