American, US Airways merger in the making? - Dallas News |

American, US Airways merger in the making?

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Despite talk that an American Airlines and US Airways merger could be announced this week, it's unclear if the possible merger will happen at all.

The Wall Street Journal reported the two carriers are working out the last major details of the deal. American would not comment on the rumors, which have been circling for more than a year.

AMR, American's parent company, has been in bankruptcy since late 2011. The Fort Worth-based company has said it wants to emerge from bankruptcy a standalone company. Mark Drusch, a former airline executive that went through the bankruptcy process with Continental Airlines, said a merger would benefit both airlines.

"A merged American, US Airways would be a much stronger competitor, healthier and therefore able to expand, to grow, to invest in product," Drusch said. "Things they weren't able to do in the past because they were not healthy, they were not making money."

All of American's unions are on board with the idea. They believe US Airways CEO Doug Parker would head the merged airline, although that has not officially been decided. It's unclear if American's CEO Tom Horton would join the merged airline, but the Journal reports he would most likely not stay on the management team.

As for ticket prices, they will likely go up because of rising fuel costs. Plus, a merger means there will be one less airline to compete with. No word yet on what exactly will happen with the airlines' frequent flyer programs.

Regardless, a merged carrier would have a positive impact in North Texas, since it would reportedly be based in Fort Worth.

"That helps all of us as travelers and people who work in Dallas, because the fact is a strong airline brings a lot of economic development, creates jobs obviously," Drusch said, "and just makes our lives easier when we want to travel wherever we need to travel."

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