AMR CEO Tom Horton and US Airways CEO Doug Parker appeared in front of a Senate antitrust committee Tuesday morning.
According to official notices, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary scheduled a hearing of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights entitled "The American Airlines/US Airways Merger: Consolidation, Competition, and Consumers" starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.
Witnesses scheduled to attend included Horton and Parker, as well as Diana L. Moss, Director and Vice President of the American Antitrust Institute, and William McGee, a consultant for the Consumers Union.
American Airlines released the following statement on Horton and Parker's prepared testimonies.
We wanted to let you know that today, Thomas Horton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines, and Doug Parker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Airways, will be testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on why the combination of American Airlines and US Airways represents a compelling opportunity for customers, employees, shareholders and communities of both airlines. In their prepared testimony, Mr. Horton and Mr. Parker explain how the new American Airlines will be good for competition, offering consumers more choices and increased service.
- Discussing how the merger is the best path forward for both companies and the airline industry, Mr. Horton notes:
"…Our merger with US Airways will create the new American Airlines, a global competitor worthy of bearing the name of our country as America's flag carrier. Flying under the iconic American Airlines brand, it will be positioned to compete - not just against other domestic carriers but against the best the world has to offer."
- Mr. Parker highlights how bringing together each company's complementary networks will improve service and enhance competition:
"By combining American and US Airways, the new American Airlines will build the network that passengers have told us they want, one that will compete more effectively with the other networks airlines, as well as low cost carriers… By combining these networks, we will provide thousands of passengers better alternatives by creating over 1300 new connecting opportunities and the potential to access numerous cities world-wide served by one carrier but not the other."
- Mr. Horton also stresses that the new American Airlines will be a stronger, more competitive company:
"The new American will take flight in what continues to be one of the most intensely competitive industries in the world. There is nothing that our people want more than to put American back on top as a fierce competitor that will set a new standard of excellence, and that is exactly what this merger will do."
- This merger brings with it significant benefits for employees and has unprecedented support from both companies' labor unions, which Mr. Parker highlights:
"That financial stability also will provide very significant benefits to our employees including better pay and benefits; more jobs and greatly improved job security; and better opportunities for advancement."
In connection with today's hearing, leaders from five major unions representing American Airlines and US Airways employees reaffirmed their strong support for the merger in a letter to the Senate Subcommittee.
The union letter and the prepared testimony for both Mr. Horton and Mr. Parker are available on the joint website: www.newAmericanarriving.com.
Previous Testimony in Committee
Executives from both American Airlines and US Airways made their case about their proposed merger to a congressional committee in February.
The airline executives testified before the Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Anti-Trust Law subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 26.
The hearing examined the proposed merger's effects on competition and consumers in the airline industry.
The executives answered questions about how the merger would affect ticket prices and how the new airline's hubs would work.