American Air exec resigning in June

The chairman of the board of directors for the parent company of American Airlines is resigning in June, the Dallas Morning News reports. 

The executive, former American CEO Tom Horton, had negotiated his exit as part of the company’s merger with US Airways last year. 

Horton moved into a non-executive role on the combined company’s board of directors when the merger was completed in December. The day-to-day operations of the newly-combined airline are being run by former US Air CEO Doug Parker. 

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Horton will step down from his position as chairman of the American Airlines Group’s Board of Directors on June 3 ahead of the company’s annual meeting, according to the report. 

The company said in a statement that it was grateful for Horton’s leadership during his tenure at the helm of its Board of Directors, including the initial months of its high-profile merger with US Air. 

“We believe that Mr. Horton’s leadership as Chairman of the Board of Directors has allowed the Board of Directors and management to benefit from Mr. Horton’s considerable expertise and familiarity with AMR during the initial transition period between the closing of the Merger and the Annual Meeting,” American said. 

Aviation industry observers have been watching the merger of US Air and American because it was previously targeted by the Department of Justice for being a potential anti-trust violation. 

The DOJ attempted to block the merger by filing a lawsuit to stop it, but the agency eventually relented after US Air and American agreed to give up the right to operate flights at airports like Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan National Airport. 

The Justice Department said at the time it was agreeing to drop its lawsuit against the US Air-American merger that giving the flights that the companies were conceding to low cost airlines like Southwest and JetBlue would negate any increase on average flight ticket prices from allow the two former competitors to merger.

US Air and American were the latest in a string of airline consolidations that included Delta and Northwest airlines, United and Continental and Southwest and AirTran all joining forces in high-profile mergers and acquisitions. 

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