American & US Airways merge to create the world’s biggest airline via @skiftnews

It’s officially official: American and US Airways merge to create world’s largest airline

Image of new American Airlines’ plane and a US Airways aircraft from the new American’s promotional video. / American Airlines


FEB 14, 2013 3:52 AM

“In the end, US Airways, once famously dismissed as “the ugly girl,” wooed bankrupt American Airlines’ unions and creditors, and wrangled an $11 billion merger agreement with AMR Corp., announced on Valentine’s Day, to create the globe’s largest airline.

American Airlines and US Airways officials confirmed this morning they have a “definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine to create a premier global carrier — the new American Airlines,” and they have scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. EST.

With the airlines’ boards and American’s creditors committee approving the marriage yesterday, more than 15 months after American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to “achieve industry competitiveness,” the announcement was a bit anticlimactic.

The merger, which many believe marks the final consolidation among legacy carriers in the U.S., comes more than two years after then-Continental CEO Jeff Smisek dismissed US Airways as “the ugly girl” that was spurned by United in favor of the prettier girl and eventual merger partner, Continental Airlines.

The airline will be called American Airlines, and the holding company will be dubbed American Airlines Group Inc.

Today’s announcement is expected to have few surprises: Doug Parker, CEO of the smaller, scrappy and profitable US Airways, becomes CEO of the new American Airlines, which will be branded as such and headquartered in its current offices in Dallas/Fort Worth.

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, who stubbornly resisted the merger for a protracted period and sought to take his airline through bankruptcy solitarily, becomes non-executive chairman of the combined airlines. He will serve in that post, and as the new American’s representative to one world, through the first annual meeting of shareholders.

Parker becomes chairman of the board following Horton’s exit.

The 12-member board will include three American Airlines representatives, including Horton, four from US Airways, including Parker, and five representatives of AMR’s creditors.

Under the terms of the all-stock deal, American Airlines’ creditors own 72% of the new airline, and US Airways shareholders get 28%.”

Read more about the merger at Skift News: American and US Airways merge to create world’s biggest airline.


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