Judge approves American-US Airways merger - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Judge approves American-US Airways merger

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NEW YORK (AP) -

The $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways won bankruptcy court approval Wednesday.

The widely-expected decision by Judge Sean H. Lane helps clear the way for the two carriers form the world's biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion.

The merger, first announced on February 14, still needs approval from antitrust regulators and US Airways shareholders. It is expected to close by the fall.

"The merger is an excellent result. I don't think anybody disputes that," Lane said during a court hearing. American has been in bankruptcy protection since November 2011.

"Judge Lane's approval of the merger agreement today allows us to continue progressing forward with our planned merger and we are gratified to know that he considers the merger an "excellent result" for stakeholders. The Court approved the merger agreement but deferred ruling on Mr. Horton's compensation arrangement," the two airlines said in a joint statement about the ruling.

Lane decided not to approve a $20 million severance package for outgoing American CEO Tom Horton. He plans to issue a written decision at a later date detailing his reasoning.

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