First US Airways plane painted with AA livery

AA Livery

American Airlines has entered into service the first legacy US Airways aircraft painted in the AA livery.

The Airbus A319 — tail number N700UW — debuted its freshly-painted fuselage between Charlotte and New York LaGuardia on flight 2060 yesterday morning.

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

It took 13 days to fully makeover the aircraft. First, the existing paint was gently removed, then the aircraft was sanded and washed.

Following this “metallurgical exfoliation”, the seams were sealed, the A319 masked and 80 gallons of paint applied to the exterior.

American Airlines president Scott Kirby said: “[This] marks an important next step in our airlines’ integration and is a tangible way for customers and employees to see the result of our progress first hand.”

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

He added: “The integration of our airlines, including painting the rest of the US Airways fleet, will take many months as we work to deliver value through this merger for our employees, our customers and our investors.”

An enlarged American Airlines came into being in December after the completion of its merger with US Airways (see news, December 9).

AA will now add its new livery to its entire fleet of aircraft over the next few years.

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

First US Airways aircraft in AA livery

He added:

A statement said: “Approximately 640 aircraft are in line to receive the makeover, with newly arriving legacy American Airlines aircraft already outfitted in the new colors and US Airways aircraft delivered in the new colors beginning this June.

“By the end of second quarter 2014 American Airlines anticipates that more than 275 mainline and regional aircraft will have been painted in the new livery.”

aa.com

Graham Smith

AA / US Airways merger completes

American Airlines

An enlarged American Airlines came into being today after the completion of its merger with US Airways.

The deal was finalised in spite of challenges from the US government and consumer groups who are concerned it will lead to higher prices for passengers. Four airlines now control more than 80 per cent of US air traffic.

US Airways will join Oneworld on March 31, immediately following its exit from Star Alliance the day before.

Until the full integration of AA and US Airways – which will see the combined airline retaining the American Airlines name – US Airways and its regional carriers will operate as Oneworld affiliate members, under the American umbrella.

The merger was formally approved by a US federal bankruptcy judge at the end of last month (see news, November 28), before it was finalised this morning.

It followed a deal with the US Department of Justice and six states plus the District of Columbia in which AA and US Airways agreed to relinquish slots and gates to low-cost airlines at seven airports (see news, November 13).

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.

The DOJ, six states and District of Columbia had 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 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.

The shares of US Airways are due to be delisted on December 6 with American’s parent company AMR Corporation renamed as American Airlines Group on December 9.

newamericanarriving.com

Graham Smith

American / US Airways merger finally approved

American Airlines

The merger between American Airlines and US Airways has finally been formally approved by a US federal bankruptcy judge.

The move now clears the way for the creation of an enlarged American Airlines, which is set to complete by December 9.

It follows a deal with the US Department of Justice and six states plus the District of Columbia in which AA and US Airways agreed to relinquish slots and gates to low-cost airlines at seven airports (see news, November 13).

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.

The DOJ, six states and District of Columbia had 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 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.

The shares of US Airways are due to be delisted on December 6 with American’s parent company AMR Corporation renamed as American Airlines Group on December 9.

newamericanarriving.com

Graham Smith

AA / US Airways merger back on track

American Airlines

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

European Commission approves American / US Airways merger

EU

The European Commission has approved plans for a merger between American Airlines and US Airways.

The proposed $11 billion deal was last month approved by US Airways shareholders.

It now has to be cleared by the US Department of Justice, which is reviewing whether the merger will impact on competition in the aviation market.

The EC said it had concerns that the merger would create a monopoly on the route between London and Philadephia route.

But the two airlines have agreed to give up one slot at both London Heathrow and Philadelphia when their merger goes ahead. They have also promised to make other “commitments”.

Joaquin Almunia, EC vice president for competition policy, said: “The commission could clear this transaction in the first phase given the commitments offered by the parties which address the competition concern we identified on the London to Philadelphia route.

“The commitments include a corresponding slot at Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements to induce entry by a new competitor on the route.

“We are therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics will be maintained so as to ensure choice and quality of air services for passengers on this route.”

The merged carrier will operate under the American Airlines name, and will be a member of the Oneworld alliance. US Airways is currently a member of Star Alliance.

AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, will take a 72 per cent stake in the new company, with US Airways owning 28 per cent.

The carrier will be headquartered in Dallas Fort Worth. The team-up is expected to deliver annual synergies of more than US$1 billion by 2015.

newamericanarriving.com

Graham Smith