The American and US Airways Merger is Finally Announced, Here’s How Not to Screw This Up

The day has finally come. Assuming the feds approve it, American and US Airways are now set to merge forming the real “new” American. You all know that I support this merger. Having come up in this industry under the very same America West team that will now run the largest airline in the world, I couldn’t be happier to see them with such an incredible opportunity. But just because I like the plan doesn’t mean I think it’s going to be all sunshine and rainbows.

No merger is easy, and this will not be an exception. The good news, however, is that this team has been there before. America West ran into all kinds of issues during its acquisition of US Airways and this team has no doubt learned from that. That being said, there are plenty of potential pitfalls ahead. They can start laying groundwork now, but once the deal closes in the next few months, here are just some of the things that need to be dealt with, listed in no particular order.

US Airways American Heritage Logo

Realize You are Not US Airways
I really don’t think this needs to be said, but there are plenty of skeptics who disagree. There are some who think that the US Airways management team is going to come in and run American like US Airways. That to me is a silly notion, and it would fail. This management team knows that it needs to quickly get into the mindset that it is now running one of the great global airlines. I really don’t think this is an issue – there has been plenty of time to plan for this – but it can’t hurt to repeat it.

Dial Back the External Marketing
American has been on a crazy marketing kick lately. The airline has put out a new brand image, new paint scheme, and new amenities. Some of these amenities are good and will remain while others aren’t and will disappear. But one thing is clear – these amenities are almost universally non-existent in the current fleet. Despite this fact, American has been pushing the whole “new American” thing pretty hard. (If I see that in another hashtag on Twitter from the @AmericanAir account, I’m going to be sick.)

All this is doing is setting expectations even more unrealistically high. It’s not the time to talk about that. Get the house in order first. Start rolling out the improvements, get the airlines on the same track, and then worry about marketing externally when you have critical mass. For now, focus marketing efforts in a different way.

Turn Internal Marketing to 11
A lot of current employees at American have been unhappy with their current management team. Meanwhile, in Arizona, a lot of US Airways folks are feeling very uneasy about their future prospects in Texas (if they’re even willing to make the move). American needs to focus all of its marketing efforts internally. Let people know what’s going on and make them feel comfortable. Make sure the current American folks know that this isn’t going to be a complete sweeping out of current people. They need to know that their work is valued and they should be part of the combined airline.

Meanwhile the team in Arizona needs to know what’s going on. Will they be forced to move? If so, what kind of incentive will US Airways provide to make it worthwhile? And this doesn’t even touch on the front line people who will naturally be concerned as well. They all need to be hear from management frequently, loudly, and clearly. And they need to be told the truth. I’ve already seen employee communications coming out of Tempe for the US Airways folks. That’s a good start.

Get Rid of the Old American
Sure, technically everyone who works at American today is part of the old American, but that’s not what I mean. There are key people – and processes – that epitomize the old American and those need to be swept out quickly. If these folks don’t see the writing on the wall, then the new management team needs to act. Number one on that list is, of course, Tom Horton, but they can’t officially sweep him out because he had to stay on as part of the deal as Non-Executive Chairman. But really, he needs to become Non-Existent Chairman. From the looks of this deal, he won’t be around much and it won’t be for very long.

But it’s not just Horton. There are others at the top who will remain nameless that need to go. At the same time, there are some really great VPs that the new management team needs to woo to keep them onboard. The culture of the new American will start at the top, so the people up there need to be in place sooner rather than later and they need to really focus on solidifying the new combined culture.

Work on Labor
This story has been beaten to death, so I won’t bother digging into it. The point is that there are a lot of labor groups that need to come together. While there’s very little that an airline can do to create a new seniority list, it can at least present an interest in working together and put forward a solid effort to being available to help conclude a deal in any way it can. That’s already been made pretty clear with the inclusion of unions in the process so far.

