The Justice Department's move to block the US Airways-American Airlines merger will also affect international routes, experts say. "A stalled merger would harm the two potential partners on their international routes by robbing them of capital to spend on cabin and service upgrades in their international markets," said David Fitzpatrick, a managing director at AlixPartners.
Several states have joined the Department of Justice review of the proposed American Airlines-US Airways merger, a move that is not unusual as it allows officials to represent their state’s interests and participate in Justice Department meetings. Tom Kelley, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, said Texas is leading the group of states.
American Airlines and US Airways are talking to banks about branded credit cards after the two carriers complete their proposed merger. Currently, Barclays issues credit cards for US Airways, while Citigroup issues credit cards for American Airlines. "As we bring two strong currencies together, we'll have one, stronger currency," said Andrew Nocella, US Airways senior vice president for marketing and planning.
The Department of Justice is reviewing the number of takeoff and landing slots for a merged American Airlines-US Airways. "If they think there's a problem and conclude the transaction would reduce competition, that's when the DOJ makes these selective requirements to divest routes or slots," said Alison Smith, an antitrust attorney. US Airways CEO Doug Parker told a Senate committee last month that divesting slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport would not be good for consumers. "If US Airways or the new American were asked to divest slots, we would, by definition, divest those that are the least lucrative to the airline," Parker said. "Those would tend to be service to smaller communities."
A merger between American Airlines and US Airways could benefit Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, columnist Mitchell Schnurman writes. "The airport has plenty of room to expand, along with a need for more revenue," he writes. "D/FW is using roughly half its available landing capacity, and many gates are underused, especially the 21 gates that were not leased as of July."