American Airlines and US Airways Announce Merger


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American Airlines and US Airways announced the merger that will create the worlds largest airline.  The merger will reduce to four, the number of major US carriers.  They include American, Delta, United and Southwest. Jet Blue could be considered a fifth major domestic carrier, despite the fact it doesn’t fly internationally.  In 2001, prior to attack on the World Trade Center, there were ten major airlines.  With only four choices some fear prices will skyrocket.  However, even with the limited number of airlines, there still is enough choice to keep prices competitive.  Business travelers, once unaffected by cost are now looking for deals.  As a frequent flyer on American, it will improve service as there are some airports in Florida for example, where American doesn’t currently fly.  While there is no question that US pilots are the greatest flyers in the world, our airlines could certainly take a lesson from some of the European carriers regarding customer service.  We need to hold them to a higher standard.  Neither American or US Air provides terribly good service and hopefully this merger will force them to improve standards.  Being the largest airline is one thing, staying the largest, quite another.  Of course much of the poor service on American the last couple of years surrounded the bankruptcy and concessions the unions were forced to make in order to keep the airline flying.  The takeover by US Airways, currently the fifth largest airline, would be the second time since 2005 that it bought out a larger rival airline.  The other was America West.  There is still the possibility the deal may fall through but American Airlines’ survival is almost certainly contingent upon the merger going forward.

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