American Airlines, US Airways approve merger deal; will be world's largest airline

TEMPE, AZ - The boards for both US Airways and American Airlines' parent company have reportedly agreed to a merger, and an announcement of the mega-deal will come Thursday morning.

The move creates the world's largest airline.

The 'new' American Airlines will employ an estimated 94,000 people and operate about 6,500 flights out of nine hubs.

Company officials have said they plan to maintain a presence in the Valley with a hub at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

The move also means the combined airline will have an estimated 1,000 mainline fleet.

Those close to the situation said it's believed about 72 percent of the company will be owned by AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, and 28 percent by US Airways.

According to The Wall Street Journal , the boards held separate votes Wednesday, with executives from both sides agreeing to the terms.

US Airways Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker is expected to maintain the same title with American Airlines.

The companies aimed to finish a deal before Friday, when a confidentiality agreement covering some AMR bondholders expires. That would result in public disclosure about negotiation details.

US Airways, according to company officials, will leave its Tempe headquarters for Fort Worth, Tex.

Industry experts tell ABC15 the price of tickets could rise between three to six percent following the merger.

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