American Airlines and U.S. Airways Complete Merger

American Airlines, the Fort Worth-based airline with a hub in Miami, completed a deal with US Airways Monday to become the world's biggest airline.

The merger survived a challenge from the government and criticism from consumer groups, who fear it will lead to higher prices. It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market and with more power than ever to limit seats and boost profits.

American emerges from bankruptcy as American Airlines Group Inc. It will mark a monumental victory for CEO Doug Parker and his executive team at smaller US Airways, who convinced American's creditors that a merger made more sense than letting American remain an independent company.

"This is a really historic day for us here at American Airlines and for all of our people, we will be combining two great airlines into one, said Marilyn DeVoe, vice president of American's Miami hub. "This is a day that we also emerge from bankruptcy which is why it's really historic for us and very, very exciting for us."

Plans call for Parker to mark the day by ringing the opening bell on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where the new company will debut under the ticker symbol AAL. Parker's team will spend the next two years or longer combining the two carriers.

The American Airlines name will live on, while US Airways will join Continental, Northwest and other airlines that now exist only in the memories of employees and longtime travelers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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