US Airways to Leave Star Alliance Within Six Months of Merger, AA-US to Announce Management Team Mid Month
In an interview with Bloomberg News, American’s CEO Tom Horton and US’s CEO Doug Parker said that the merger of the two airlines is proceeding on schedule and that American will emerge from bankruptcy protection as the deal closes in the third quarter.
The combined airline will be based in Fort Worth where American is currently headquartered. It will have 94,000 employees, 950 planes, 6,500 daily flights, eight major hubs, and revenue of roughly $39 billion. The new American will be the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic, eclipsing United Airlines and Delta Air Line, the current and former holders of that title. It will be the leader in several markets including the East Coast, the Southwest, and South America, although it will continue to be overshadowed by Delta and United in Europe and Asia.
A new management structure for the combined airline will be announced mid month. American filed for Chapter 11 protection in November 2011 and the two airlines announced plans for a merger on February 14.
Once the merger takes place, integration will begin to occur across the two airlines but the pace of the integration will vary based by area and department. Code-sharing between the two will begin almost immediately but it will take between three to six months for US Airways to move from Star Alliance to oneworld, the alliance to which American currently belongs.
It will take the merged airline up to a year to combine reservations systems and as long as 18 months until the airlines are able to operate under a single operating certificate, which means that the two would function as one airline and share cockpit and cabin crew as well as aircraft.
The new airline will have to move members of US Airways frequent flyer program over to American’s AAdvantage program and also merge corporate cultures. US Airways is known for a far more relaxed environment than American, which can best be described as buttoned down.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)