The American Airways, err US Airlines, Merger
Valentines Day will bring together a new relationship, the union between American Airlines and US Airways.
What a merged American Airlines and US Airways will look like will remain to be seen, and both airlines have a checkered history in buyouts and mergers. When American Airlines took over TWA hostility ran deep, the tension from the US Airways and America West merger still runs rampant throughout the company … but these two airlines are set to become one.
What we do know about the merger is this … it will be announced tomorrow, the 14th of February during an 8:30am conference call, then be announced officially to American Airlines employees at 1:PM in Dallas followed by US Airways employees in Phoenix.
As expected the surviving brand will be American Airlines and the merged airline will remain with the OneWorld Alliance.
The reigns of the company will be turned over to US Airways’ CEO Doug Parker. American’s CEO, Tom Horton, is expected to leave the company after their merger. Parker has pushed for airline consolidation for years, overseen a complex airline merger between US Airways and America West and has previously attempted a hostile take over of Delta Air Lines. Love him or hate him he has proven track record for driving financially strapped airlines towards sustainable profitability
There are serious questions that need to be answered regarding hubs, fleet, staffing and routes. A merged American Airlines will have a strengthened presence in the United States, however Europe will have significant overlap and the airline will remain weak in Asia, with a significantly smaller presence in the region compared to United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, however this is likely to be addressed, and fairly quickly.
The corporate culture between the two companies will pose some challenges … but as with all mergers, reorganization will be pushed to the forefront and the American Airlines we know today will be nothing like the American Airlines we will come to know in the future.
Below is a photo I shot on the American Airlines ramp at Dallas – Fort Worth Int’l Airport this past may, foreshadowing what will become official tomorrow.