Agents' Choice 2020

BTC has concerns with AA-US Airways merger

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has responded with concern regarding the news of board approvals of an US$11 billion proposal from American Airlines’ parent AMR Corporation and US Airways Group Inc. to merge their third and fifth largest US airlines respectively. The transaction would create the world’s largest carrier by passenger traffic and would require various approvals from the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Transportation (DOT) as well the EC’s DG COMP. If governmental analyses don’t force a regulatory tarmac delay, then decisions could be expected in some four to six months. “From a consumer standpoint – individual traveller or corporate travel department – there are few benefits to offset the negative impacts of this proposed merger that include reduced competition, higher fares and fees and diminished service to small and mid-size communities,”said BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell. “To be clear, there is benefit in a financially viable air transportation system. However, previous mergers have already enabled seat capacity cuts, higher fares and billions of dollars in fees for ancillary services resulting in a financially strengthening industry. As such, consumer harms from this merger are indeed exacerbated, as there are no substantial countervailing consumer benefits.”The BTC has published an Industry Analysis of the proposed merger at http://bit.ly/VfUnMK .

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