WASHINGTON, 2013 (AFP) – American Airlines emerged as the world’s largest airline Monday, combining with US Airways after a hard-fought battle to overcome US competition concerns. The $11 billion merger was first announced in February, but was held up by an antitrust lawsuit from the US government and backed by several states, worried about the combined airline’s potential monopoly power.
The lawsuit argued that the tie-up would mean four airlines — which it said have a history of “tacit coordination” instead of competition — would control more than 80 percent of the US commercial air travel market.
US Airways and American alone compete directly on more than 1,000 routes, it argued. AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines, and US Airways Group announced they had completed the deal after AMR emerged from bankruptcy protection.
The new American Airlines Group is a goliath, providing nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries.
“Our people, our customers and the communities we serve around the world have been anticipating the arrival of the new American,” said Doug Parker, chief executive of American Airlines and t