Bankruptcy judge approves airline merger

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Association of Professional Flight Attendants President Laura Glading, who vocally supported the merger, said "the [bankruptcy] court's approval is an important step in the process" of combining the two airlines.

The bankruptcy court's OK of the merger came despite a disapproval from Lane of a proposed $20 million payment to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton.

The merged airline, which would be known as American, would be run largely by current U.S. Airways officials. 

U.S. Air and American have said that their combination will result in the largest U.S. airline. The airlines have argued that it is necessary that they combine to compete with rival airlines who have also merged in recent years, such as Delta and Northwest and United and Continental airlines.

The U.S. Air-American merger will still have to be cleared of potential antitrust law violations by the Department of Justice and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The combination has earned scrutiny from lawmakers who have worried the merger would result in less flights to their respective districts.

Officials from both airlines have defended the merger during congressional hearings this month, telling lawmakers that they have learned from other airline combinations.