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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

American Airlines becomes world’s largest carrier

American Airlines and US Airways have today (December 9) finally completed its merger to create the world’s largest airline.

The new enlarged American Airlines, headed by former US Airways CEO Doug Parker, will operate 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations across 50 countries and employ more than 100,000 people worldwide. It has overtaken United as the world's largest airline.

Parker marked the inception of the merged airline by ringing the opening bell on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York today.

“Our people, our customers and the communities we serve around the world have been anticipating the arrival of the new American," said Parker. 

“We are taking the best of both US Airways and American Airlines to create a formidable competitor, better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders.  

“We look forward to integrating our companies quickly and efficiently so the significant benefits of the merger can be realised."

The merger, which was originally agreed in February 2013, will see US Airways leave the Star Alliance on March 30, and join Oneworld on the following day.

The company said that it would still take 18 to 24 months for both airlines to achieve a single operating certificate.

“In the meantime, customers should continue to do business with the airline from which travel was purchased just as they did before the merger,” said the airline in a statement.

American Airlines said that the benefits – over time – to customers of the merger would include:

  • A codeshare agreement between American and US Airways
  • Nine hub airports across the US
  • Global access to Oneworld– including joint businesses with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific
  • Reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits and reciprocal elite recognition
  • Upgrade reciprocity
  • Consolidation of loyalty programs and expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network
  • Full integration of policies, websites, kiosks and customer-facing technology
  • Co-location of ticket counters and gates in key markets

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