American Airlines and US Airways say they're merging in a deal they value at $11 billion, creating the world's biggest airline.
"We're proud to introduce you to the new American Airlines," Parker said at a news conference Thursday. "Through the merger between American and US Airways, we are creating a premier, global carrier."
The airlines announced their deal Thursday. The airline will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. It will maintain its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
"By combining the strengths of both companies, we will be delivering the most valued to our owners and the greatest benefits to our customers and our people," said Parker. "We have everything it takes to lead in this industry, and that's good news, not only for our customers, but also for our people who will benefit from being part of a company with a strong financial foundation which will create great opportunities."
“Today, we are proud to launch the new American Airlines – a premier global carrier well equipped to compete and win against the best in the world,” said Tom Horton, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of American Airlines. “Together, we will be even better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, people, investors, partners, and the many communities we serve."
Horton will serve as chairman of the combined airlines' Board of Directors.
It reduces the number of major U.S. airlines to four. American will spend $40 billion dollars over the next five years on more than 400 brand new planes, including 15 Boeing 777-300ERs.
"The combined company will have everything we need to surpass the competition, putting American back on top of the global airline industry," said Parker.
"We knew it was going to happen. I'm excited," said Shelby Martinez, an American Airlines employee.
"Hopefully it'll be a good thing," said passenger Warren Leonhardi. "My wife and I aren't loyal to one brand of airline, so we're usually looking for value over anything else."
A U.S. bankruptcy judge must still okay the deal.