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Merger: FAA OKs single operating certificate for American

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Merger: FAA OKs single operating certificate for American

American Airlines cleared one of its most significant milestones yet Wednesday as it pushes ahead on its merger with US Airways. The Federal Aviation Administration granted the carriers a “single operating certificate” (SOC) that recognizes them as a single airline. The impact to passengers is minimal, but the move is a key step in American’s effort to finish its integration with US Airways and begin flying under a single brand. Eventually, the US Airways name will fade away, with the combined carrier operating simply as American and flying American-branded airplanes.635628028980376826-AP-American-Airlines-US-Airways-Merger

American’s attainment of the SOC “really isn’t noticeable from a customer perspective, but it’s quite significant internally,” Bob Mann, an aviation consultant and former American executive, tells Bloomberg News. “It covers every maintenance procedure, every training procedure, every operational procedure and every safety-oriented procedure.” “Think of it as the ultimate enabler for integration,” Ed Bular, an American SVP who headed the SOC effort, says to The Dallas Morning News. “The rest of the airline really cannot integrate until the airline officially becomes one.”

Among the looming tasks will be moving both carriers to a single reservations system. “Once we get to a single reservation system for our customers it will look and feel like a combined airline,” American CEO Doug Parker adds to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We can do that now because we have a single operating certificate.”

American, which so far has hit its merger timeline projections, expects that to happen this fall. Historically, switching to a single reservation system has been the most troublesome part of previous airline mergers. However, American so far has navigated its merger process with few hiccups.


February 2018
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