News

AA / US Airways merger back on track

13 Nov 2013 by GrahamSmith
The merger between American Airlines and US Airways is back on track after the airlines agreed to give up slots and gates at seven airports. The deal with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) ends the need for a court trial, which had been scheduled to start on November 25, and clears the way for the creation of an enlarged American Airlines next month. Under the terms of the agreement with the DOJ and six US states plus the District of Columbia, AA and US Airways will relinquish slots and gates to low-cost airlines "in order to enhance system-wide competition in the airline industry resulting in more choices and more competitive air fares for consumers". The two carriers will give up 52 slot pairs at Reagan airport in Washington DC and 17 pairs at New York’s LaGuardia. They will also hand over two gates at each of Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International, Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare International and Miami International airports. Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement: "This agreement has the potential to shift the landscape of the airline industry. "By guaranteeing a bigger foothold for low-cost carriers at key US airports, this settlement ensures airline passengers will see more competition on non-stop and connecting routes throughout the country." The DOJ, six states and District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in August claiming that the merger would restrict competition (see news, August 13). As part of the settlement, the newly merged American Airlines has also agreed to maintain hubs at Charlotte, New York JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago O'Hare, Philadelphia and Phoenix "consistent with historical operations" for three years. Doug Parker, chairman of US Airways and incoming CEO of the merged airline, said: "This is very good news and we are grateful to all who have made it happen. "We are pleased to have this lawsuit behind us and look forward to building the new American Airlines together." The airlines' merger still has to be approved by the US Bankruptcy Court, and meet "certain other conditions" before it can be finalised. newamericanarriving.com Graham Smith
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