Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti supports a controversial proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways that would create the largest airline in the world, an administration official told me on Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to block the tie-up, with government lawyers arguing it will be bad for airline industry competition and that fares in many markets likely will rise. American and US Airways have been mounting a challenge, both legally and politically. Recently, airline officials have been lobbying elected leaders in key areas to go on the record in support of the merger. (In one major victory, American and US Airways persuaded Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to drop his state’s participation in the Justice Department Lawsuit.)
American has a major operation at Los Angeles International Airport, one of five cities nationwide at which it operates the bulk of its flights. The others are Dallas, New York, Miami and Chicago.
“We support the merger,” Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman told me in an email. “Bringing together these companies creates a better network that will carry more passengers through Los Angeles Airports, creating jobs and economic activity in the process.”
I reached out to Millman today after the two airlines released a letter signed by seven mayors in American and US Airways hub cities urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder “to reconsider this ill-conceived lawsuit.” Garcetti was not one of the mayors on the letterhead.
“…Failure to clear the combination of American Airlines and US Airways will put our cities at an unnecessary competitive disadvantage to Atlanta, Newark and other hubs that directly benefit from the Delta and United mergers,” the seven mayors wrote in their letter.
Read on to see the letter, which was signed by the mayors of Chicago, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Dallas, Miami-Dade County, Phoenix and Charlotte.