Protect the Brand Assets
As things churn forward, American needs to be sure to protect its brand assets. None is bigger than AAdvantage, one of the best frequent flier programs out there. The temptation is always there to devalue it, but American as a brand has been devalued for years, and people are going to be tempted to flee during the prospect of another tough merger. So if you’re American, you need to focus on the things that really have strong value, and AAdvantage is one of them. Use the program to bring people back to the airline.

Craft the Network
Of course there will be a focus on growing revenue, but a key piece of that is building a competitive network. That is undoubtedly going to mean cuts in some places, additions in others, and shifting of resources all around the network. I expect that we’ll see all the hubs remain in some form (that’s been officially stated), but they will end up looking different after the network has been rebuilt, and they might not all even look like hubs.

One of the big questions will be around what to do in Asia. There aren’t any easy solutions on that one, but something will have to be done so that American can serve the needs of its frequent fliers. (I’ll write about the network in more detail soon.)

Do Tech Right
I’ll end with one last note. We saw it with US Airways/America West and it’s been a bigger nightmare with United/Continental. Don’t rush the tech transition. Just make sure it’s done well. Take all the time you need. Just don’t mess it up.


This post is, of course, premature. The deal still needs to pass review with the feds before it can be officially completed. But the expectation is that the deal should go through with just a few minor divestitures, if any. (Maybe some slots at Washington/National.) In the meantime, the work can already begin behind the scenes to build the new airline. It’s going to be a long slog, as we all know, but in the end, it’s going to be a good thing.

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89 Comments on "The American and US Airways Merger is Finally Announced, Here’s How Not to Screw This Up"

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marshall
Member

Excellent post sir.

Bryan Schmiedeler
Guest
Very good analysis. As someone who is in IT and has been through these types of things several times (although NOTHING as big as these mergers) I would like to comment on some of the issues as I see them, from an IT perspective. There are several reasons that M&As can go wrong in IT. First, IT issues are usually *really* visible, just by their nature. If the web site is a mess or reservation system goes down, EVERYONE knows about it and it is really hard to cover that up. If cultures clash that is not something that the… Read more »
Bill from DC
Guest

i couldn’t help but wonder if the AA/US pilots will be unified before the HP/US pilots. also, hope this gets the “new american” livery flushed.

Nick Barnard
Member

Oh I’m sure that the AA/US unification will go quite quickly. The AA union will be the surviving one, and AFAIK AA’s pilots are generally happy with their union.

Alex Hill
Member
It sure looks to me like the new livery was developed jointly as part of the merger talks. (United also had their new livery in place at the time of the merger announcement, even though it was just slapping United’s name on Continental’s livery.) The waving flag on AA’s new tail looks like an homage to the current stylised flag that is US’s logo. AA probably just announced their new livery before the merger because they weren’t going to introduce their brand new flagship plane, the 777-300 — the only piece of the “new American” product improvements Cranky alluded to… Read more »
Red
Member

I would assume the new AA stays as a Oneworld airline due to UA being in Star Alliance, thus DOT would not approve if the New AA wanted to go to Star

Pilotaaron1
Guest

I read on Reuters that US will be leaving star for oneworld.

Red
Member

Never Mind found quick little video on the merger made by AA staying in One World now when Does US leave Star for One world until the merger is allowed to be completed

Pilotaaron1
Guest
It would be nice to see American back to its former glory. I personally hope they stop with painting the aircraft in the new livery and instead come up with a new better combined livery like they did with the US/HP merger. It was very well done and the only new paint job I liked off the bat. Also at 6’4″, I hope they will roll out a premium economy option instead of pax just having to pay for any isle or window seat in front of the wing. I know I complained about that before. But I really think… Read more »
Sanjeev M
Guest

They are beginning to roll out a premium economy option on domestic routes. Now US Airways hasn’t really been interested in premium economy. AA just delivered a new 77W with E+. So yet to be seen what they want to do fleetwide.

noahkimmel
Member

I doubt they will change the scheme now. But they should go for it full-force. DL was very aggresive about repainting, and from a customer perspective, the “old, bk DL” quickly became the new mega-carrier. AA should do something similar and be as proactive as possible.

