American Airlines, US Airways workers at MIA ready for merger

$11 billion deal designed to create world's largest airline

MIAMI - American Airlines and US Airways workers at Miami International Airport are preparing for the companies' $11 billion merger that will create the world's largest airline.

The combined carrier will be called American Airlines but run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. The airlines announced their deal Thursday.

"Because there is not a lot of overlap, it doesn't appear there will be a lot of reductions when you talk about front-line employees here in Miami," said American Airlines Vice President Marilyn DeVoe.

"We haven't been treated good in the last few years, so hopefully this merger will cause us to advance and do better for the employees," said Darren Griffith, an American employee.

"We weren't pleased with the way AMR was being run, so we hope that this is an opportunity for the airline to be run in a much more efficient, much more productive way that benefits our pilots," said American Airlines pilot Scott Iovine.

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The merger means US Airways employees at Miami International Airport must get ready, too.

"The employees are happy about this," said US Airways Supervisor Dennis Campbell. "The CEO of US Airways is saying we'll not lose employees."

There is no overlap in flights between the two airlines at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"Competition in general is very good, right?" said US Airways Vice President Madeleine Gray. "And we'll be competitive with those two other big airlines."

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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.

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.

Passengers had mixed feelings.

"What I expect is better services, better care," said American Airlines passenger Daniel Lassonnier.

"I'm worried that they are going to double the frequent flier miles and it'll be less easy to get upgrades and some of the things you get as a frequent flier," said US Airways passenger Bob Hritsko.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge must still okay the deal.


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