Report: US Airways, American Airlines agree on merger

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by WCNC.com Staff

kvue.com

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- US Airways and American Airlines have agreed on merger terms that would create the world's biggest airline as measured by passenger traffic, according to Bloomberg News.

In the move current US Airways CEO Doug Parker would be the new CEO while American CEO Tom Horton will be named the non-executive chairman.

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A board vote is scheduled to approve the merger and announcement could come on Thursday, according to KVUE's sister station WFAA.

US Airways, whose largest hub in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.

On Friday, US Airways pilots ratified an agreement covering their pay and working terms if there is a merger. That was the last major piece to fall into place on the labor side for a merger to occur.

American Airlines pilots approved a similar agreement in December. All three of American's unions support a merger that would result in US Airways management running the new company.

UNC Charlotte economics professor Peter Schwarz also says a merger could add about 100 additional daily flights into and out of Charlotte Douglas, to more locations with fewer layovers.

However, Schwarz says don't expect leaps in service and warns mergers typically have transition turbulence.

"Typically the airlines offer you service that's good enough that you won't refuse to fly them in the future, but not much better than that," he said.

Charlotte Douglas Aviation Director Jerry Orr says a merger would mean more international routes than currently fly from here now. It's one of American Airlines' strong points.

"Particularly in South America and Central America, those are developing economies and that's where the growth is going to be," Orr said.

Schwarz says system wide, he expects some pilots and flight attendants could lose their jobs, but doesn't think that will happen in Charlotte because of the increased number of flights.

Orr says a merger could create new jobs within the airport.

If and when a merger is announced, it would still have to clear federal regulatory hurdles, which could take a while.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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