Repairing American Airlines' dwindling share of the critical corporate travel market is a key to its success and a merger with US Airways is the only way make that repair. US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker (pictured) delivered this message in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, DC last week where he made his case for a merger of the two airlines.
The Dallas Business Journal reports that Parker believes US Airways' network would complement American's, especially on the East Coast where he said American is losing share. "American is steadily losing corporate share, and they'll never gain it back without a comparable network" to the nation's largest airlines Parker asserted. "Our networks are extremely complimentary," Parker said. "There's very little overlap. With two networks there would be better routes."
Parker said the details of any merger would be easier to resolve during American's ongoing bankruptcy so the time to act is now. Waiting until American to exit bankruptcy as a stand alone entity would only complicate matters. Parker said only American's management is in opposition to the merger. He was joined during his speech by representatives of the three unions that represent 55,000 American employees - the Transport Workers Union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Allied Pilots Association.
Parker concluded saying, "US airways is here now, and we're ready to do this now. There's no guarantee that this will be the case forever."
American's management has said recently it would study potential merger partners as part of its evaluation of strategic options. On Wednesday, American reported record quarterly revenue and an improvement in year-over-year, net loss.