American-US Airline Merger
Updated: Thursday, February 14 2013, 08:02 PM EST
American Airlines and US Airways announce they're merging to form the world's largest airline.
American has a history of flying out of Asheville Regional airport and US Airways now has connecting flights from Asheville to major hubs.
Several people we spoke with told us they like to fly American, and they hope the merger would add direct flights and expand those connecting flights to larger cities.
American filed for bankruptcy protection in November of 2011.
US Airways made a public bid for the company and today both companies announced the merger.
American did fly a very popular direct route from Asheville to Dallas-Fort Worth beginning in the summer of 2010, but they canceled it after two years.
The merger with US Airways could take several years but it could mean more flights for Asheville Regional.
Tina Kinsey, Asheville Regional Airport, "with this merger with American, what is happening is, a bigger route structure for that airline, and US Airways really likes Asheville, they like the service that they have here, and now they have an expanded route structure which might mean opportunity for us."
Louly Peacock, U.S. Airways passenger, "as a traveler, I think it might help, because I like to have more options for my traveling, for where I'm going to go, and where I have to change planes, or I don't have to change planes, that would be quite nice."
One concern among passengers is the rise in fares when the nation loses a major air carrier through a merger.
Reduced competition usually results in an increase in air fares, but with fuel costs on the rise it's been tough for some airlines to make a profit.
There are now only three major airlines in the US market, Delta and Northwest announced a merger in 2008, and United and Continental merged in 2010.
By Sherrill Barber
Follow Sherrill on Twitter @SherrillBarber