Feds reach agreement with American, US Airways on merger - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Feds reach agreement with American, US Airways on merger

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The Justice Department reached an agreement Tuesday that allows the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The airlines must give up landing slots at key airports like Reagan National in Washington D.C. and LaGuardia Airport in New York with the space to go to low-cost carriers. The two airlines expect a merger to be finalized by the end of December.

"This settlement will disrupt the cozy relationships among the incumbent legacy carriers, increase access to key congested airports and provide consumers with more choices and more competitive airfares on flights all across the country," said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division in a statement.

The Justice Department sued the two airlines in August to block the merger. It claimed the newly merged airline would increase prices and kill competition at many airports across the United States.

American and US Airways will give up 104 slots at Reagan National, 34 slots at LaGuardia and two gates at Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International and Miami International.

That means the newly merged airline will have 44 less daily departures at Reagan National and 12 fewer at LaGuardia.

"This is an important day for our customers, our people and our financial stakeholders," said American CEO Tom Horton in a statement. "This agreement allows us to take the final steps in creating the new American Airlines"

American's flight attendants union was happy with the announcement, saying in a release, "Clearly, our voices were heard at the Justice Department. There is strength in unity."

One airfare expert said the merger should be good news for passengers in North Texas.

"I think this merger makes Dallas, at least over the next three years, combined with the rolling off of the Wright Amendment, one of the cheapest cities to fly out of over the next three or four years," said Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com.

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