As for E+/Main Cabin Extra, I think it is just a matter of time. DP knows he is running a service airline, but he is a guy who likes his fees and profits and will try anything for extra revenue, especially a proven value-add like more legroom.

CP
Guest

Totally agree on the need to go full-force, and that Delta did that extremely well. I was amazed how quickly the NWA hubs lost all NWA signage, etc., and the plane-painting was lighting-fast, too. I recently rode in a RJ with America West-branded seats…

DesertGhost
Guest
I agree with your assessment, Brett. I know this is trivial, but I would like to see more additions to the retro livery pool. It shows a sense of history that shouldn’t be ignored. Most travelers could care less, but employees are often loyal to their employer’s past. It would be nice to see an AirCal, TWA (maybe two liveries?) and maybe a Mohawk or Ozark livery flying around the country. Like you, I think this merger has the potential to create a truly outstanding airline. If past is prologue (look at the freight railroad industry as precedent) this should… Read more »
DesertGhost
Guest

I found this snippet from the Dallas Morning News to be more than interesting given the recent speculation: “Both airlines already have started working with the U.S. Department of Justice and filed documents on Jan. 31, Parker said. In the meantime, Horton and Parker said they?ll start putting together integration planning teams and name an integration leader at their respective airlines.”

TC
Guest

I remember after the DL/NW merger the FAA had a protocol for calling out flights based on the livery of the plane so that other pilots would know what to look for when looking for “traffic.” Having multiple liveries on American jets may cause confusion for other pilots if they are looking for an American jet and they see one painted in different colors like TWA.

David SF eastbay
Member

I wonder at this point if even AA/US know what they are going to do beyond picking who’s big shots in each company will do what for how much money.

Keep seeing news items how AA unions/workers are happy about the merger. I bet so were AirCal’s, Renoair’s, TWA’s, PSA’s, Piedmont’s, etc’s unions/workers right before they lost their jobs in mergers.

There’s still aways to go to find out what’s going to be happening here.

yo
Guest

Hopefully the AWA team can keep doing what they have done so well, taking an entitlement “me first” culture at US East and making it profitable. AA’s employees have been through a lot of bad management, the culture needs to be a participatory, “Can do” culture, not “what’s in it for me?” culture. As I told the USAirways people when AWA took them over…Never underestimate Doug Parker, those that do are always wrong.

Now, can we get rid of that awful new AA livery?

Bravenav
Guest

Cranky, love the logo! I’m usually pretty good on my airline history and logos, but I confess I can’t identify all the ones in your collage (don’t know the ones at 3,5,6,&7) When Delta and NWA merged they published a nice “family tree” that showed their heritage (just google “delta family tree” to find). I’d be interested to see a similar illustration for the new AA.

Eric A.
Member

Great talking points Brett….hopefully we dont loose you to a consulting gig on the integration committee lol.

I know you have been for this….Ive been on the fence but leaning to no. Note that since round I (NW/DL) the integration process has become more complicated and protracted (UA/CO). Allot can go right here….allot more can go wrong. Doug is a bright a capable executive; this deal is going to require brain surgery type skill and precision.

JM
Guest
I enjoyed Brett’s logo mash-up, as well! It’s interesting– I have had great experiences with US (most flights) and horrible AA flights (all of them) in recent years. The good or bad related to the attitudes of the employees I encountered. In addition to flushing the AA executives who need to go, I am also very hopeful that the merged airline will find a way to improve or dismiss those “bad attitude” AA employees who I’ve encountered (all of them on the Latin American division/Miami hub, incidentally). I say this with the full knowledge that there are some great AA… Read more »
Ron
Guest
Preempting your network post: with the number of major U.S. airlines (with substantial international service) shrinking to three, this will be the first time all major U.S. airlines serve Tel Aviv. Historically it had mostly been just one airline — TWA — but they stopped their service shortly before being acquired by American (having faced two years of competition from Continental, and with Tower Air having disappeared a year prior). Anyway, the new American will inherit US Airways’s Philadelphia–Tel Aviv route. It seems to be doing fine so I don’t see it them pulling out of Tel Aviv, but I… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

I ran into some rumor that AA had a judgement against them in Israel that could potentially cause problems. Does anyone know the details of that?

