AMR Corp. and US Airways, as expected, today unveiled a merger plan they expect to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.
The new airline retains American Airlines’ brand and Forth Worth headquarters. It will maintain AMR’s five hubs as well as US Airways’ three hubs and focus city operation at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
If U.S. government regulators approve the deal, the new American Airlines will be the world’s largest airline by capacity. AMR in 2012 operated 166.2 billion available seat miles (ASMs) and US Airways 88.4 billion ASMs, more capacity than rivals United and Delta Air Lines, both of which have been the world’s largest operator as a result of their opwn mergers.
US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker will lead the new American as CEO, while AMR Chairman and CEO Tom Horton will become executive chairman. Parker will assume Horton’s chairman responsibilities after the new company’s first annual general meeting.
New American’s board of directors will consist of 12 members, with five seats assigned to AMR’s creditors, four seats to US Airways and three to American Airlines representatives.
AMR creditors will own 72% of the new company and US Airways shareholders the remaining 28%. The merger agreement also allocates about $1.2 billion to AMR’s unsecured creditors.
The combined airline will operate more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. Three wholly-owned regional operations—American Eagle Airlines, Piedmont and PSA—will continue to operate as distinct entities, says the mainline carriers.
US Airways expects the merger to generate more than $1 billion in annual synergies in 2015, with $900 million expected from improved revenues and about $150 million in labor cost savings. Merger costs, meanwhile, will total $1.2 billion over the next three years.
AMR must still exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a process expected to take about three months, according to an Association of Professional Flight Attendants member hotline notice.