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American Airlines, US Airways Unveil $11 Billion Merger

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CEO's Doug Parker and Tom Horton. CEO's Doug Parker and Tom Horton.

Calling the new American Airlines a powerhouse, the CEOs of American Airlines and US Airways held a joint news conference Thursday at Dallas Fort Worth Airport, announcing an $11 billion merger to create the world's largest airline.

"We're proud to introduce you to the new American Airlines," said AMR CEO Tom Horton.

After years of heavy losses that forced American Airlines and its parent company AMR into bankruptcy protection in late 2011, word finally comes that a merger deal is reached with US Airways.

"This combination is the best path forward for our customers, our employees, our communities and our shareholders," said US Airways CEO Doug Parker.

In a deal reached late Wednesday, valued at $11 billion dollars, the American/US Airways merger is creating the world's biggest airline.

"Our board of directors, in collaboration with our creditors, concluded the merger is the next best step for our company," Horton said.

The combined carrier will keep the American Airlines' name and will be based in Fort Worth. Together, the new company will have more than 900 planes, 3,200 daily flights and more than 100,000 employees.

"We expect to maintain all the hubs and destinations that are currently served by American Airlines and US Airways," Parker said.

Under the deal, the new airline will be operated by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. American's CEO, Tom Horton, will serve as chairman of the new company until mid-2014.

"Together, American and US Airways will build a leading global airline that is second to none," Horton said.

Both leaders hope to lure corporate travelers away from competing airlines and expect to have $40 billion in annual revenue with 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.

"This merger is about the opportunity to grow revenues and combining networks, which also means more opportunities for employees as the combined airline flies more people to more places," Parker said.

The two airlines say the deal should be finalized sometime in the third quarter of this year.

"We will, once again, be an industry leader, worthy of the name American Airlines," Horton said.

Read American Airlines news release.

The merger still needs to be approved by American's bankruptcy judge, US Airways shareholders and U.S. regulators.

Doug Parker said the new company will compete with United and Delta, ending the competition between American and US Airways. 

Parker said there will be some reductions in workforce, but said, since the company's operations are complementary, he doesn't expect there to be many.

Neither man made any comment about how the merger will affect American's huge maintenance base in Tulsa.

When asked about eventually leaving the new company, Horton said his plan was not to be the CEO of the world's biggest airline, but to help American Airlines be the best company it could be.

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