The merger between US Airways (LCC_) and bankrupt American (AAMRQ.PK), put together with a non-disclosure agreement in place, has nevertheless been one of the most closely reported airline mergers in history.
In fact, so much is known about this merger that the announcement, which we and scads of other reporters expect on Thursday, will be as anti-climactic as Hawaiian’s (HA_) monthly announcement that it had the best on-time performance record of any airline.
The suspense quotient fell early, when two of the top three most sensitive merger issues, involving the new company’s name and headquarters, were settled because US Airways CEO Doug Parker declared that he would keep American’s name and Dallas headquarters. That left the third major sensitivity: Who runs the new company? AMR CEO Tom Horton has fought to stay in the loop, the sources all say.
But it has always been hard to imagine that Horton would oversee or become a critical part of the America West team that successfully put together the 2005 merger with US Airways and then spent the next seven years creating a strong airline from two weak ones while simultaneously pursuing mergers with Delta (DAL_) and United (UAL_) before finally finding the right formula by which to take over a Big Three airline.