Some tidbits of interest to me from this morning’s merger announcement conference call.
- The merger is expected to close in the third quarter. In the meantime the airlines remain separate entities. Single operating certificate expected within 18 months of closing the merger although operational integration will happen earlier on.
- They claim they’ll adopt American service-levels. I’m skeptical and predict some sort of splitting the difference, at least over time. But as I said earlier, US Airways elites are hungry given no meals on 3 hour flights.
- They don’t know yet which co-branded credit card partner with remain with the merged carrier. Sounds like they’ll be playing Barclays and Citibank off of each other.
- Combined loyalty program will have over 100 million members.
- Doug Parker says he learned a lesson from the integration of reservation systems between US Airways and America West — and also from watching Delta/Northwest. As a starting point he thinks it is better to fold the smaller carrier into the reservation system of the larger one. Thank goodness.
Here’s a merger video on bringing the histories of the two airlines together: