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American, US Airways merger is official

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American Airlines and US Airways officially combined Monday reported the Charlotte Observer on Monday, December 9, 2013.

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The merger makes the joined airlines the world’s largest airline. The airline, formed by AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc., will be officially recognized as American Airlines Group Inc. American Airlines Group Inc. will be based in Fort Worth, the airline’s largest hub.

With 660 daily departures, the second-largest hub will be Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Additional departures are expected to be added by the new American Airlines.

“In the very near future, our plans are to go up to 700” daily departures, said Terri Pope, US Airways’ – and now American’s – vice president for Charlotte. “A lot of work is ahead, the bulk of the work.”

Former chief executive of US Airways, Doug Parker, will become executive of the new American Airlines, replacing Thomas Horton. Horton will become chairman of the board.

Employees of both airlines are excited about the merger.

“It’s now time to give Delta, United, Southwest and the rest of this industry a run for their money,” said Elise Eberwein, executive vice president of people and communications, in an email to employees. “Let’s stay focused on beating the competition above all else. That is our mission.”

In early January 2014, passengers will be able to receive reciprocal benefits and earn and redeem miles when traveling on American Airlines or US Airways.

Combining the frequent flier loyalty programs and reservation systems may prove problematic. When United Airlines merged its reservation system with Continental last year, flights were grounded due to computer issues.

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