News Column

US Airways-American Airlines Merger in Final Stage

Feb. 13, 2013

Ely Portillo, The Charlotte Observer

american airlines

A long-awaited merger between US Airways and American Airlines could be settled Wednesday, as multiple news outlets reported the boards of both companies were set to meet Wednesday to vote. A deal could be announced Thursday.

The final issues left to be sorted out, according to reports, are the exact role and pay for AMR Corp. chief executive Tom Horton in a merged company and the exact split of equity between shareholders of both companies.

It wasn't known Tuesday what time the boards of directors would meet Wednesday to vote on the merger.

So far, reports have consistently suggested that US Airways CEO Doug Parker would lead the merged company. Even though US Airways is the smaller company, American Airlines has been in bankruptcy court since 2011, and American's unions want a change of leadership.

The combination would create the nation's largest airline, ending an era of industry consolidation that's seen mega-mergers including United-Continental, Delta-Northwest, and Southwest-AirTran. Charlotte Douglas International Airport would be the combined airline's second-busiest hub, with more daily flights from the new American Airlines a day than any airport except Dallas-Fort Worth.

The combined company would have $39 billion worth of revenue, more than 100,000 employees, and a fleet of more than 1,500 aircraft, including express carrier affiliates.

A merger could still fall apart at the last minute, in which case US Airways would have the option of opening a hostile bid to attempt to buy American Airlines. Parker led a hostile bid for Delta Air Lines in 2006 after that company rebuffed his merger offer while in bankruptcy. The bid was ultimately unsuccessful.

Source: (c)2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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