Monday, February 11 09:56:17
US Airlines have had a tough few years with higher fuel costs and talk of further mergers is currently focused on American and US Airways. A merger would expand American's domestic network, particularly in the Northeast and the Southwest, and create a more formidable competitor internationally. The combined airline would jump ahead of United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, both of which have grown through mergers of their own in recent years.
The combination would probably bring to an end the wave of consolidation that has swept the industry. Since 2001 there have been five large mergers, reducing the number of airlines to three main carriers, along with a handful of low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, and regional carriers according to The New York Times.
These mergers have led to cuts in service to many smaller cities around the US. But they have also created healthier and more profitable airlines that are able to invest in new planes and products. Faced with rising fuel costs, and losing tens of billions of dollars in the last decade, airline executives argued that the only way to survive was to consolidate capacity.
American, which has been in bankruptcy protection since November 2011, is currently the nation's third-largest airline with domestic and international flights; US Airways is the fourth.
Report by Cathal O Dubhain