Ever since it was first announced in February of 2013, we’ve all been anticipating the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Today, the largest airline in the world received its single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, officially making US Airways a thing of the past.
In an article by wfaa.com, American Airlines’ Chief Operating Officer, Robert Isom, said, “Achieving a single operating certificate is an important step toward becoming a fully integrated airline and the effort to reach today’s milestone touched nearly every area of our company.”
Now that the two airlines have officially become one, their reservations departments have to figure out a way to whittle their operations down to just one reservation system – while making sure they don’t disrupt flights or travelers. Work forces also have to be combined, but because that involves working out union labor issues, it may take awhile.
Painters also have to re-brand all of the US Airways planes and make them American Airlines’, but that could also take awhile, so you’ll still spot some US Airways planes for the next several months.
All of these next steps won’t affect customers, many of whom have already noticed that US Airways’ and American Airlines’ frequent flier programs are now one program. So far, it’s taken about 18 months and 700 employees to get to the point the two airlines are at and by this time next year, we should see even more improvement.
Could this merger mean there’ll be more airline mergers in the future? In an article by Airways News, Reid Appleby, who worked at American Airlines for 28 years, believes that if anyone will merge, it will be low-cost carriers.
“In that realm, there’s still a possibility of a combination or two. I don’t think any are imminent, but there has been speculation that there could be a merger in the ultra low-cost carrier realm, the domain of Spirit and Frontier,” he said.