US Airways' departure for the Oneworld alliance following the close of its planned merger with American Airlines will be good for competition, says Star Alliance chief executive Mark Schwab.
"We strongly believe that fair competition among alliances - strong high-quality [and] running sustainable businesses - is in the best interest of both global and national economies," says Schwab at an International Aviation Club of Washington DC event today.
He adds that the same is true regarding the decision of Brazil's TAM to move to Oneworld following its merger with Chile's LAN Airlines.
Scott Kirby, president of Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways, said in July that the carrier planned to be "transitioned to Oneworld by the beginning of next year".
Executives at the carrier as well as those at American maintain that the merger will close by the end of the third quarter, however, they are still awaiting US Department of Justice antitrust approval.
Schwab is not concerned with the departure. He says that Star will remain the largest of the three global alliances even without US Airways.
"US Airways has been a strong and loyal alliance player," he says. "My respect goes to the US Airways management team - they've got a lot of work ahead of them - and, assuming the merger gets approved, we wish them well."