Reward schemes to combine as US airline giants merge
Planned US$11bn merger awaits approval from regulators and bankruptcy court
American Airlines and US Airways are to combine their rewards schemes after announcing their planned merger.
The US$11bn merger will create one of the world’s biggest airlines which, if it is approved by regulators, will operate under the American Airlines name.
US Airways is part of Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline alliance. American Airlines, is a pioneer of frequent flyer schemes and operates the AAdvantage programme. It is a founding member of the smaller Oneworld alliance.
In a joint statement the airlines said the merger will “improve valuable loyalty programme benefits through expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network”.
They added that it will also enhance connectivity within the oneworld Alliance – including joint businesses with British Airways and Iberia across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific – creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally. US Airways Dividend Miles members will join the AAdvantage scheme.
The merged airline will reduce the number of major airlines in the United States to four – the new American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.
The new combined airline will offer 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.
The two companies enter their partnership under differing circumstances. US Airways runs a profitable business, while American has been pushed into bankruptcy after heavy recent losses. In addition to the competition regulators, a US bankruptcy court will have to approve the deal before it can go ahead.