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American-US Airways Merger Will Impact Logan Airport

By Bob Weiss, CBSBoston.com Travel Contributor
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BOSTON (CBS) – The announcement that American Airlines will merge with US Airways will make Logan Airport the most competitive airport in the northeast.

American will be the surviving brand as the airline emerges from bankruptcy. US Airways CEO Doug Parker will be the chairman of the new carrier. Headquarters will be in Fort Worth, Texas.

The new AA will join Delta, United and Southwest as major airlines with a large presence at Logan and the new combined carrier will challenge JetBlue for the number one position for passengers flying in and out of Boston. In addition, low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Virgin America also operate at Logan.

It is expected that US Airways will leave The Star Alliance and join American in the One World Alliance. This will be an important move as One World’s major partner is British Airways and they will have four non-stop flights from Boston to London starting this spring.

American announced late last year that they would discontinue service to London, but would retain seasonal service from Boston to Paris.

Both American and US Airways now operate in Terminal B at Logan where they have two airline clubs on both sides of the terminal.

The merger will result in savings of the combined operation that could total $1 billion over the next two years.

There is very little duplication of routes currently for the two airlines. American gains access to the US Airways’ shuttle serving New York and Washington for their corporate customers and US Airways gains valuable new routes to South America through American’s hubs in Dallas and Miami.

AA also has a strong sales and marketing team in place in Boston.

Leisure travelers using Logan Airport should benefit from very competitive fares as the new American Airlines vies for passengers with JetBlue flying to the Caribbean and Mexico next winter. AA gains a US Airways hub in Charlotte, North Carolina.

US Airways was formed with a merger with America West in 2005. The merger leaves the United States with four profitable airlines in a consolidation that started 35 years ago when the industry was deregulated in 1978.

Japan Airlines and American have a joint partnership flying the route between Tokyo and Boston that will celebrate its first anniversary in April. It is currently operating five days a week with Boeing 777 jets. It is hoped that daily lights will resume this spring on the new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft that are currently grounded.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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