David SF eastbay
Member

I seem to remember AA shut TLV due the high number of TWA workers who had been there for years and had high salaries. They just let them go and I believe the workers all sued AA. Could be something left over from that.

Ron
Guest

TWA spokeswoman Julia Bishop-Cross said … “We had no choice but to protect the assets, including the aircraft. The aircraft was at risk of seizure if it landed in Tel Aviv…”

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/429611/

Ron
Guest

Well, hopefully US Airways manage to acquire American without acquiring standing lawsuits in foreign countries, otherwise this could kill the PHL–TLV route that’s been working quite well.

Nick Barnard
Member

Ron thanks for finding the airliners article. From what I got from it the lawsuit was due to firing people within the TWA bankruptcy, AA never intended to continue the flight. I’d be amazed if that managed to stick through both TWA’s and AA’s bankruptcy.

That being said I’m sure US has looked at it and either knows it doesn’t apply, or they know it does and’ll get it put to bed soon.

hawes.daryl
Member

Cranky: Should the new owners dump the new “Trailways meets Cubana” look for their own design or where they perhaps a part of the new logo and livery?

Sean S.
Guest

Honestly despite the promises my main concern for competition is the de-hubbing of CLT. It is hard to imagine that they will maintain CLT with MIA at the same capacity, and its easy to see how DL will swoop in and monopolize the routes entirely in the Southeast. As it is this region is effectively monopolized due to Delta’s presence, and its easy to see this merger making this significantly worse.

Nick Barnard
Member

This one has been covered Ad Naseum. MIA is great for getting to Central and South America, its horrible for connecting passengers in the south.

CLT has been built up under the current US management as much as their other hubs, and AFAIK its one of their most profitable hubs. Parker and Co aren’t stupid, they’ll keep it.

David M
Guest

I agree with Nick. CLT seems safe. MIA’s location is terrible as a domestic hub, and MIA is expensive with that fancy new terminal to pay for. I could see MIA actually shrinking a bit, with Latin American routes that basically rely on connecting traffic at MIA moving up to better-positioned CLT, with MIA keeping the routes that have strong local demand.

Bill from DC
Guest
PHL will lose a substantial amount of trans-atlantic routes. when US built up service to europe, it had to fly out of someplace in the US so CLT and PHL were the only options. it only makes sense that many of those PHL routes will migrate northward to JFK because the o&d market is probably 5-6x greater. i would think CLT will lose some of its carribbean flying thanks to MIA (and you might not see CLT to brazil for much longer) but most of the x-atl flights will stay at CLT because there are a lot of spokes that… Read more »
MeanMeosh
Guest

Parker is in fact promising more service from PHX, not less:

“The combined company is expected to maintain all hubs currently served by American Airlines and US Airways and expand service from those hubs to offer increased service to existing markets and service to new cities.”

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/12300.html/#more-12300

yo
Guest

Now is a good time to come out swinging in PHX, beat Southwest back when they are vulnerable. Lots of room in PHX, not so much in LAX, and LAX has never been conquered as a hub. Doesn’t USAirways have the rights to a PHX-NRT flight as part of the slot swap with DL?

davidp627
Member
I agree – my home airport is essentially a WN hub and as the years go by by I am less and less enamored. WN used to be known for a fun atmosphere and very low fares. Now the fares are equal or higher to the legacies, with cattle car seating and no food other than snacks. PHX can fight off WN because there is no longer a WN competitive advantage. I fly them because I have to, not because I want to. As for the hubs, I think all of the east coast hubs are safe…PHL is a top… Read more »
George
Guest

