Airline merger includes commitments to PA airports

Written by Tim Lambert and The Associated Press | Nov 12, 2013 8:55 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- State Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she's worked to assure US Airways and American Airlines continue service to Pennsylvania airports, including Harrisburg International Airport, after their merger.

The deal has been approved by the Justice Department.

Kane says she opposed the merger, which creates the world's largest airline, but says a stipulated court order has been filed locking the airlines into serving Pennsylvania airports.

"This order is good news for consumers. One million Pennsylvania air travelers would have been negatively impacted by the merger, as initially proposed by the airlines," Kane said in a statement. "The work of the Antitrust Section of the Office of Attorney General ensured Pennsylvania's service protections are stronger than other states' settlements as they are guaranteed by a court order, violations of which are punishable by contempt."

US Airways is guaranteeing to continue to operate a hub at Philadelphia International Airport for three years, and the merged airline has agreed to continue service at every Pennsylvania airport, like HIA, already served by either or both airlines for the next five years.

Kane says the agreement prevents some Pennsylvania markets from losing service, which has occurred after past airline mergers. Examples cited by the AG's Office include the Delta/Northwest merger, which saw Harrisburg lost service to Minneapolis and the Southwest/AirTran merger, where Southwest pulled out of Allentown and Harrisburg entirely and greatly reduced its service to Philadelphia.

The airlines' commitments are enforceable by contempt of court actions if they're broken.


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