U.S. Airways and American Airlines executives were forced to defend their merger plans on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Two consumer groups also testified saying the merger would be bad for consumers; fares would go up with reduced service to small communities.

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker and Tom Horton of American say they can save billions of dollars annually by joining forces.

Parker also says things like management reductions, consolidated IT systems and consolidating facilities will bring down costs.

The merger would keep the American name, though it still needs approval of a bankruptcy judge, U.S. Airways shareholders and U.S. regulators.

Parker will be in Charlotte on Thursday to talk about the merger.

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