Archive for April 22, 2012
This past week, the three major unions at American Airlines agreed to support a merger with US Airways Group, the parent company of US Airways. This does not, of course, mean that a merger is definite, but it’s an important step on the way to combining the two airlines.
It’s a remarkable twist in the history of the United States airline industry since deregulation, and most likely means that only a single major airline will remain from the days before the 1978 deregulation.
Oh, sure, there are a handful of familiar names painted on the sides of aircraft. But United was recently bought by Continental, who kept the more-familiar United name. And Continental itself was bought by Texas International, a small regional player, in 1978. In terms of corporate heritage, then, United is merely a renaming of Texas International. Similarly, US Airways (formerly known as USAir, and even earlier as Allegheny) was bought by America West Airlines in 2005; America West was a child of deregulation, starting service in 1983. Only Delta and American of the old guard airlines have “pure” lineage. (more…)