The airlines were close to finishing the merger in August until the Justice Department and several states filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal, saying it would reduce competition on hundreds of routes around the country and lead to higher consumer prices. A trial was scheduled to begin Nov. 25.
To avoid the uncertainty of a trial, American and US Airways agreed to give up about 15 percent of their takeoff and landing rights at Reagan National Airport near Washington and a smaller number of slots at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
They also agreed to give up two gates each at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Los Angeles International, Boston’s Logan Airport, Dallas Love Field and Miami. And they promised to maintain flights to cities in six states that sided with the Justice Department.
The settlement still needs the approval of a federal judge in Washington, but that is expected to be a formality, and the companies expect to close their deal in the first half of December.
The new company will be called American Airlines Group Inc., replacing AMR, which will emerge from bankruptcy simultaneously with the merger closing. It will be slightly larger than United and Delta by passenger traffic and have about 100,000 employees and 6,700 daily flights to more than 300 destinations. It will be based at AMR’s home in Fort Worth, Texas.
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.