US Airways CEO says merger is 'great' for Charlotte

Credit: Getty Images

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 14: Thomas Horton (L) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines, and Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of US Airways pose with a model triple seven airraft during a news conference to announce the merger of the two airlinesFebruary 14, 2013 in Dallas Texas. US Airways and American Airlines have agreed to an $11 billion merger, creating the largest airline in the world. The airline will be called American Airlines and be headed by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. (Photo by Donna McWilliam/Getty Images


by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 6:21 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- US Airways CEO Doug Parker made a stop in the Queen City Thursday to discuss the pending merger with American Airlines. The Department of Justice still has to approve the merger, but Parker says he feels confident it’s a positive move for Charlotte.

"This merger is fantastic news," said US Airways CEO, Doug Parker.
Parker met with Charlotte news media inside a first class flight training facility raving about the positive impact the pending merger with American Airlines will mean for the Queen city.
"You just can't say enough good things about what this means for Charlotte, how important Charlotte will be to the new American Airlines," said Parker.
Parker praised Aviation Director Jerry Orr's leadership however declined to pick sides when asked about the debate over the state taking over authority from the city.
"It's important it be run efficiently and that's really all we care about; we're not picking sides in this debate. What we care about is ensuring whatever the result of the debate, that the airport continue to be run so efficiently," said Parker.
Running about 90-percent of the daily flights at Charlotte Douglas, Parker says merging with American will only make them a stronger competitor with the two running about 900 routes and only 12 overlapping.
"What it really creates is a fourth strong competitor to the three airlines that are already larger than us, United, Delta and Southwest, and it allows us to compete against those airlines better so we think it helps competition," said Parker.
When questioned about travelers concerns over rate hikes, Parker dismissed that possibility.
"Nothing about this is about increasing fares, in our models we have no fare increases whatsoever, driving improved profitability, it's all driven by the fact that we can now attract customers that we couldn't attract before,” said Parker.
And Parker said there's even a bonus for frequent fliers: they can combine and retain all their miles.

He also said there’s no concern for the 7,100 local employees. There will not be mass layoffs because they won’t have to cut services or operations.