Eleven months after American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge, the union that creates the world's largest airline became official Monday.
The parent companies of the two airlines, AMR Corp. and US Airways Group, have formally become American Airlines Group Inc., with common shares traded on Nasdaq under the symbol AAL. The new airline will be based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Officials for the airlines say it may take up to two years before the employees and planes for the two carriers operate as one.
For now, the two airlines operate separate websites and reservation systems. By early January, passengers are to be able to earn and redeem miles when traveling on either carrier, as well as reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits and reciprocal elite recognition.
Together, the two airlines are to operate nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries and employ more than 100,000 workers.
The merger has the support of several labor groups, including the Assn. of Professional Flight Attendants for American Airlines, which faced an uncertain future after AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
"Christmas has come early for the APFA," said union President Laura Glading. "It's been a long, tough slog, but today our hard work has paid off."
However, mechanics and machinists for US Airways, represented by the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, have been without a contract for more than two years and threaten to oppose the merger until a contract is negotiated.