US Airways and American Airlines merger talks heat up

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by Kristine Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @kharrington3tv

azfamily.com

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 6:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Talks of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines are heating up heading into the Labor Day weekend.
 
“This is the first step in a prospective merger with US Airways,” said Tom Hoban with the Allied Pilots Association. “I think American was compelled to do this because the merger makes sense.”
 
Both American and US Airways announced they have signed legal documents allowing them to confidentially exchange information.
 
US Airways has been pushing for this since American filed for bankruptcy last year and such a merger would put the combined airline on par with the world's largest, United Continental and the slightly smaller Delta air lines.
 
Still, any such deal is far from done.
 
“You always worry about the fact that if a deal falls apart, have we just told them all of our corporate secrets,” said aviation industry expert Robert Mittelstaedt, Dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “On the other hand in the airline business there are no secretes as they all fight the same battles with the high cost of fuel, labor and competition. So really they’re not going to lose any information that will hurt them even if the merger doesn't go anywhere.”
 
Pilots for American Airlines are rooting for this merger.
 
“For us we have a tentative agreement with US Airways management we don't have one with American," said pilot Tom Hoban.
 
US Airways pilots meantime have some concerns given the fact they are still fighting over details involving their 2006 merger with America West.
 
But in the end experts say this merger may be what is best for both airlines moving forward.
 
“The industry, the whole industry is consolidating and at some point it's grow or die,” said Dean Mittelstaedt.

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