Valley airline CEO weighs in on potential US Airways, American merger

TEMPE, AZ - You've heard about the potential mega-merger between US Airways and American Airlines by now.

If the deal goes through it would create the world's largest airline and US Airways would leave its Tempe headquarters for Fort Worth and operate as American Airlines.

But, there are other stakeholders, other airlines and Valley jobs that could be impacted.

"For us, I see this as a positive, as potential," said Mesa Air Group's CEO Jonathan Ornstein.

Mesa Air operates several carriers including US Airways Express.

Ornstein told ABC15 he's been keeping a close eye on the discussions because he and others in the industry will have some sort of impact.

"The fact is, US Airways is led by a talented great group of management, they've proven themselves," said Ornstein when asked about reports that several top US Airways executives would lead the 'new' American Airlines.

It's believed US Airways CEO Doug Parker would maintain the same title if the merger occurs with American Airlines.

If the deal happens, Ornstein said he sees benefits for his company.

"Anything that's going to strengthen US Airways' position, which this (merger) certainly will, is going to be a positive for Mesa Air and our people," said Ornstein. "I think the fact that having a stronger company that has better reach and more routes and more network, it's all positive for us."

There are reports an announcement regarding the merger could happen as early as Wednesday,

ABC15 asked Ornstein how the Valley should view the move.

"The community has to look at it in the long term and say, do we want a healthy carrier that's viable, these companies could have gone away through some bumpy rides and believe me the community would be worse off in a scenario where the companies hadn't survived," said Ornstein.

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