WASHINGTON, D.C.: American Airlines emerged as the world’s largest airline in Monday, combining with US Airways after a hard-fought battle to overcome US competition concerns.
AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, and US Airways Group announced that they have completed the deal after AMR emerged from bankruptcy protection. The new American Airlines Group is a goliath, providing nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries.
“Our people, our customers and the communities we serve around the world have been anticipating the arrival of the new American,” said Doug Parker, chief executive officer of American Airlines and the former chairman and CEO of US Airways.
“We are taking the best of both US Airways and American Airlines to create a formidable competitor, better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to integrating our companies quickly and efficiently so the significant benefits of the merger can be realized,” he added.
The creation of a third giant carrier to compete with US rivals United and Delta cleared a major hurdle in November, after the Justice Department announced a settlement to resolve antitrust concerns.
Under the agreement, AMR and US Airways are giving up slots and other rights at seven key airports to low-cost airlines.
The two airlines are abandoning a significant number of slots at two of the busiest airports on the East Coast—34 at New York’s La Guardia and 104 at Washington’s Reagan National.
The new American airline is committed to maintaining hubs in New York City’s Kennedy International, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago’s O’Hare, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Charlotte for three years. The companies said on Monday there would be no immediate change to their operations. The integration of the two companies to achieve a single operating certificate is expected to take 18 to 24 months.