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Airline merger will keep Phoenix as hub at least 3 years

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is satisfied with the settlement reached Tuesday that will allow the merger between US Airways and American Airlines.

The compromise ensured that Phoenix would remain a hub for the new airline for at least three years and ended a lawsuit to block the merger filed in August by the Department of Justice, Arizona and five other states.

The suit said that the joining of the airlines would limit competition and result in higher airfares and less service.

A trial was scheduled to start later this month.

“I was concerned that the merger could result in the loss of the hub, a major loss of jobs and business,” Horne said. “In past experiences the hubs disappear in mergers. That was among the concerns but now we have a legally binding document to make sure Phoenix is maintained as a hub.”

Phoenix will remain a hub for at least three years. US Air is based in Tempe.

Horne said the settlement preserves competition in the airline industry and will allow low-cost carriers to expand service to more cities nationwide.

“This combo of American and US Airways will be able to compete better with the two largest carriers, Delta and United,” Horne said.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this article.