As for Parker promising more service at PHX-Anderson of DL promised more service at MEM-we all see how that went

Bill from DC
Guest
I’m sure Parker also promised PIT would stay vital. That’s not to pick on Parker but the CEO is the absolute last person you should pay attention to post-merger when it comes to routes and service. Re: PHL intl routes, I just took a few minutes to look for overlap. First, i only looked at x-atlantic, not other intl destinations. Second, i only looked for their own service, not code shares. These are the common destinations: DUB, MAD, LHR, MAN, CDG, FCO US has the following service from PHL that AA does not have from JFK: AMS, BRU, FRA, MUC… Read more »
yo
Guest
As for WN historically pummeling US…in the old US days yes, but in the last few years US has beaten the snot out of WN in PHL. WN has also retreated on some of their routes where they went head to head with US. Southwest is in a quandary now, no more fuel hedges, their employee operating cost is way too high, no baggage charges is lost revenue, acquiring Air Tran was a mistake, and they have lots of planes coming and no place to go. They can go to Hawaii, but their 737’s can only make it from California… Read more »
Bill from DC
Guest

yo – the distinction i made to address your point was “where WN already had a strong presence” which was certainly not the case at PHL, in which WN attempted to invade a fortress hub with poor results.

nevertheless, i read a detailed analysis showing that USAA is not really going to have much of cost advantage after akk because of the deals that Doug cut with AA unions to get the deal done AND the raises that existing US personnel will be getting as a result.

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/14/american-usairways-winners/

noahkimmel
Member

I agree with Cranky. Parker is a smart guy who wants to be profitable over prestigious. PHL may have a smaller O/D but it is a virtual monopoly unlike JFK which is fiercely competitive. Both will exist and compliment each other, likely with JFK relying on more o/d and PHL relying on the connecting pax. There will likely be fleet rationalization to adjust frequencies and capacities.

Nick Barnard
Member
One thought I had on the get rid of the old American was in regards to IT. Maya Liberman (I may have butchered her last name, but she was in charge of AAdvantage and is now CIO or somewhere high in IT.) Should stay, from what I’ve heard she is quite good and probably is responsible for lots of progress at AA. Although, DL’s IT merger is nice and done, I’m curious if AA/US has put any feelers out to poach/hire the folks who lead that transition. The DL/NW IT merger seemed to be exceptionally smooth. One other question that… Read more »
MeanMeosh
Guest
I’m not an MBA, but am a tax accountant so can attempt to address your question. It’s horribly complex, but the basic idea is that the “poison pill” helps to lock in the value of net operating loss carryforwards, because it thwarts the ability of minority shareholders from gaining enough stock to trigger a “change in control” in IRS lingo. Under IRS rules, a change in control of as little as 5 percent can render a net operating loss carryforward essentially useless. Basically, the scenario here would be someone like Carl Icahn having a beef with Doug Parker, so he… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

MeanMeosh, thanks for the explanation. I didn’t realize that 5% of a public company would trigger IRS change in control rules for tax losses.

That being said I figured AA’s carry forward losses would be more valuable than US’s. I should dig into the exact details of who is buying who sometime.

MeanMeosh
Guest

Back when I worked in Big Accounting, we had an entire group that did nothing but consult on structuring deals like this to get around the loss carryforward rules. Without knowing the specifics, it’s hard to say how they plan to get around the limitations, but I’m sure the CPAs and lawyers figured something out.

Bill from DC
Guest

another tax geek here – US had almost $2b in NOL c/f at 12/31/11. Assuming they use about 1/4 of that for 2012 profits (although not sure how much of their book profit is tax profit) but, rest assured, as the acquirer, US will structure the deal (along with their lawyers and, to a lesser extent, their accountants) to preserve their NOL c/f. poison pill is to prevent minor ownership changes from screwing up the NOL utilization but this is neither minor nor unintended so it can be planned for accordingly.

spengle
Member

One thing that I don’t see in your comments (with which I do agree) is a focus on customer service – seems like a no brainer to refocus on the customer experience as a novel and unique focus long missing from the industry as a whole. Word of mouth positive advertising costs nothing and is very powerful!

