From the LA Times:
American Airlines and US Airways are, after some battling, now both publicly open to merging. But a new report warns that such a merger, which would result in the nation's largest airline, could be bad for consumers because it might reduce competition, create strongholds at key airports and lead to higher fares....Jan Brueckner, a UC Irvine economics professor, said he and his colleagues at the university have studied the effects of a hypothetical merger between US Airways and American and predicted a minimal effect on fares. "I don't think anybody needs to worry about this merger," he said. "It just makes sense." Brueckner added that most of the pressure that larger carriers face to keep fares low comes from low-cost airlines, such as Southwest Airlines, which recently bought AirTran Airways in Orlando, Fla.

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