Valley businesses in holding pattern with US Airways, American merger talks

TEMPE - A merger between US Airways and American Airlines appears to be imminent. As that lingers, some local businesses are in a holding pattern of sorts.

"We just don't know," said Matthew Kievit, owner of Silver Mine Subs in downtown Tempe. The shop located a short distance from US Airways headquarters feeds Kievit's business.  

Losing those customers would be a big blow Kievit said, especially after surviving a down economy and a loss of business along Mill when Tempe Marketplace opened.

"Nothing is easy," he said. "We'll figure it out, but wish they would stay."

Monday, American Airlines board members are expected to meet and an announcement of a merger could happen as early as Tuesday.

The merger would mean the headquarters in Tempe would shift to Dallas and at least 2,000 corporate jobs would be lost. Thousands more "indirect" jobs in the Valley would also be lost as businesses that support the airline would also suffer.

The merger would take American out of bankruptcy protection. The airline would operate as American and US Airways CEO Doug Parker would run it.

An economic analysis of the impact to the Valley indicates a $86 million to $345 million loss in wages to the Valley.

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