Single Operating Certificate Approved for American Airlines; US Airways is Officially No More

he operating certificates of US Airways and American Airlines have been combined into one single operating certificate as approved by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States effective as of today, rendering US Airways as the latest airline in commercial aviation in the United States to technically no longer exist.

American Airlines and US Airways had officially merged as of December 9, 2013 to become the largest airline in the world, taking the title from United Airlines on Friday, August 27, 2010, which in turn de-throned Delta Air Lines on Wednesday, October 29, 2008.

It appears that the incorporation of US Airways into American Airlines has been much smoother than the merger of US Airways with America West Airlines, which was not exactly implemented well.

The frequent flier loyalty programs of American Airlines and US Airways had officially been combined during the last weekend in March of 2015. As a result, the affected forums of FlyerTalk had been reorganized.

Northwest Airlines faded into history in December of 2009 when a single operating certificate was approved for Delta Air Lines; and Continental Airlines became nothing more than a memory in November of 2011 when a single operating certificate was approved for United Airlines — although it has been debated in both cases which airline actually survived despite the official name of the airline which survived.

Doug Parker — the chief executive officer of American Airlines, headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — originally attempted a hostile takeover of Delta Air Lines when he was chief executive officer of US Airways, which would have created the largest airline in the world back then. Delta Air Lines was reorganizing under the protection of bankruptcy back in 2006 when US Airways announced its attempt of a hostile takeover of Delta Air Lines. Christopher Muise — who at that time was a member of the Delta Board Council and was one of many Delta Air Lines employees who did not want to see Delta Air Lines become a part of US Airways — launched the Keep Delta My Delta campaign, which ultimately rallied the entire workforce of Delta Air Lines, as well as politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, companies associated with Delta Air Lines and — most importantly — the customers of Delta Air Lines.

US Airways lost its bid of a hostile takeover; and Delta Air Lines successfully emerged from bankruptcy protection on April 30, 2007. I attended the events and was on the special flight of Delta Air Lines flight 9998 with service around Atlanta and service from Atlanta to Salt Lake City to Los Angeles on Ship 638 — which is a Boeing 757-200 aircraft that was the first to sport the new livery now currently in use by the fleet of Delta Air Lines aircraft. I also authored a special temporary official weblog for Delta Air Lines about the entire experience. That temporary weblog of Delta Air Lines is now defunct; and I intend to post articles remembering those events in future articles here at The Gate — complete with plenty of photographs.

While on that aircraft which flew twice around Atlanta, I sat next to a Delta Air Lines employee. During the taxi of the aircraft before making its way up the ramp towards the runway, the Delta Air Lines employee sitting in seat 41A suddenly wondered aloud, “Imagine if all this was not here.”

Never even mind that: imagine what the commercial aviation landscape in the United States might look like today had US Airways been successful in its hostile takeover bid of Delta Air Lines.

As a little bit of history, I first asked on December 20, 2006 as to with which airline Delta Air Lines should merge based on a discussion posted on FlyerTalk. Delta Air Lines was in bankruptcy at the time. There was speculation as to what would become the new livery for Delta Air Lines before it officially emerged out of bankruptcy on April 30, 2007.

In the meantime, rest in peace, US Airways.

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