The mayors of seven large U.S. cities sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Eric Holder, asking him to settle the Department of Justice's "ill-conceived" lawsuit that challenges the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price sent a copy of the letter, which was also sent by the mayors of Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago, and Miami
All of the cities are hub cities for either Fort Worth-based American Airlines (Dallas, Fort Worth, Chicago and Miami) and Phoenix-based US Airways (Philadelphia, Phoenix and Charlotte). The mayors of New York and Los Angeles, also American hub cities, were not included in the list of participating mayors.
In the letter, the mayors said, "We support the merger of American and US Airways because it is based on growth which benefits consumers and our communities. A hub airport is only as good as the route network it supports, and our cities represent hubs throughout the United States that would benefits from a broader route network."
The letter also addressed how blocking the merger may have a negative impact on the airlines and the regions they serve.
"Without this merger, American and US Airways will be at a permanent competitive disadvantage to Delta and United, each of which has been allowed to build superior route networks through mergers that were cleared by the Justice Department."
Last week, Rep. Mark Veasey (D-TX) and Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ) and 66 of their Democratic colleagues sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking the DOJ to allow American Airlines and U.S. Airways to move forward in their merger.
"With more than 20,000 American Airlines employees in the DFW area alone, I have serious concerns about the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against US Airways and American Airlines which will put the jobs of these hard working Texans and thousands of other Americans at risk. I believe this merger is good for our local economy, good for consumers, good for competition and should be approved,” Veasey is quoted as saying in a news release last week.
Attorneys general from five states, including Texas' own Greg Abbott, initially challenging the merger, though Abbott has since withdrawn his support of the lawsuit and now is in favor of the merger. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who was not among the attorneys general taking part in the lawsuit, has also asked the DOJ to drop the case.
The trial in the case is expected to begin on Nov. 25.