American-US Airways to begin codesharing in February

Washington DC
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American Airlines and US Airways will begin codesharing in February 2014, with the latter submitting its first applications for international codeshare authority to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) today.

Codeshares will be implemented in several waves followed by the US Airways code disappearing at the end of the month, says Scott Kirby, president of the Tempe, Arizona-based carrier and soon-to-be president of American once the carriers’ merger closes on 9 December.

US Airways will operate flights with American flight numbers from the end of February until the carriers move to a single operating certificate, which is expected by the end of 2015, he says.

Keeping with these codeshare plans, US Airways submitted requests to the DOT for exemptions to either place its code on American flights to Bolivia and Venezuela, or to operate the flights with its own equipment today.

Fort Worth, Texas-based American serves La Paz and Santa Cruz on Bolivia, and Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia in Venezuela.

US Airways does not serve either country.

The airlines will implement reciprocal frequent flyer accrual, redemption and elite status recognition on 7 January 2014, ahead of their planned codeshare, says Kirby.

US Airways hopes to enter the Oneworld alliance the day after it leaves the Star Alliance, which is expected at the end of the first quarter, he says.

The carriers are targeting a single frequent flyer programme by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, and a single reservation system about the time they move to a single operating certificate late in 2015.

Despite a US Department of Justice (DOJ) challenge to the merger, which delayed close from the end of the third quarter to this month, Kirby says that American and US Airways are on track to meet their timeline of integrating the two airlines by the end of 2015.

The carriers and the Justice department announced a settlement, which includes the divestiture of 52 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport and 17 pairs at New York LaGuardia, on 12 November.