American Airlines, US Airways unveil $11 billion merger
"The value of the merger is so great that we're excited about getting the work done," Parker told Reuters. "Integrating airlines can be difficult sometimes, but we've (already) done one at US Airways. We know what to do and know what mistakes to avoid."
Parker, 51, the longest-serving CEO of a major U.S. airline, kick-started the industry's consolidation wave when his America West Holdings bought US Airways out of bankruptcy in 2005.
Tom Horton, who became AMR's CEO when it filed for bankruptcy, will serve as chairman of the combined airline through the first annual meeting of shareholders, after which Parker will take over.
Horton's role had been one of the last sticking points for a deal, people familiar with the situation said, with AMR's board pushing for a bigger role for him.
"Tom Horton and his team did not want this a few months ago," said Hamlin. "But they are realistic and saw that this is what they needed to do."
The tie-up is the fourth major merger in the U.S. airline industry since 2008, when Delta Air Lines bought Northwest. United and Continental merged in 2010, and Southwest Airlines bought discount rival AirTran Holdings in 2011.
The new, larger American Airlines would return to the leadership position among U.S. carriers that it ceded in recent years as high labor costs made it difficult to compete with restructured rivals.
Passengers of US Airways and American would
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