DALLAS – Today in Aviation, the merger of US Airways (US) and America West Airlines (HP) was completed in 2005. It was the first significant airline merger in the US since 9/11.
It is worth noting that, according to FTC documents, HP had actually purchased US, but the airlines were eventually merged, though the pilot groups remained separate until 2013.
America West Holdings Corporation shareholders had given the green light on the deal on September 13, 2005, with 95.5% voting in favor. The US Bankruptcy Court had also approved US Airways Chapter 11 reorganization plan, which then cleared the way for the merger. The new carrier planned to re-position itself as the “World’s Largest Low-Fare Airline.”
The seventh and eighth-largest airlines in the US, respectively, announced their intention to merge on May 19. Speaking at the time, Doug Parker, America West Holdings’ President and CEO, said, “These two airlines are so much stronger together.” Mr. Parker went on to serve as Chief Executive of the combined companies.
The deal was financed with US$1.5bn in new capital, including a US$250m loan from Airbus. This came as part of an agreement that would see the new airline become a launch customer of the A350.
However, in 2013, US Airways merged with American Airlines (AA), creating the largest airline in the world. AA began to defer delivery dates of the A350, before finally reaching an agreement to cancel the order in April 2018.
Featured image: Airbus A319 (N828AW) painted in retro America West colors. The aircraft joined the airline in July 2001. Photo: Paul Carter from Vancouver, WA – A319-132, CC BY 2.0