U.S. and American Airlines Merger Could Negatively Impact Huntsville

Photo: MGN Online

Photo: MGN Online

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Two weeks before U.S. Air and American Airlines were to go to trial in an anti-trust case, the feds reached a compromise with them and called off the lawsuit.

The deal requires the two airlines sell to low-cost carriers 34 slots, or rights for departures and arrivals, at New York’s LaGuardia and 104 slots at Washington D.C.’s Reagan National.

“We want those slots up there.  We can’t lose them.  We’re for it as long as they continue to use us,” said Huntsville Airport Authority Chairman Carl Gessler.

“That’s by far our number one market,” said Airport Authority Executive Director Rick Tucker.

Huntsville International Airport authorities are worried the merger, which will create the world’s largest airline, would leave smaller communities like Huntsville out.

Forbes.com reports the new “American,” as it will be called, will use all of its commuter slots out of Reagan National for service to smaller communities.

“Right now, U.S. Airways are using a number of their slots, a significant number of their slots that they have in D.C. for small communities like Huntsville.  We have 4 flights a day during the week back and forth,” said Tucker

While Tucker hopes to maintain those flights, Huntsville Airport officials say it’s too soon to know exactly how the move will affect flights in and out of the Rocket City to the Capital City.

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