US merger creates world’s biggest airline

United States based airlines American Airlines and US Airways have announced today that they have merged to create the world’s biggest airline.

The $11bn deal, which was agreed last night and revealed this morning, will operate under the American Airlines name but under the stewardship of Doug Parker, the CEO of US Airways. Tom Horton, the CEO of American Airlines, is expected to serve as chairman of the new company until mid 2014.

A possible deal was first considered last August, when American began looking at a suitable merger while under pressure from its creditors. The company has been reorganising since late 2011 and has been under bankruptcy protection. Under the new deal it is believed that American Airlines creditors will own 72 percent of the company, and the shareholders of US Airways Inc will own the balance.

Assuming that the deal gains the necessary approval from the US bankruptcy courts, passengers on the two airlines are not expected to notice any difference to the relative services in the near future. However, the new entity will wield considerable resources in the US and world aviation markets, with combined hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Between them, the two companies can muster a total of 900 airplanes that can operate 3,200 daily flights, and will employ 95,000 staff. The complete integration of the two giant companies is expected to take years.

Four US airlines, American, United, Delta and Southwest, control almost 75 percent of all US air travel.

US Airways Announces New Route to London Heathrow from Charlotte

US Airways, a US-based airline, has announced a new service between its hub in Charlotte, and London Heathrow airport.

The new daily service between Charlotte and London Heathrow commences in March 2013, and the airline will be using an Airbus A330 aircraft to service flights on the route.

US Airways chairman and chief executive officer, Doug Parker, said, ‘We are thrilled to make this announcement and look forward to starting service between Heathrow and Charlotte in March. This new service will augment our existing trans-Atlantic network and provide more choices for customers in markets up and down the east coast.

Today’s news would not be possible without the support of several groups, including the European Union to which we are grateful for this opportunity.

Also, we’d like to thank secretary LaHood and his aviation team at the US Department of Transportation, members of the North Carolina and South Carolina delegations, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte Douglas International Airport director Jerry Orr, and other key stakeholders for their support in our efforts to secure the new service.’

The new service from Charlotte will add to the airline’s daily service currently being offered from Philadelphia, US, to London Heathrow.

The flight will originate in Miami, offering customers in South Florida a convenient one-stop service to London via the airline’s Charlotte hub.

The US is now one of the favourite travel destinations for UK travellers, according to a recent poll conducted by HolidayExtras, a UK based travel comparison website, and routes are currently being served by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways.

US Airways piloting bag-fee reports for corporate clients

US Airways is piloting a bag-fee report that is to be offered to corporate clients.

The airline is to offer client-specific data on bag fees. In its monthly reports, the airline will detail the number of bags checked by corporate travellers, the sum of fees paid as well as the number and value of fees that had been waived for frequent flyers. Travel buyers may use the information as key data to enhance business.

The airline is following similar initiatives launched last year by Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. A broad rollout of the programme is expected soon and will also include data for June.

The carrier said that the new set of data would be included in its ‘US Analyser’ monthly reports. The report already details metrics such as ticketed data, top markets, contract performance, the value of negotiated savings, opportunities for further savings and other client-specific performance details. US Airways said that the baggage fees would be the only ancillary expense that would be covered in the report, with a possibility that coach-class Choice Seats could be integrated into the reports later.

The company could provide a further breakdown of the data into specified time periods, on demand.