This week in Transportation: Airline merger review takes off

Before that can happen however, it has been cleared by antitrust law regulators and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Lawmakers have said they want to take a look at the merger as well, which is the latest manifestation of a trend toward airline consolidation that begin in 2008. It follows deals between Delta and Northwest Airlines, United and Continental Airlines, and Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways.

The companies, based in Tempe, Ariz., and Fort Worth, Texas respectively, have been in negotiations to combine for the better part of a year. The talks, which American initially resisted, began when it entered bankruptcy in late 2011.

The House meeting to review the potential deal this week will be chaired by Rep. Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusTrump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing Overnight Finance: Breaking - GOP delays release of tax bill | Changes to 401(k)s, state and local taxes hold up bill | Trump aims to sign tax legislation by Christmas | Hensarling to retire after term | Trump to repeal arbitration rule Senators, don't put Ex-Im Bank's fossil fuel financing back in business MORE (R-Ala.).

Also in the House this week, the lower chamber's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to review the implementation of the $63 billion funding bill that was approved last year for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The bill included reforms to the aviation agency's operation that had been sought by House Republicans, and the GOP-led Transportation Committee wants an update on the agency's progress.