While some things are still being worked out and court approval is necessary, the merger looks increasingly likely.
The Wall Street Journal reports the two airlines are in the final stages of negotiating a merger, even though key details are still being decided.
In other words, the people American Airlines owes lots of money want it to happen, so it probably will – who owns what and who sits where can be sorted out after that’s settled.
The combined airline would be worth more than $10 billion and would become the biggest American carrier by annual traffic. (2 percent larger than United.) The deal would also get American Airlines out of bankruptcy.
The WSJ article suggests the airline would remain named American and based in Texas, even though U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker would take over.
Less competition would probably mean higher fares for consumers. The question would be: how much? And then: who’s next? United Continental, Delta, and Southwest have all been through mergers in recent years.