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HIA: Don't expect US-American merger impact until 2014

By , - Last modified: February 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Any time two airlines merge, as in the deal announced today by the boards of U.S. Airways and American Airlines, there's bound to be some change at airports around the country — but don't expect those until 2014, Harrisburg International Airport spokesman Scott Miller said today.

The two airlines are expecting to complete their merger sometime in the third quarter of this year but first need approval from the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division. After that, the two airlines need to work out fleet and union issues, which likely will push changes at airports into the new year.

U.S. Airways is HIA's largest airline, carrying 379,450 passengers to and from the airport in 2012, according to airport statistics. American is its fourth-largest airline with total passengers of 84,245 last year.

"Obviously we're concerned about the local jobs," Miller said.

It's not expected that a merger of the two companies would result in massive changes, such as AirTran Airways' exit from HIA last year after its acquisition by Southwest Airlines was completed, he said.

"We weren't very excited about that merger," he said.

HIA has seen changes to airline service when other companies, such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, embarked on their own acquisitions and mergers in the past. So for now it's a waiting game, he said.

"There will be changes in service but not like (AirTran-Southwest)," Miller said.

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