American-US Airways merger could affect Michigan air travelers

Dec 9, 2013

Michigan air travelers could see some changes with the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The merger creating the world's largest airline became official today.  But the new American Airlines has relatively few flights flying into and out of six Michigan airports.   

Michael Conway is a spokesman for Detroit Metro Airport.  He says the newly merged airline carries only about 6.6% of passengers flying out of Detroit.

Conway is hopeful the airline won’t drop any of its Detroit flights.  As part of its merger agreement, American will have to give up some of its gates at airports with direct flights to Detroit.  Conway says that might affect competition. 

“We like the idea of our customers having options and choices. And we are hopeful that the new American Airlines will continue to provide service to the same destinations they are now,” said Conway. 

Conway says Detroit Metro was not specifically named in an agreement between the merged airlines and the U.S. Justice Department.

That agreement calls for current flights at Michigan’s smaller passenger airports to be maintained for the next five years. The agreement does give the newly merged airline some options, depending on changes in competition, cost and other issues.