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United, USAir could talk merger

Jeremy Hobson May 29, 2008
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United, USAir could talk merger

Jeremy Hobson May 29, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The CEO’s of United and US Airways are getting together for a chat today. I’m sure after they talk about what new fees they can charge and what else they can cut out, they’ll discuss a merger. Jeremy Hobson has more.


Jeremy Hobson: There are the obvious hurdles to talk about:
combining different labor unions, different systems and fleets. Plus, who would run the new company? And where would it be headquartered?

But Daniel Petree at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University says in the current environment, United and US Airways don’t have much choice.

Hobson: Do you think the option for these big carriers right now is combine or go out of business?

Daniel Petree: Ummm . . . it’s very hard to argue that the status quo can continue.

There’s also a feeling that if the airlines are going to consolidate, they’d better to do it while President Bush is in office.

Here’s airline industry analyst Robert Mann:

Robert Mann: They want to get this Justice Department involved, which they think they understand, as opposed to the next Justice Department which they may or may not understand.

And, Mann says, if the Northwest-Delta merger goes through, it would be hard for authorities to say no to United and US Airways.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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