American-US Airways Merger Expected Soon

By: Jack Fink, CBS 11
By: Jack Fink, CBS 11

A merger deal between American Airlines and US Airways is set to take off early next week.

The board for Fort Worth-based American’s parent company, AMR Corp., is scheduled to meet Monday to consider the arrangement. An announcement could be made the next day.

Mark Drusch is a former executive at Delta and Continental Airlines, and is now the chief supply relations officer with He says months of confidential discussions point to a deal. “It looks like it’s really pretty close. But never say it’s a done deal til it’s done.”

Just weeks after holding a splashy announcement unveiling American’s new logo and paint scheme, sources tell CBS 11 that American’s CEO Tom Horton will likely move out of the day-to-day managing of the new combined airline, and instead move to a seat on the new board of directors.

US Airways CEO Douglas Parker will likely run the new airline named American Airlines. It has been said the new airline will remain based in Fort Worth.

Sources have said there were concerns that if Horton stayed on as CEO, there could be operational problems such as delayed and cancelled flights like the ones American experienced last fall.

“You’re looking at what’s best for the combined company, and right now it looks like the US Airways management taking charge is what unions and creditors want,” says Drusch.

Airline analysts claim US Airways and its shareholders may get about 30 percent of the new airline, with AMR creditors getting about 70 percent.

Drusch says US Airways’ strong 4th quarter profits can’t be ignored in this deal. “At the end of the day, the US Airways shareholders are going to get more now than they would have one year ago, six months ago, three months ago.” He believes a merger could bring additional flights to DFW.

Before any deal becomes final, board of directors at both airlines must approve.

The judge overseeing the AMR bankruptcy must also sign off on any agreement.

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