by Michael J. Shapiro | February 14, 2013

Responding to concerns that further consolidation of the airline industry will decrease competition, the CEOs of US Airways and American Airlines stressed the complementary nature of their businesses. Of the more than 900 routes each carrier flies, only 12 routes overlap. "That's only going to increase competition," said Doug Parker during Thursday's press conference, noting that the improved reach of the combined airline places it on equal footing with United and Delta. Parker, the current chairman and CEO of US Airways, will become CEO of the new American Airlines when the merger closes, likely by the third quarter of this year. Tom Horton, American's current chairman, president and CEO, will serve as chairman of the combined airlines' board of directors through its first annual shareholder meeting. Horton also will serve as the new airline's representative to the Oneworld Alliance and the International Air Transport Association for that same period, before turning the reins over to Parker. The two carriers expect that once the airlines have merged operations, total profits will be more than $1 billion greater than if the two airlines operated separately. The combined American Airlines will offer more than 6,700 flights each day, to 336 destinations in 56 countries.