LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport won’t immediately be affected by the recently announced $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The two companies are joining forces to become the largest airline in the United States.

“The new airline will keep the iconic American Airlines brand and will have a worldwide network reaching 336 destinations in 56 countries. With a fleet of more than 600 aircraft, the new American will be a member of an enhanced oneworld alliance,” American Airlines posted on its Facebook page.

Because the airlines have little destination overlap, passengers will eventually be able to travel with fewer connections.

“The only way to survive, at least some of the airlines believe, is to merge together, grow and then don’t overlap as much,” Rick Seaney CEO of Farecompare.com said.

Travelers will also be able to keep rewards they’ve earned from both airlines, which means travelers who fly both airlines will eventually be able to combine their miles.

“Our best goal going forward is to make it the biggest, best airline in the country and I suppose that’s about to happen,” AA pilot Chris Manno said.

However, it will take months, and possibly even years, for the new airline to be fully integrated. A federal judge and the Department of Justice must still approve the merger, as American Airlines is attempting to emerge from bankruptcy.

“Both American and US Airways are distinguished by our proud histories and look forward to our bright future as we build the world’s leading airline,” AA Chairman and CEO Thomas Horton wrote Thursday in an email to customers.


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