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Consumer Travel Alliance against US Airways, American merger

Staff writer |
US Airways Group and American Airlines say their merger should win regulatory approval because their networks are complementary but Consumer Travel Alliance says that the merger would eliminate competition and raise ticket prices.

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US Airways Group and American Airlines claim that out of more than 900 domestic nonstop routes only 12 have overlapping nonstop flights. Contrary to that, a study by the Consumer Travel Alliance says that the merger would eliminate connecting-flight competition between the airlines on 761 common connecting routes, and that the new American would be able to raise ticket prices on those flights.

Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit consumer travel-rights group, wants antitrust regulators to look at how the merger will affect competition on both nonstop and connecting flights. According to the study, 40 percent of American's connecting routes and 30 percent of US Airways' connecting routes have overlap.

"Real competition between network airlines takes place through connecting flights, where these two airlines compete now but will not after the merger," said Charlie Leocha, Consumer Travel Alliance director.

US Airways and the bankrupt American announced that they would merge to create the world's largest airline.

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