DALLAS -- American Airlines and US Airways have announced they're merging in a deal they value at $11 billion, creating the world's largest airline.
The combined carrier will retain the American brand. US Airways CEO Doug Parker will head the new airline.
The airlines' boards approved the deal Wednesday and made the official announcement Thursday.
The airline will employ nearly 100,000 people around the world and service more than 6,700 flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.
Workers at Tulsa's maintenance base are relieved a deal has been made.
Union leaders tell 2NEWS the merger will not result in any lost jobs, rather union workers will receive a 4.3 percent pay raise as negotiated during the merger.
MORE: TWU Local 514 blog (http://bit.ly/TWU514blog)
Several thousand American Airlines employees work at the Tulsa Maintenance Base. Executives from both airlines made it a point to stop at the base Thursday to assure workers their jobs here are safe.
"One of the most important things for Tulsa I think is the stability it creates. So large airline, lots of revenue, big dollars at the bottom line. It enables more investment, job stability and an awful lot of work today that's going on in Tulsa," said Brad Collins, VP of base maintenance for American Airlines.
"For the employees, it gives us financial stability. That stability gives us a better environment for growth opportunities, compensation benefits," said David Seymour, SVP of operations for US Airways.
The merger reduces the number of major U.S. airlines to four.
In response to the announcement, city of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett released the following statement praising the merger:
This is a tremendous opportunity for Tulsa as US Airways recognizes the significance of our talented workforce and their commitment to hard work.
The city of Tulsa is grateful that American Airlines and US Airways are committed to Tulsa and that our future in the Aerospace/Aviation industry looks very bright.
We’re thankful for the leadership of the entire community. From the beginning, 18 months ago, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa City Council, mayors and city managers from outlying communities and the Tulsa County Commissioners created a unified effort to support our various industries at the airport, on which we rely so heavily for Tulsa's economic future.
Without the incredible community-wide support, what could have been a very tragic development for the employment of our city, has appeared to run full-circle and turned in the potential direction of promise and prosperity.
The merger must be approved by a bankruptcy court before it becomes final.
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