by Michael J. Shapiro | November 13, 2013
US Airways and AMR Corp., which owns American Airlines, have settled the litigation filed in August by the U.S. Department of Justice and various states that challenged the merger of the two carriers. The settlement was reached with the U.S. DOJ and Arizona,  Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Colombia; a previous settlement with Texas will be amended to make it consistent with the new settlement. The terms of the settlement call for the airlines to divest 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport and 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport, as well as certain gates and facilities at those airports. Additionally, the airlines will have to divest two gates and related facilities at each of the following airports: Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International and Miami International. These will occur after the merger, through a process approved by the DOJ. The divestitures are expected to result in the new airline operating 44 fewer daily departures at DCA and 12 fewer daily departures at LGA than the two airlines combine to operate today. According to the airlines, this reduction isn't expected to affect total employment at the new carrier. Additionally, the new American Airlines has agreed with the U.S. Department of Transportation to use all of its Washington commuter slot pairs for service to the small- and medium-sized markets it currently serves from that airport, to maintain service to those communities. The new airline also has agreed to maintain its hubs in Charlotte, New York (Kennedy), Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago (O'Hare), Philadelphia and Phoenix, consistent with its current operations, for at least three years. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court still must approve the settlements; assuming that and some other conditions, the carriers expect to complete their merger by December.