American Airlines and U.S. Airways are planning on merging to form the world's largest airline. Originally, U.S. Airways had intended to merge with American's parent company, AMR Corp., but following a Justice Department lawsuit over antitrust concerns, the two airlines will merge instead. In exchange, they will give up control of terminal gates and facilities in six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C.
Assistant Attorney Bill Baer said that, "The extensive slot and gate divestitures at these key airports are groundbreaking and they will dramatically enhance the ability of low cost carriers to compete system-wide," although the ceded airport slots are likely to affect only a little more than 100 of the 6,700 daily flights that the two companies administer.
The new company will be led by current U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker, and the announced merger, still pending approval, comes just a couple of weeks before the November 25 court deadline that the companies were facing over antitrust allegations. The merger is one of the final steps for AMR Corp. to recover from filing for bankruptcy protection, which they did two years ago.