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US Airways-American Merger Could Be A Big Deal For Philly Travelers

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(credit: Jim Watson/Getty Images)

(credit: Jim Watson/Getty Images)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The chief of Philadelphia International Airport says the benefits to local flyers from the pending merger of US Airways and American airlines are huge including the potential of more international flights.

(Mark Gale, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport, testifies before Philadelphia City Council.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

(Mark Gale, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport, testifies before Philadelphia City Council. Image from City of Phila. TV)

At a city council hearing this past week, Airport CEO Mark Gale was asked about the local impact of the pending merger of the biggest Philly-based carrier, US Airways with American Airlines.

Gale said it will make possible service to 59 cities that US Airways does not now serve, and will open the door to more international flights as well.

“We think that that would be an opportunity for US Airways to start new service to new cities that we currently do not get to. And all of that domestic traffic is really what is required to make international flights viable.”

Gale is hoping this merger will one day lead to direct flights out of Philadelphia to countries like China and India; using larger planes that American now has on order.

“When the two airlines are merged together they will have direct access immediately to over 1500 airplanes. 147 or so of those airplanes are wide-bodied, capable of long haul flights.”

The $11 Billion merger was given tentative approval last month by a federal bankruptcy judge. If finalized, it would create the largest airline in the world.

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