Dear American Team,
Today we take an important step into the future, having reached agreement to create a premier global airline through the merger of American with US Airways. This new American Airlines will combine the best of both companies to create the most value for our owners and great promise for our customers, our partners, and our people.
With the largest, best connected global network, strong hubs, the best alliance partners in an even stronger oneworld, one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, a solid financial foundation and the finest team of people in the industry, we will be the leading global airline worthy of the name American Airlines – America’s flag carrier.
We would not have this opportunity to create an even stronger American without your dedication to a better future. Together we did the hard work to put our house in order for a strong and vibrant American, well positioned to make the right deal for our company and our people. After months of reviewing a range of options, our Board of Directors, in collaboration with our creditors, concluded that this merger is the best next step for our company following a successful restructuring. And American’s owners will hold almost three quarters of the stock in the new combined company – a reflection of the enormous value we have created over the past year.
This merger is intended to build on the foundation we have put in place: a transformed fleet with hundreds of new planes on the way, deepened alliances with the best international partners, a stronger network with much-improved revenue performance, a stream of new products to enhance the travel experience and the renewal of our iconic American brand. Now, with this merger, we have an opportunity to leapfrog the competition, with a sound cost structure and balance sheet, unmatched network scale, and important flexibility in our network and fleet.
So what comes next? Our operations will not change immediately. We expect it will take six months or so to secure all of the necessary regulatory, stockholder and bankruptcy court approvals required for the merger to close, and during that time we will continue to operate as separate airlines. We will, however, immediately start the work to plan for the integration so we can move forward smoothly and successfully when that time comes.
We all know that combining these two proud airlines will bring new challenges and change is never easy. I have great confidence in the American team working alongside colleagues from US Airways who share our vision of a promising future. This starts with my longtime friend Doug Parker, who began his career here and knows our company well and understands all that we have built. He is a first rate leader and I am pleased to partner with him as we take the new American into the future.
Because of what we achieved together over this past year, the new American is taking flight and I am proud to work alongside you – the best people in the business – as we put American back on top!
Dear Fellow Employees,
This morning we announced that American Airlines and US Airways will combine to create the new American Airlines, a premier global carrier. This is an exciting and historic day and you should take pride in your hard work and dedication to our customers, which have enabled us to achieve this goal. The combined company will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.
This merger is a result of your hard work to make US Airways the terrific airline it is today. We have achieved records in nearly every operating metric, including key customer reliability metrics of on-time performance and baggage handling. And we have accomplished this while generating our best-ever financial results. Congratulations!
Because of your efforts, we are able to choose the best path forward. In American Airlines, we have found the right partner to deliver significant value for you and for all of our stakeholders.
The transaction will combine American Airlines’ and US Airways’ complementary flight networks and provide more options for our customers. We will become the largest airline in the world and a highly competitive alternative for air travelers as they weigh their options amongst other global carriers. The new airline will retain the iconic, globally recognized American Airlines brand.
Unlike other transactions that are premised on excessive cost cuts, this merger is about the opportunities to grow revenues, which will also create more opportunities for employees as the combined airline flies more people to more places.
What This Means for US Airways Employees
The benefits of an American Airlines-US Airways combination for employees have been a focus of ours since we started contemplating this transaction. Employees from both companies have demonstrated their enthusiasm for this merger and played a significant role in facilitating the combination. As previously announced, the unions representing American Airlines pilots, flight attendants and ground employees, as well as the union representing US Airways pilots, have agreed to terms for improved collective bargaining agreements effective upon the closing of the merger.
In addition, the union representing US Airways flight attendants has reached a tentative agreement which includes support for the merger. American’s unions representing pilots and flight attendants are working with their US Airways counterparts to determine representation and single agreement protocols. This was an important step in this process, and they provide the framework to govern the terms of employment and integration for pilot and flight attendant unions of both companies.
Employees of the combined airline will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stable financial foundation, which will create greater opportunities over the long term. The merger will provide the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees. Importantly, the unions’ agreements represent an enhancement to compensation and benefits currently in place for US Airways employees. Furthermore, all employees of American Airlines and US Airways will also enjoy reciprocal travel privileges as quickly as possible.
This merger is great for all constituents, but I am particularly pleased for the employees of US Airways. You all have done an amazing job of transforming US Airways and I am confident we are all ready to move forward together as the new American. I have gotten to know a number of employees at American Airlines and I am certain that our combination will create the most capable and energetic team in the industry. I am looking forward to being a part of that team along with you.
What Happens Next? It’s Business As Usual
Until the transaction is complete, American Airlines and US Airways will remain separate companies, and it will be business as usual for all of us. The key to our success has been – and will continue to be – you. As we move forward, we ask that you continue to focus on your day-to-day responsibilities, and on providing our passengers with the industry-leading service they expect from US Airways.
As in any transaction of this size, the integration process will take time. In the coming weeks, we will establish a transition-planning team. We will also communicate more information to you as quickly as we can on our transition plans.
In terms of immediate next steps, the transaction must be approved by the bankruptcy court, and is subject to regulatory approvals, customary closing conditions and approval by US Airways shareholders. All of that work will take place over the coming months and we expect the merger to close in the third quarter of 2013.
Together we are running a great airline that is profitable and stable in a constantly evolving market, which is a testament to your hard work and dedication. You have helped position US Airways to choose this path, and I know you share my excitement about the opportunities ahead. Thank you for all you have done to make today’s announcement possible. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with each of you.
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