American's Goulet, US Air's Kirby to lead merger integration

Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:43am IST

U.S. Airways President Scott Kirby speaks at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington December 5, 2006. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. Airways President Scott Kirby speaks at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington December 5, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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(Reuters) - US Airways Group Inc LCC.N and American Airlines, which announced earlier this month that they would merge to form the world's biggest air carrier, named executives on Monday to lead their integration team.

Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, and Bev Goulet, chief restructuring officer at AMR Corp's (AAMRQ.PK) American, will develop plans so the airlines can start melding as soon as the $11 billion merger closes, expected in the third quarter, the chief executives of the carriers said in a staff memo.

A merged American-US Airways would have revenue of more than $38 billion based on 2012 figures, ahead of current No. 1 United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.N), the product of a 2010 merger. US Airways began its pursuit of a merger not long after American filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late November 2011.

Kirby, who has been US Airways president since 2006, had a major role in negotiating with labor and analyzing the revenue and costs benefits expected from the merger, the memo said.

Goulet was named American chief restructuring officer in December 2011 and has served as vice president for corporate development at the carrier since 2002. She had a prime role in negotiating the equity splits of 28 percent for US Airways and 72 percent for American stakeholders in the merger.

Doug Parker and Tom Horton, the CEOs of US Airways and American, respectively, added in the memo that Kirby and Goulet would join them on a transition committee that will set up planning teams that include leaders from both carriers. An outside merger project management firm will also work with the carriers.

The parent of the merged airline will be called American Airlines Group Inc, according to a U.S. filing last week. The merger is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, US Airways shareholders and regulatory authorities. A federal bankruptcy judge will consider approving the merger on March 27.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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