American Airlines and US Airways confirmed this morning that a settlement has been reached with federal regulators in the U.S. lawsuit seeking to block the $17.2 billion merger.

The new American Airlines will operate 44 fewer daily departures at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and 12 fewer daily departures at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) than the approximately 290 daily DCA departures and 175 daily LGA departures that American and US Airways operate today.

Under the terms of the settlement, the airlines will divest

  • 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA)
  • 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • certain gates and related facilities to support service at DCA and LGA

JetBlue and Southwest will have the opportunity to acquire the slots they currently lease from American at Reagan and LaGuardia, respectively. The remaining slots at each airport, plus any JetBlue or Southwest decline, will be grouped into bundles.

The divestitures required by the settlement are not expected to impact total employment at the new American.

The airlines also will divest two gates and related support facilities at each of the following airports:

  • Boston Logan International Airport
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Dallas Love Field
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Miami International Airport

According to the press release just published, “the divestitures will occur through a DOJ approved process following the completion of the merger. Despite the divestitures, the new American is still expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies beginning in 2015, as was estimated when the merger was announced in February.”

The new American will maintain its hubs in Charlotte, New York (Kennedy), Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago (O’Hare), Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

The airlines’ celebrated the news with one tweet each. And announced they expect the merger to be completed in December 2013.


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Tags: american airlines, mergers, mergers and acquisitions, us airways

Photo credit: The tail sections of an American Airlines and US Airways aircraft are on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport. Mike Stone / Reuters

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