Questions Remain As the American Airlines Merger Date Approaches

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It’s been almost 4 months since American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Inc. announced their merger, but we still don’t know very much about what the new company will look like once the deal closes.  The airlines have created 29 teams to work on the transition and help with the thousands of questions involved in the merger,  such as whether to serve the whole can of soda to passengers to the timeline for combining the frequent – flyer programs.

What we do know so far is that the company will be called American Airlines Group, Inc.; Doug Parker, current chairman and CEO of US Airways, will be the chief executive; and Tom Horton, American’s chairman and CEO, will be non-executive chairman for up to year.

This leaves us to wonder what the airplanes will look like a year from now.  Other questions include – who will Parker pick for his executive team?  How will the union of the two airlines be getting along by next Christmas?  Which of the AA executives will keep their jobs and what will their roles be?  Will management change the uniforms? How will regional airlines fare at the new American? How many jobs will be lost after the merger?

It appears that the airlines are very close to announcing who their top executives will be.  Last month, both Parker and Horton told employees that Parker’ senior team would be announced by early June.  According to Bloomberg news, this was amended to mid-June in a meeting this past Monday.

American’s senior vice president of people, Denise Lynn, advised American managers in February that it was “a safe assumption” that the new logo and uniform that American unveiled in January would not be changed.  Lynn said, “And even though it wasn’t planned this way, the flag on the tail actually is a nice representation of the combination between American and US Airways.” 

Although Parker has praised the uniforms and the planning process that went into creating the uniforms, he hasn’t stated that they will not be changed.  He said, “We have a lot of details we need to work out, and it may make sense.  I have no idea if it makes sense or not.”  In late March, US Airways president Kirby stated, “The reality is customers, you know, get on the airplane, and they care about where you fly, they care about the kind of service that they get on the plane, they care about the product, they care about the price, they don’t care as much about the livery.”

There are many questions on everyone’s mind including those previously stated.  We can make assumptions about how these things will be handled.  However, not even the airlines know what they’re going to do yet.  So let’s wait and see what happens. 


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