A government report suggests that New York City could edge out Philadelphia as a major hub and international gateway in the pending merger between US Airways Group and American Airlines.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report says the combined carrier would have five East Coast hubs, “and one could logically think that’s too many,” its author, Gerald Dillingham, said in an interview. “Our intent was to say if history is any teacher when large mergers occur, the merged airline will rationalize or adjust its operations. And that could include, as it has in the past, de-emphasizing one hub or another.”

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