America West Merges With US Airways
America West is merging with US Airways to create the first full-service nationwide airline with the consumer-friendly pricing structure of a low-fare carrier as the companies put it.
The combined airline will keep the US Airways brand under America West Chairman, President, and CEO Doug Parker’s leadership. The merged airline’s 13-member board will be comprised of one member from each of three new equity investment companies, six members from the current America West board, including Parker as chairman, and four members from the current US Airways board, including Lakefield as vice-chairman.
“Building upon two complementary networks with similar fleets, closely-aligned labor contracts and two outstanding teams of people, this merger creates the first nationwide full service low-cost airline,” said Parker.
“Through this combination, we are seizing the opportunity to strengthen our business rather than waiting for the industry environment to improve,” added Parker. ” A combined US Airways/America West places the new airline in a position of strength and future growth that neither of us could have achieved on our own.”
“US Airways has a strong franchise and great employees that will be enhanced by America West’s strengths and success in the low-fare, low-cost marketplace,” US Airways President and CEO Bruce Lakefield said.
“That we have secured such an impressive slate of equity investors and partner support in a period of such industry uncertainty is a strong indication of the prospects and enthusiasm for this transaction, added Lakefield. “It has been my objective to ensure the long-term viability of US Airways and the security of our outstanding employees; this merger with America West will accomplish that objective.”
The headquarters of the combined airline will be consolidated into America West’s headquarters in Tempe, Ariz. For regulatory purposes, both airlines will operate under separate operating certificates for a transition period of two to three years, keeping flight crew, maintenance and safety procedures for each airline separate according to a press release.
The merger is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court overseeing US Airways’ pending Chapter 11 case. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the fall.