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Who Would Rule a Merged American-US Airways?

Who Would Rule a Merged American-US Airways?

As the drumbeat portending a US Airways-American merger get ever louder, the attention has shifted from if or when the two airlines will become one to who will lead the new company.

It matters.

The two companies have vastly different corporate cultures, different business strategies, different values, different relationships with their customers.

Inevitably, the new American (assuming that’s the surviving name) will either be more like the current American or more like the current US Airways. And which of those models is ascendant largely depends on whether the American or the US Airways management team ends up in control of the new company.

As the company in bankruptcy, American is the weaker of the two companies, which should give US Airways the upper hand when it comes to negotiating the merged companies’ future management structure.

Indeed, most stakeholders — investors, unions, debt holders — have lost faith in American’s leadership and appear anxious for a change at the top.

The single group that deplores the US Airways takeover scenario is one that has virtually no say in the outcome: the traveling public.

The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reports that discussions are currently underway that would have US Airways chief Doug Parker as the new company’s CEO, and American’s Tom Horton as the chairman.

That would allow American to save face, but relegate Horton to a largely ceremonial role. Effectively, US Airways will have taken over American.

What will be the world’s largest airline, in passenger-traffic terms, will look like American. But under its skin will beat the heart of a very different company — one that has succeeded financially but failed to win the loyalty of its own customers.

Reader Reality Check

Would you welcome or dread a US Airways takeover of American?

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  • Raphael Semmes

    Yes. Parker is anti-consumer and pro-union. His bribes to the unions as part of his merger campaign will weaken any merged airline, while his anti-consumer bent will drive customers aways. Parker is a recipe for disaster.

  • laggers

    ah well, the flying public screwed over again.

  • tolbuck

    I have no Issue flying USAirways or any of the Legacy US Carriers. The Publics ‘love affair’ with Southwest is WHAT Amazes me. Talk about Cattleclass. American’s Employees want to see their Management Team ousted and see a NEW Team run the Airline, be it Doug Parker or ANYONE else. There is more UPSIDE to This Possible Merger than Most people realize.

  • PApilot

    The “public” that deplores US is the casual / infrequent flyer, any US Airways regular knows that the airline has the probably the best preferred upgrade stats of any US carrier and descent (better than UA) award availability in the best airlines alliance, Star Alliance. If a merger happens, I hope whose ever in charge brings out the best of both airlines.

  • rrr777

    hmm maybe i wont switch from United to American after all – the devil you know ….. etc

  • Brian Lisk

    CLT is my home airport meaning that options are fairly slim beyond Scareways. There is some affinity from some of us locals as we think back & try to convince ourselves that US is Piedmont. However, once you fly those Piedmont A/C (as most of the 757s, 767s, & the Dash A/C were purchased by Piedmont in the late ’80s through the mid-’90s [yes, that’s how old much of the US fleet really is], you’re quickly reminded that EN it is NOT! From the half a can of soda to “Eat poop & die” attitude of the workforce to the busted up suitcase, US is an incredibly bad airline. Fortunately, most of my travel is international, and because of US being a SA member, LH runs a direct between their hub in MUC to CLT, which is about the only way I can avoid the “Evil Empire.” It’s a 45 min agravation to have to bounce over to FRA for real connections, but I gladly choose the extra flight over the direct with Scareways.

    With the merger US will leave SA & LH will pull out of CLT leaving me with the slight possibility of BA returing to the QC….oh joy… ;(

    Way to go US! You just can’t screw the flying public hard enough, can you????

  • Lt Boyd

    Having been a long-time US flyer and having held status for many years, I will admit I am against the American – US merger. Quality will go down on American, US will continue to nickel and dime its customers and deliver poor service. Let us not forget that America West was a bottom of the barrel budget carrier, and Mr. Parker has not lost that mindset. He converted US from an airline that cares for its customers to one that does not. American was a premier carrier and a US – American alliance will destroy the carrier and any quality service it had. Yes the upgrade policy on US is nice, but the rest of the decisions made by management are anti-consumer. I for one will be writing a letter opposing any such merger. Any by the way, I maintain status by flying SA partners more often than flying on US metal.

  • shankarj6

    The partners are a better bunch..

  • Jim

    Listen. Complain Complain Complain. If your a frequent flyer on American you can still be thankful. Post-merger we will still have the choice of not flying United or Delta even more! American may not be as good, but American won’t be as bad as those two,