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Airline mergers: Which aircraft maker wins?

US Airways planes sit on the tarmac at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport on September 1, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

When a couple gets together, there can be tussles over favorite brands. I like one kind of peanut butter, my husband  likes another. The American-US Airways merger is kind of like that, on steroids. American has traditionally bought Boeing planes. US Airways prefers Airbus.

Seth Kaplan, with Airline Weekly, says there won’t be fights over brands in this airline marriage, at least initially.

“It’s like two people who already have their own place to live and they’re sort of putting it all together into one," he says.  "And they might not need as much together as they did separately.”

American Airlines already ordered a boatload of new planes before the merger talks. US Airways could have said,"Uh uh, honey, we have to buy my brand. " But it didn’t. Maybe because American actually split the order between Boeing and Airbus.

Airline analyst Darryl Jenkins says that’s because Boeing and Airbus had to finance the deals. 

“They kind of split it up to reduce the risk on both sides," he explains. "So I think everyone made out very well on this one.”

But, the winner of the first deal the merged airlines do as a couple, is anybody’s guess.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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