American Airlines and US Airways to merge!

American Airlines and US Airways have completed talks and started taking steps to merge. This merger would effectively make the new company the biggest airline in the world! We are looking at the possibility of a fleet size of nearly 1000 aircrafts (very few of which are regional aircrafts). Read story below;

While the US Airways is the smaller of the two airlines, it is also the world's biggest operator of the A320 family. Something tells me we are about to experience the retirement of all AA MD-80 on a massive scale! AA operates 167 of these beauties!

Guys, ......get ready to purchase retired and idle MD-80's from the desert! :)  :P  :wub:  

The majority of these MD-80s will be scrapped in today’s environment. The younger MD-83-batches (inherited with the TWA-integration) could find new homes or end up as sources for spares too. The ultimate retirement of the remaining MD-80s at AA will be probably delayed. Original plans called for a swift and accelerated retirement but some indications strongly fuel rumors that American Airlines will retain MD-80s longer than originally planned.

AA has always considered steps to elongate the lives of the MD-80s but has never been able to come up with a good plan that was cost effective - what the MD-80s really needed was a re-engining program which AA was too skittish and broke to consider. It made much more sense to just simply procure new Boeings but because the airline has been cash-strapped, it has been slow in replacing the fleet of MD-80 which numbered over 300 at some point! With the onset and approval of the merger by the Justice dept., both airlines had to agree to give up hub slots in major airports. This means that there will  soon be a massive consolidation of routes and connections - a move which will leave quite a few less efficient equipment redundant and unneeded.

I am guessing that the most likely fallout of this deal is that AA’s big headache (the modernization of a big chunk of its fleet) is instantly mitigated with US Airway’s much younger fleet of Airbuses. The idea is to strengthen each others weakness and consolidate wherever there is an overlap or over-supply. This makes it very, very likely that the 160+ MD-80s may very well be on their way out. While Delta Airlines (the second large MD-80 operator) has recently invested millions into upgrading their MD-80 fleet’s avionic (signed a contract to install IS&S Flat panel display (FPD) cockpit), it is worth noting and perhaps telling that AA has not made any such investment.