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"Nutter backs US Airways' effort to merge with American Airlines"
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Nutter backs US Airways' effort to merge with American Airlines
By Paul Nussbaum
The Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer
The Nutter administration supports US Airways' efforts to merge with
bankrupt American Airlines, believing it would bring more business and new
travel options to Philadelphia International Airport.
Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler said Monday that a combined airline would have the
aircraft for nonstop flights to China and Japan, opening up Asia markets
that US Airways can't reach now.
Currently, the only nonstop flight to Asia from Philadelphia is a US Airways
flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. Philadelphia is the largest metro area in the
country without nonstop service to other cities in Asia.
"American has those aircraft now, so we could get that service several years
earlier" than 2017, when US Airways will receive long-haul jets capable of
Philadelphia-to-Asia flights, Cutler said.
Although the city has been arguing with US Airways about whether to expand
the city-owned Philadelphia International, and who should pay for it, Cutler
said those disagreements don't color the city's support for a merger with
"We work together on lots of issues every day," Cutler said. "Our message to
US Airways is that we think this is something that can be good for all of
US Airways is the dominant carrier in Philadelphia, carrying about 70
percent of the airport's passengers, including 84 percent of international
Philadelphia is one of US Airways' three main hub cities and would remain a
hub for the merged airline, US Airways chief executive Doug Parker has said.
US Airways is the nation's fifth-largest airline, and American is the
third-largest. A merger would create the world's largest airline, which
would retain the American name and its Dallas-Fort Worth headquarters.
The city has little legal input in the American bankruptcy process, other
than as American's landlord at the Philadelphia airport.
But Cutler said the city's public support could encourage other players in
the merger battle, including American's unions, which have backed US
Airways. And the endorsement could increase support from the local business
community, she said.
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