US Airways CEO Doug Parker answers questions from members of Congress regarding 'mega merger'

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee on competition and antitrust had a lot of questions for US Airways CEO Doug Parker and current American Airlines CEO Tom Horton.

The two airlines are set to become the world's largest airline.

Senators expressed concerns over fliers' rights, ticket prices, the number of gates and overall impact to communities across the nation.

Parker will become the CEO of the "new" American Airlines and fielded most of the questions.

It seemed each Senator was mainly concerned about their own state and the airports in the D.C. area. The  questions ranged from discussing how many gates the airline will have in Washington D.C., to the routes the airline will serve.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was no different, however, Flake wanted to know more about the impact from Tempe to Sky Harbor.

"In Arizona we are concerned about the level of commitment that has been there and that it will be maintained," Flake said to Parker.

Parker, who testified under oath replied, "We expect to maintain a large corporate presence in Tempe, we just renewed our lease on our headquarters and we expect to maintain that facility and have it fully staffed with management personnel."

However, while discussing the impact on communities, Parker said there would be some trimming, namely management.

"We see some other efficiencies, things like management reductions and IT systems, that we can consolidate, you know, the two systems become one," said Parker.

As for airfares, Parker addressed other senators' concerns over less competition and higher prices.

"In our analysis, there is not one assumed fare increase in there," said Parker.

Parker went on to make it clear to Flake that Arizonans should not be concerned.

"What I am happy to report to you is, this merger is good for Arizona," said Parker.

He went on to say the company would maintain a large presence with a hub at Sky Harbor.

Parker said Sky Harbor would likely become a key domestic hub for American Airlines while maintaining existing international routes, with Los Angeles having a key role in international routes.

The merger still has to be approved by the Department of Justice.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments