In less than two weeks Fort Worth is expected to become home to the world’s largest airline. That’s because a federal judge today approved an antitrust agreement that will allow American Airlines and U.S. Airways to merge.
American officials expect the two airlines to become one on Dec. 9. When that happens American’s parent company, AMR Corporation, will be renamed American Airlines Group Inc. It will have a different symbol- AAL- on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Common stock in the current airlines will be converted.
American’s Mike Trevino says new contracts with new pay rates will also go into effect for thousands of airline employees. Some will gain a stake in the new airline.
“Many of the employee groups will receive equity in the company. That equity will be distributed to the employees that first day,” he said.
Trevino says airline passengers will see little immediate change. Tickets already issued for either carrier will be honored.
Airlines analyst Mike Boyd says in the long run the merger will affect DFW travelers - in a good way.
“It is going to open up the metroplex to more places flown by the American Airlines hub, like Sarasota, Florida, that’s one. And you’ll see other markets in the West- Boise, places like that,” said Boyd.
Boyd says air fares are also likely to go up, but he says the merger isn’t the biggest reason for that.
“They’re going to go up because the cost of flying is going up, and airlines are not expanding in terms of seats or airlines.”
Boyd and American say it will probably take a year to 18 months for the two airlines to be fully combined.