MeanMeosh
Guest
I have expressed my misgivings about a US takeover of AA several times before, and I won’t rehash all of that here. However, I have two real significant concerns already based on what I’ve been reading: 1) Doug Parker has already been promising that not only will all hubs stay intact, but that in fact service will INCREASE at the hubs. I hope this is just a quote taken out of context, because these are exactly the sort of promises made during mergers that make me cringe. The deck chairs are going to have to get reshuffled somehow, even if… Read more »
doug
Member
Congratulations to Doug “Flutie” Parker. Like the diminutive QB, he threw a hail Mary to save his team and connected, except in this case most of the other team was actually aiding him. Give him credit; he pushed all the right buttons and pulled all the right levers. However, he’s playing in the big leagues now, and while I hope he’s up for the task, I wasn’t impressed with his first live press conference on local TV this morning. He looked unsure, unprepared, stumbling at times, and generally was upstaged by Horton and looked to be visibly chafing at times… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

CF doesn’t hide the fact that he worked for HP, US, or UA. Thats mentioned several places on this site.

Also, I’m getting exceptionally tired of people trotting out labor issues at US. If the unions gave the company a seniority agreement they could legally implement they would’ve. Just because the East pilots threw a hissy fit and caused a mess doesn’t make it Parker’s problem to resolve.

Bill from DC
Guest

Actually, it’s somebody’s problem to solve. If not the CEO, who? On the bright side, he clearly learned from this lesson (which is all you can ask for, really) by pre-negotiating agreements with AA’s key unions in advance of an acquisition.

doug
Member

Nick, get real; Brett spent an entire post (plus several responses to comments) trying to convince us he is unbiased on this blog. He now admits he has been pulling for this merger because of his previous association with AW.

Also, I’m getting exceptionally tired of people making excuses for Parker. The truth is he didn’t want a labor agreement at US because it would have raised his labor costs significantly. That strategy might have worked as the fifth largest carrier but being CEO of the largest carrier requires actual leadership.

Vishal Mehra
Guest

Kinda sad to see another huge american aviation brand fly into the sunset, So long US Airways

eleanor.c.moore
Member

Dear Cranky, I am also former HP based at IAH sales and marketing 1990-1992. I have to say your column is by far the best analysis in the industry. I am now retired and have to admit as much as I love being retired, I can’t miss your commentaries. I have never been a fan of AA and really so glad to see this merger happen. It should mean the end of the mean spirited predatory acts of the past.
Congratulations Cranky, another home run for you.

Danie
Member

What does “what to do in Asia” mean?

Bill from DC
Guest

presumably… fly there more?

Tom
Guest

At the end of the day the Airline Industry is a terrible business to be in. Big money losers… Just look at their stocks prices.

Bill from DC
Guest

who else noticed the other big M&A activity yesterday and found it amazing that American Airlines was worth only about $11 billion in market capitalization but a company that makes ketchup and french fries (Heinz/Ore Ida) was worth over $23 billion? the airline biz really is a terrible “business” in and of itself!

David SF eastbay
Member

I read that this morning about Buffett buying Heinz for $23+billion. While more people eat then fly, that’s still a lot of tomatoes, pickles, beans, and potatoes..lol

Bill from DC
Guest

Ain’t that the truth! Just seemed to be an interesting juxtaposition.

