American Airlines, US Airways Announce Merger

After months of speculation, airline rumors became airline reality today when AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, announced a merger with US Airways Group. The deal, worth approximately $11 billion, was approved separately by the boards of both companies and will create the world’s largest airline, based on passengers and revenue.

“The combination of American and US Airways brings together two highly complementary networks with access to the best destinations around the globe and gives us a strong platform to provide our customers the most connected, comfortable travel experience available,” American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton said in a statement. “The operational and financial strength of the combined airline is expected to enable continued investment in new products and technologies and will create exciting new opportunities for our people, even as we deliver strong cash flow and sustainable profitability.”

Pending several approvals ¬— including American’s bankruptcy judge and the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division — the newly merged airlines will operate under the American Airlines name and offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. The “new” American Airlines is expected to maintain all American and US Airways hubs, not to mention all affiliated regional carriers (i.e., American Eagle, Piedmont and PSA), which will continue to operate as distinct entities.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter for American Airlines and US Airways,” said US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “American Airlines is one of the world’s most iconic brands. The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace. Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers, ensuring that we are always able to take them where they want to travel, when they want to go.”

Horton will serve as chairman of the merged airline through its first annual meeting of shareholders, after which Parker — who will serve as CEO — will assume the role.

Concluded Parker, “We look forward to a bright future for our employees and enhanced service and choice for our customers. With today’s announcement, we start becoming one team and one new airline.”

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