Airlines agree to American-US Airways merger - New York News

Airlines agree to American-US Airways merger

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PHOENIX -

The valley's hometown airline, US Airways, is merging with American Airlines. The two airlines finally reached an agreement Wednesday to form the largest airline in the world.

Wednesday evening, the deal was approved by American's board of directors, and then the board of directors for US Airways. An official announcement is expected Thursday morning.

US Airways, of course, started pushing for the merger last year when American Airlines went into bankruptcy.

After failed merger attempts with Delta and United in the past 6 years, US Airways CEO Doug Parker this time got the support of American's major labor groups -- the pilots, flight attendants and mechanics.

Here's what we know for sure about the merged airline.

• It will be called American.

• It will be based in Fort Worth, Texas, where American is currently based.

• But according to Bloomberg, it will be led by US Airways CEO, Doug Parker. That apparently was one of the final things being worked out with the merger.

• American CEO Tom Horton will be a non-executive chairman.

Of course, a lot of questions remain for the valley, and all of the people here employed by US Airways. Will they be shipped off to American Airlines' headquarters in Texas, or will jobs here be eliminated altogether?

As for the hub at Sky Harbor, experts we talked to in the past few days expect it to remain strong for the merged airline.

There will, however, be job losses as the airline moves it corporate headquarters to Fort Worth.

"It's going to be worthwhile because we are going to build the largest airline in the world and we are going to build a future that we can prosper from," said Scott Shankland, Allied Pilots Association.

"A merger between two airlines is the biggest jigsaw puzzle you can imagine. Labor issues, routes, financial structure, it's an amazingly complicated business," said Mike Davis, airline industry analyst.

Governor Jan Brewer said just a few days ago she discussed the merger with Doug Parker and was assured the valley wouldn't be hurt badly by the move.

Even though both companies have reached a deal, the agreement needs to be approved by the federal government, which could take months.

FOX 10's Kristen Keogh talked to businesses near the US Airways headquarters in Tempe and they say the change will make a big difference.

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