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By PBN Staff
WARWICK - The proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways could mean good news for Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport, according to Patti Goldstein, vice president of public affairs for the R.I. Airport Corporation.
AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., and US Airways Group Inc. announced the definitive merger agreement on Thursday. The company, which will have an implied combined equity value of roughly $11 billion, will operate under the American Airlines name.
If the merger should go through, it’s possible that Rhode Islanders could see flights headed to American Airlines locations, including Chicago and Dallas. American Airlines stopped service to the airport in 2008.
According to Goldstein, the airport was meeting with American Airlines on a regular basis to try to restore service to and from T.F. Green. “Some of [the American Airlines] routes that we’ve been sorely missing, that our customers have been sorely missing, will hopefully come back,” Goldstein told Providence Business News, adding that the merger still had a number of logistical hoops to jump through.
US Airways is currently the second largest carrier at T.F. Green, behind Southwest Airlines. US Airways accounts for 23.5 percent of the market share at Rhode Island’s airport, with 34 daily flights. US Airways has major operations in Charlotte, N.C., Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
The US Airways/American Airlines merger will push the companies past United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Airlines Inc. to make it the world’s largest carrier.
“With the combination of American and US Airways, it’s creating a third, very strong competitor to United and Delta, who have already gone through similar consolidation,” US Airways CEO Doug Parker said at a news conference at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport near American’s headquarters. “You’re left with a very competitive, but much more rational business model.”
The deal will leave American, United and Delta as the only U.S. carriers with full-service cabins and trans-oceanic routes.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.