AMR chief executive Tom Horton told employees that the merger with US Airways could be completed in about six months.
Here is the full letter sent out to American Airlines employees on Thursday morning.
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!