On Nov. 27, 2013, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean H. Lane, overseeing the bankruptcy of AMR Corporation, American Airlines’ parent company, approved a settlement that resolved regulatory objections and paved the way for the merger between AMR and U.S. Airways. The settlement is between the two airlines and the Department of Justice, as well as Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, all of which had submitted challenges to the merger. Under the terms of the settlement, the airlines agreed to divest 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) along with other concessions at those airports, and to divest two gates and related support facilities at Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport.
On Dec. 4, customers who also had attempted to block the merger filed a motion with the bankruptcy judge requesting a stay of his order consummating the merger while the customers appealed the decision to the district court. The customers argued that the merger was anticompetitive because, among other things, it would result in a reduction of capacity, availability and service. The request for a stay was immediately denied, and on Dec. 5, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska rejected the appeal and confirmed Judge Lane’s decision to approve the settlement and allow the merger to proceed. The merger between the two airlines became official on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, making it the world’s largest airline.