(AP) – The CEOs of American Airlines and US Airways reassured a Senate panel Tuesday that their merger would not lead to fewer flights or lost jobs in the lawmakers’ states.
The merger would create the world’s biggest airline and provide more competition for United and Delta, the CEOs said.
But consumer advocates told the Senate antitrust subcommittee that the merger would lead to higher fares and less service to midsize cities.
Diana Moss of the American Antitrust Institute said American and US Airways want to compete with giant global airlines. “I understand that _ that’s where the business is going and that’s where the dollars are,” she said. “But we have to find a way not to sacrifice U.S. consumers on the altar of global competition.”
Regulators allowed mergers of Delta and Northwest, United and Continental, and Southwest and AirTran, and most analysts expect the American-US Airways deal also will be approved. Reflecting that sense of inevitability, the senators focused their questions on how the deal would affect constituents back home.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., extracted promises that airline jobs in New York would be safe. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked if the airlines would continue flying to Bradley International and Tweed New Haven airports in his state.
US Airways Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker, who will lead the combined airline after the merger, assured Blumenthal that flights would continue to Connecticut, but he acknowledged that other airline executives have not always honored similar promises in the past.
Parker also left himself some wiggle room _ service could be cut back “because of market conditions” or an increase in jet fuel prices. But that would be true even without a merger, he added.
Together American and US Airways would control a majority of takeoff and landing slots at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, the hometown airport for members of Congress. Parker said, however, that the airlines should not be forced to give up any of those slots. If they are, he said, they’ll have to drop service from Washington to some other cities.
Parker was joined at the hearing by Tom Horton, CEO of American Airlines parent AMR Corp.
American, the nation’s third-biggest airline, and US Airways, the fifth-biggest, announced their proposed merger last month. The combined company would keep the American Airlines name and Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters. The deal is subject to approval by the Justice Department, the judge overseeing AMR’s bankruptcy case, and shareholders of both companies.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.