For all the talk of merging American and US Airways, the reality was always that the tie-up was more like a hostile takeover than a marriage between willing partners. US Airways' chief Doug Parker wanted American—which was an unwilling partner until the outcome was all but inevitable—and he was cunning and audacious enough to get a deal done.
The majority of those travelers polled in February were opposed to the merger, presumably because they saw US Airways as the inferior carrier and feared that combining the two airlines would amount to a downgrade for American.
We're a long way from the actual integration of the two operations. But today the airlines published a list of the senior executives from each company who will play key roles in the merged airlines' future. It provides a glimpse into the new company's DNA and confirms the fears of many travelers that the new American will be more like US Airways than the old American.
According to the news release, the senior leadership team will be as follows:
From US Airways
Chairman & CEO - Doug Parker
President - Scott Kirby
Chief Operating Officer - Robert Isom
CFO - Derek Kerr
EVP Human Resources & Communications - Elise Eberwein
EVP Corporate Affairs - Stephen Johnson
Chief Integration Officer - Beverly Goulet
Chief Information Officer - Maya Leibman
SVP Government Affairs - William Ris
That's six senior managers from US Airways, versus just three from American. And if the management power and responsibility associated with the titles is factored in, the imbalance in favor of US Airways is even more striking.
To the victor go the spoils. And Parker and his team are indisputably the victors here.
It remains to be seen how consumers will fare under the new regime. But if you need a likely preview, look to US Airways rather than to American.
Reader Reality Check
Are you encouraged or demoralized by these appointments?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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