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American Airlines-US Airways merger: Big issues settled so let’s get on with it

@denschaal

Skift Take

Game on. At this juncture, it’s all systems go for the merger.

— Dennis Schaal

After months of endless speculation, the big issues have been settled in the American Airlines-US Airways merger, and now all that awaits is for the airline boards and the creditors’ committee to give their approvals, according to Bloomberg.

With a couple of feet of snow turning the Northeast into a snow drift, leading to thousands of flight cancellations, now we’re apparently down to the airlines’ lawyers drafting and re-drafting elements of the agreement, pending final approvals.

Here’s what we know on how the most contentious issues have been resolved:

  • AMR Corp. creditors would get 72% of the merged American Airlines;
  • US Airways shareholders would get 28%;
  • AMR stockholders would get shares in the new airline, although how that math works isn’t exactly clear;
  • Lone ranger Tom Horton, the American Airlines CEO, who for months sought to steer the airline out of bankruptcy on its own, would have a role as non-executive chairman, possibly for a year or two.

With the US Airways pilots approving a tentative agreement and the Alllied Pilots Association board, representing American’s pilots, having endorsed a memorandum of understanding, everything is lining up on the labor front, as well.

With the two airlines’ board and the creditors’ committee poised to vote on an agreement, we could get a merger announcement by February 12 or even earlier.

The whole thing would then be over.

Or, we should say, this would be only the beginning of a very long process to create the largest airline in the country.

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