Tag Archives: US Airways

AMA to stay in the game with new airline

American Airlines and US Airways want to merge. Texas officials had protested their merger … until Tuesday.

The state has reached an agreement with the potential new airline giant that seeks a guarantee that the airline will serve 22 Texas cities for at least the next three years. The announcement came from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — who also is running to become the state’s next governor.


What does this mean for Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport? It means AMA stays in the American Airlines network of terminals now being served.

AMA has some additional skin in this game, given Amarillo’s unique relationship with American Airlines. The city once poured several millions of public dollars into keeping jet service at AMA. It came in the form of sales tax money collected by the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. Some communities, even some media, scoffed at Amarillo for paying more than $1 million annually to American Airlines to keep the jets flying between AMA and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The strategy served to boost the city’s business climate.

That was then. American flies jets exclusively now in and out of AMA.

The merger likely now will go through, even though the federal government is protesting it. The feds contend the merger likely would be bad for competition and would drive the already-expensive cost of air travel even farther upward.

American Airlines and its parent company AMR have been huge corporate partners in Texas. The deal also means the airline will keep its headquarters in the Metroplex and that D-FW Airport will serve as the airline’s major hub.

Communities such as Amarillo, though, need the service to D-FW. Let’s hope the deal struck between the state and the company will lead to a longer-term commitment to this growing community.

Airline merger equals campaign issue

If I understand Tom Pauken correctly, the fact that the state’s attorney general actually supports the federal government’s decision to fight a proposed airline merger makes the AG’s position a non-starter.

Why? Because the AG has been fighting the feds for years and the state simply cannot possibly be on the same side as the enemy — no matter the merits of the case.

Ah … Texas politics. Nothing like it.

Pauken is running for the Republican nomination for Texas governor against AG Greg Abbott, who says he fears a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways would result in fare increases and reduced service to rural areas.


The feds say the same thing about the proposed merger. Thus, Abbott and the U.S. Justice Department are on the same page on this very specific issue. Abbott and/or his staff of lawyers presumably have analyzed the specifics of the case and determined that, by golly, maybe the feds have a point.

Isn’t that what lawyers do? Pauken, himself a lawyer as well as a former Texas Republican Party chairman, ought to understand that principle.

Instead, he seems to be suggesting that Abbott — who is fighting on behalf those who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act — simply must remain opposed to President Obama, Eric Holder and the federal government because they’re just so darn unpopular in Texas.

This is where every single policy statement becomes a campaign issue.

Ain’t Texas politics grand?

Feds block airline merger

The federal government’s intervention in the proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways leaves me a bit puzzled.

The link attached to this blog notes that the feds want to prevent further escalation of air fares, which they believe will occur with this merger; but previous mergers have had precisely that effect already.


Amarillo is served by American Airlines, which flies several times a day to and from Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The city has skin in American’s future here, given that we once subsidized – through economic development money collected from sales tax revenue – jet service between AMA and DFW.

On one hand, I applaud the government for looking out for the flying public. On other hand, the feds seem a bit tardy in joining this fight, given the direction air fares already have gone during the past decade.

My wife and I have made something of a pact between us already that from here on, virtually all our future travel throughout North America will be aboard our shiny new travel vehicle. We plan to spend extensive time on the road from this day forward.

But we do have some overseas destinations on our agenda. We’ll make that decision when the time is right.

But the airlines that serve AMA need not look to us to spend much time sitting in cramped seats, with our knees tucked up under our chins – all the while having to pay extra for a bag of peanuts.

I reckon we’re not alone in our view of air travel these days. I also am presuming that the marketplace will determine whether we continue to pay through the nose for air travel.