In 2012, the US Airways management team led by CEO Doug Parker and President Scott Kirby took to the road to sell Wall Street, Washington, the public and a skeptical airline industry on an audacious plan—their intention to merge with much larger American Airlines, which at the time was undergoing a tortuous restructuring under bankruptcy protection. Fast-forward four years: The combined carrier is profitable, with $6.3 billion in full-year 2015 profits, and is the largest in the world, ...

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