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Following the merger announcement this morning, the US Airways CEO Doug Parker sent out a letter to his employees outlining the merger with American, and we’ve pasted it in full below:
Dear Fellow Employees,
This morning we announced that American Airlines and US Airways will combine to create the new American Airlines, a premier global carrier. This is an exciting and historic day and you should take pride in your hard work and dedication to our customers, which have enabled us to achieve this goal. The combined company will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.
This merger is a result of your hard work to make US Airways the terrific airline it is today. We have achieved records in nearly every operating metric, including key customer reliability metrics of on-time performance and baggage handling. And we have accomplished this while generating our best-ever financial results. Congratulations!
Because of your efforts, we are able to choose the best path forward. In American Airlines, we have found the right partner to deliver significant value for you and for all of our stakeholders.
The transaction will combine American Airlines’ and US Airways’ complementary flight networks and provide more options for our customers. We will become the largest airline in the world and a highly competitive alternative for air travelers as they weigh their options amongst other global carriers. The new airline will retain the iconic, globally recognized American Airlines brand.
Other key points to today’s announcement:
- The company will be headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth while maintaining a significant corporate and operational presence in Phoenix.
- The combined airline will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.
- The combined company is expected to maintain all hubs currently served by American Airlines and US Airways and expand service from those hubs to offer increased service to existing markets and service to new cities.
- American Airlines’ landmark agreements with Airbus and Boeing, designed to transform the new American Airlines fleet over the next four years, will solidify its fleet plan into the next decade.
- The combined airline will enhance connectivity with oneworld® Alliance partners, creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally.
- Together, we will provide an industry-leading travel experience through innovative initiatives intended to increase comfort and connectivity for all customers.
Unlike other transactions that are premised on excessive cost cuts, this merger is about the opportunities to grow revenues, which will also create more opportunities for employees as the combined airline flies more people to more places.
What This Means for US Airways Employees
The benefits of an American Airlines-US Airways combination for employees have been a focus of ours since we started contemplating this transaction. Employees from both companies have demonstrated their enthusiasm for this merger and played a significant role in facilitating the combination. As previously announced, the unions representing American Airlines pilots, flight attendants and ground employees, as well as the union representing US Airways pilots, have agreed to terms for improved collective bargaining agreements effective upon the closing of the merger.
In addition, the union representing US Airways flight attendants has reached a tentative agreement which includes support for the merger. American’s unions representing pilots and flight attendants are working with their US Airways counterparts to determine representation and single agreement protocols. This was an important step in this process, and they provide the framework to govern the terms of employment and integration for pilot and flight attendant unions of both companies.
Employees of the combined airline will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stable financial foundation, which will create greater opportunities over the long term. The merger will provide the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees. Importantly, the unions’ agreements represent an enhancement to compensation and benefits currently in place for US Airways employees. Furthermore, all employees of American Airlines and US Airways will also enjoy reciprocal travel privileges as quickly as possible.
This merger is great for all constituents, but I am particularly pleased for the employees of US Airways. You all have done an amazing job of transforming US Airways and I am confident we are all ready to move forward together as the new American. I have gotten to know a number of employees at American Airlines and I am certain that our combination will create the most capable and energetic team in the industry. I am looking forward to being a part of that team along with you.
What Happens Next? It’s Business As Usual
Until the transaction is complete, American Airlines and US Airways will remain separate companies, and it will be business as usual for all of us. The key to our success has been – and will continue to be – you. As we move forward, we ask that you continue to focus on your day-to-day responsibilities, and on providing our passengers with the industry-leading service they expect from US Airways.
As in any transaction of this size, the integration process will take time. In the coming weeks, we will establish a transition-planning team. We will also communicate more information to you as quickly as we can on our transition plans.
In terms of immediate next steps, the transaction must be approved by the bankruptcy court, and is subject to regulatory approvals, customary closing conditions and approval by US Airways shareholders. All of that work will take place over the coming months and we expect the merger to close in the third quarter of 2013.
Keeping You Informed
Today’s announcement will generate lots of questions. To help answer those, we have attached some FAQs and have posted additional information on Wings. Please look at the special edition of AAboutUS that is being distributed this morning. Although I will be making this announcement from Dallas/Fort-Worth with Tom, I will be returning to Phoenix/Tempe this evening to host an employee meeting at Corporate Headquarters. Right now we are targeting that town hall meeting to start at 5 p.m. MT, and similar to how we conduct our quarterly State of the Airline earnings calls, we will webcast that live so that those who cannot attend can listen in and submit questions during the meeting itself.
I also encourage you to visit our new joint website, www.newAmericanarriving.com, which includes more information about the benefits of the transaction as well as relevant employee and customer information. This website will be updated regularly and we will also provide updated FAQs as you submit those through our normal mechanism (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Together we are running a great airline that is profitable and stable in a constantly evolving market, which is a testament to your hard work and dedication. You have helped position US Airways to choose this path, and I know you share my excitement about the opportunities ahead. Thank you for all you have done to make today’s announcement possible. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with each of you.