CP
Guest
Wholeheartedly agree with Cranky’s hope that Parker and the rest of the management team get that running a global powerhouse like the new AA is different, from a customer experience standpoint, than running US. I fly a lot of both airlines, and here are the differences that matter to me that I hope US ‘gets’: 1. Gate information: US has very poor and un-informative gate information displays, even at hubs. AA’s gate displays (while not quite as informative as DL’s or UA’s) are more informative: rotating images of standby lists, upgrade lists, meals offered on-board, etc. Having your upgrade list… Read more »
Ozark
Guest

I recall this Slogan for the TWA/AA Merger/Takeover;

“Two Great Airlines, One Great Future” – Didn’t happen at all.

Several reasons this didn’t work out;

*APA (Ego)
*APFA (Ego)
*AMR/AA Management (Ego)
*TWA Management (Ego)
*IAM (Ego)
*ALPA (Ego)
*9/11/2001
*Other factors played in to this too.

As my late Airline Pilot Father once said, nothing goes as planned in a merger and people & airline destinations get screwed over as a result.

shane
Guest
With all of the talk about possible price increases and reduced competition, what do you thinkink about the DC market? It could be interesting for pricing for 2 reasons. First is that Dulles and National are both Star strongholds. While United ans US don’t codeshare much domestically, they tend to not compete on price in overlap markets. A lot of overlap cities have high prices for both carriers. With the new American having a 68% stake at National, could we see some real competition that forces United to lower domestic prices from Dulles (right noe it seems that United Dulles… Read more »
Bill from DC
Guest
DCA won’t be a Star stronghold for long, the combined USAA will be in Oneworld. You raise a really good point that UA and US do not really compete in this area (thanks to the Star tieup). The metro DC area might be one of the extremely rare exceptions in which customers actually benefit from having one fewer competitor because the two largest “competitors” in this market were not competing against each other at all. At least we now know they will compete tooth and nail in this market, especially with one airline dominating each of the three airports in… Read more »
TexasFlyer
Guest
Cranky, I don’t understand why you’re so biased against Tom Horton. Why is he to blame for the mess that he inherited from Gerard Arpey? He didn’t create the bitter labor relations, Don Carty and Arpey are responsbile for that. He’s not responsible for the TWA merger. He didn’t postpone the inevitable chapter 13 restructuring. All things considered, he did a pretty good job of leading AA through the restructuring. The creditors have been made whole, the layoffs were well managed, and even with the labor strife, the whole process was no more disruptive than it was for UA and… Read more »
doug
Member

Texasflyer, this is exactly my point with Brett.

Nick Barnard
Member

TexasFlier – Horton didn’t create the labor problems at AA but be didn’t help them either. Most airlines get a consensual agreements with their unions, AA had the courts impose a contract on its pilots. He could’ve had a more cooperative stance, but he followed AA’s beaten path and went confrontational.

doug
Member

Sorry Nick but your wrong. Horton tried for ten months to get consensual agreements, even offering the pilots 13% and other groups 4% of the emerging carrier (with much trepidation from some on the UCC and the bond holders), but the unions were intransigent as usual, even more this time because they were hell bent on getting a new management team (and even bigger pay raises) via merger. Abrogating the contracts was the last resort for Horton, not his first move.

Tony
Guest
Doug, Were you Horton’s personal assistant or maid maybe personal trainer even chauffer? Out of everyone on this board you seem to be the least reasonable and the only one who seems to be here just because you have an ax to grind. And trying to convince the rest of us that this airline stands no chance – especially with Parker is just nonsense and the educated and informed on here know there is no way to know that right now and that root for that just makes you a dick. The probable truth is these are all uninformed opinions… Read more »
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[…] I had been planning to attend Farelogix media day in Miami for quite some time, but when news broke that the American/US Airways merger might happen that day, I wondered if this event would happen or if it did, whether I should go. Fortunately, it did happen and I decided to make the very worthwhile trip despite lengthy maintenance delays (or shall I say, delAAys?) on both ends. (And as we know, the merger announcement slipped a couple days anyway.) […]

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[…] done, it’s time to shift to analyzing how well they handle the integration. I’ll reiterate (and rephrase) a few points I made back in February, the day the merger was announced, about how not to screw this […]

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