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US And American Airlines Vow To Fight Merger Block

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Executives of US Airways and American Airlines are vowing to fight a move by the Federal Government to block their merger.

The CEOs of both American and US Airways have said their airlines can prosper without the merger. But it’s clear that investors think they would prosper more by combining – and that other airlines would benefit as well.

“There will be benefits to our customers, there will be more flights, to more cities. Smaller communities will be served,” attorneys for the airlines said.

Meantime, Allegheny County leaders are concerned about the future of Pittsburgh International Airport.

The airport once had more than 500 flights daily, now it just has close to 50.

Sources close to the issue are convinced that if the merger does go through, the maintenance and operations center jobs at Pittsburgh International Airport will be eliminated.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says, “We don’t know yet how a merger will effect things like the operations center and maintenance center. We’ve had no commitments. We’ve certainly heard statements out of the headquarters that haven’t given us a lot of hope at this point.”

Airline stocks fell for a second day Wednesday after the Justice Department sued to stop the merger.

Investors cheered mergers because of a belief that they lead to a more stable, profitable industry. Delta bought Northwest in 2008 and United and Continental merged in 2010.

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