Source: Jad Mouawad / The New York Times
Ending a yearlong courtship by US Airways, American Airlines agreed to merge with the smaller carrier, paving the way for the creation of the nation’s largest airline.
The boards of the companies have unanimously approved the deal, valued at $11 billion, according to a news release on Thursday morning. A merger would bolster American’s domestic footprint, strengthen its presence in the Northeast and give it a bigger network to attract business travelers and corporate accounts.
Under the terms of the deal, US Airways shareholders would own 28 percent of the combined airline, while American Airlines shareholders, creditors, labor unions and employees would own 72 percent.
The merger would create a company with the size and breadth to compete againstUnited Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which have grown through mergers of their own in recent years and are currently the biggest domestic carriers. The combined airline will have more than 100 million frequent fliers.
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