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Expected US Airways-American merger will affect NC

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TWC News: Expected US Airways-American merger will affect NC
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How will the merger affect jobs and airfares?

Read Adam's blog post about the US Airways-American merger at our Capital Tonight blog here.

CHARLOTTE – American Airlines' new TV ads point to a transformation at the 79-year-old carrier, complete with a new logo and a voice-over from Mad Men star Jon Hamm.

The new American logo could be on its way to more airplanes around the world. Its anticipated merger with US Airways could be announced as soon as Tuesday, according to media reports from American's headquarters in Dallas.

Travelers at Charlotte-Douglas International said they're concerned the deal could cause ticket prices to rise.

"I think it might have an impact on pricing because it eliminates the competition," said flier Mike Sullivan.

But Charlotte-Douglas Aviation Director Jerry Orr believes the deal is a win for North Carolina.

"We'll be dealing with the world's largest airline and it's always a little bit of a comfort dealing with a big company rather than a little company," he said.

US Airways employs about 7,000 people in North Carolina, most in Charlotte. American airlines has 1,600 employees in the state. Orr expects post-merger layoffs at both airlines, but he said he thinks the combined company will add positions at the Charlotte hub.

"Well you always expect some job growth,” Orr said. “That's not always a given. But I would certainly expect some job growth."

The merged company -- likely to be called American Airlines -- would give North Carolina travelers more access to international destinations.

"Particularly in Central and South America,” Orr said. Those are developing economies and that's where the growth is going to be over the next 20 years."

Getting to those destinations should be business-as-usual for now. Federal regulators would have to approve any deal.

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