US Airways, American Airlines merger could make largest airline in world
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Attorneys for AMR, American Airlines’ parent company, will go before a bankruptcy judge Thursday to ask for approval of the company’s restructuring plan.
A big part of that plan is the merger with US Airways, however, and the U.S. Justice Department has filed an anti-trust lawsuit claiming the merger would give American Airlines an unfair advantage at many airports where it would dominate the number of flights.
The government says the merger will reduce competition and drive up travel prices. The airlines say it would provide more competition by creating a third big airline to rival United and Delta.
American Airlines did post a record profit last month of $350 million.
The U.S. government wants to wait until March for a trial on its lawsuit aimed at blocking the merger. The airlines want to start the trial in November.
The Justice Department said in a court filing Tuesday that given the stakes in the merger -- it would create the world's biggest airline -- it needs more time to prepare.
The government accuses the airlines of rushing the case.
The judge plans to hold a conference on the schedule Friday, but it's not certain that she will set a trial date then.
There is also hope for a settlement. According to a new Reuter’s article, the government said it was open to a settlement if it addresses the government’s concerns about the merger.
The two airlines agreed that either side could back out of the agreement starting December 13. The airlines said putting the trial off until March would kill the merger.
The justice department said the self-imposed deadline in December can be changed.