Integration of AMR Corp. and will take months of court proceedings, executives at the two companies acknowledge.
The operators already have filed a request for a Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Justice Department pre-merger review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR), Andrew Nocella, senior VP-planning and marketing for US Airways tells Aviation Week in a telephone interview.
AMR also must exit its Chapter 11 protection before the merger can proceed. Nocella, however, does not expect any disruptions of the proceedings. “There’s obviously a lot of stuff that has to go on in the court in terms of the restructuring, but with all stakeholder approvals, we’re well on our way [to] closing this summer,” he says.
Once that deal is finalized (US Airways and AMR envision sometime in the third quarter), the newwill then address many of the integration issues. Nocella and American’s VP Global Sales Derek DeCross, who joined Nocella in the interview, noted that the airlines have memoranda of understanding with all union groups to facilitate the initial stages of the merger. And according to Nocella, these agreements provide a template “for where we need to go and how much time it will take to get there.”
And while no cuts are planned for front-line workers, duplication of corporate functions “could have some impact on staff,” Nocella says. However, no such impact would be felt for at least five to six months, says DeCross. “Really, this is a story of growth,” he adds.