AMR Corporation and US Airways Group, Inc. report the completion of their merger to officially form American Airlines Group Inc. and begin building the new American Airlines. This includes a global network with nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide.
"The combined airline has the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace, " American said with customers gaining access to more benefits and increased service across the combined company's larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld Alliance.
The merger comes following the companies' settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which had brought an antitrust suit against them. Under the terms of the settlement, the airlines will divest 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), as well as certain gates and related facilities to support service at those airports. The airlines also will divest two gates and related support facilities at each of Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Los AngelesInternational Airport, and Miami International Airport.
US Airways will exit the Star Alliance on March 30, 2014, and will immediately enter oneworld on March 31, 2014.
"With an expanded global network and a strong financial foundation, American will deliver significant benefits to consumers, communities, employees and stakeholders," the airline said.
"Our people, our customers and the communities we serve around the world have been anticipating the arrival of the new American," said Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines. "We are taking the best of both US Airways and American Airlines to create a formidable competitor, better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to integrating our companies quickly and efficiently so the significant benefits of the merger can be realized."
Although American and US Airways have come together as one company, the process to achieve a Single Operating Certificate - required by the FAA -is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months, the carrier said. In the meantime, customers should continue to do business with the airline from which travel was purchased just as they did before the merger. In short, it is "business as usual." The airlines' separate websites, aa.com and usairways.com, as well as the two airlines' reservations systems and loyalty programs, will continue to operate separately until further in the integration process, the airline said.
Customer benefits cited by American include:
• A codeshare agreement between American and US Airways, creating more convenient access to the combined company's global network
• More choices and connectivity, with nine hub airports across the U.S.
• Global access to a stronger oneworld alliance – including joint businesses with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific – creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally
• Reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits and reciprocal elite recognition
• Upgrade reciprocity
• Consolidation of loyalty programs and expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network
• Full integration of policies, websites, kiosks and customer-facing technology to ensure a consistent worldwide travel experience
• Co-location of ticket counters and gates in key markets
• With firm orders for more than 600 new mainline aircraft, American will have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, and a solid foundation for continued investment in technology, products, and services
Meanwhile American continues the process of rolling out new initiatives. Most recently, the company delivered the first Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft, complete with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. The new aircraft is scheduled to enter service next year, making American the only U.S. carrier to offer customers more choices with a three-class configuration when flying between New York and Los Angeles, and New York and San Francisco.
American said customers will begin to see enhancements to their experience in early January, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when traveling on either American Airlines or US Airways, reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits, and reciprocal elite recognition. The combined airline expects to share more details on key customer benefits early next year.
As the integration process is underway, American's new Find Your Way site, aa.com/findyourway, will connect customers to key information throughout the merger integration process. Additionally, customers should visit aa.com and usairways.com, which will continue to be regularly updated with news on any fee, policy and procedure changes.
The combination is expected to deliver enhanced value to American Airlines' stakeholders and US Airways' investors. The transaction is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies by 2015, American said.
The common and preferred stock of American Airlines Group will trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols "AAL" and "AALCP," respectively.