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Reports: US Airways, American merger could be imminent

A merger between the nation’s third and fourth-largest airlines could be announced as early as this week, according to reports.

American Airlines and US Airways executives have been working to reach a deal that would result in the nation’s largest airline, with the boards of both companies reportedly set to meet this week to vote on any merger agreement.

Industry experts cautioned that any deal would first need to be approved by a New York City bankruptcy court overseeing the Chapter 11 reorganization of American Airlines parent AMR Corp., and that federal regulators and antitrust authorities would also need to sign off on an eventual merger.

The two companies have been in talks over a merger for several months. Based on current numbers for both airlines, if the merger proceeds, the combined company would have nearly 100,000 employees and 6,500 daily flights, with nearly $39 billion in total sales.

The merger could resemble recent airline consolidations, including that of United Airlines, which merged with Continental Airlines in 2011, and Delta Airlines, which merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008.

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