When American Airlines and US Airways approved a merger deal it created the possibility of an airline with more than 1,500 aircraft in its fleet and 600 more on order, governed by a board that includes representatives from both airlines and American's creditors. The new carrier would serve 336 destinations in 56 countries through 6,700 flights. It would operate as the world's largest airline. The new entity would be valued at roughly $11 billion, according to Reuters, and would reportedly support 113,000 workers. It would leave the U.S. with a total of three full-service international airlines, according to Air Transport World.
Five years ago, the U.S. had six full-service international airlines. The figure has so far been eroded by mergers that absorbed Continental, which merged with United, and Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta. National carriers Southwest and AirTran also merged. If approved, implementation of the deal and integration of the carriers is expected to take up to two years. Some analysts predict that fewer options will lead to fewer low-cost seats. Morningstar analyst Basili Alukos told Reuters he expects prices to rise in the wake of the merger and flights to concentrate more on major hubs to the detriment of smaller cities. The deal would see American emerge from Chapter 11 as part of the combined new carrier that would take its name, American Airlines. The merger is still contingent on approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court and the Department of Justice.