American + US Airways
No doubt a potential merging of
(LCC) is a live one
, awaiting the resolution of just a single problem:
American has no interest.
It has so little interest that it even violated its longstanding policy of not commenting on potential mergers to make its lack of interest clear.
Okay, maybe this is just a ruse to get the price of the deal down.
It's true that down the road, US Airways could be involved in a merger. At least, this is what US Airways Doug Parker has said. Parker has been
a key player
in all of the recent industry mergers.
, unable to make a deal with US Airways predecessor
in 2004, sold Midway slots to Southwest. Then Delta shunned US Airways to merge with Northwest. Then United shunned US Airways to merge with Continental.
For anyone truly interested in predicting airline mergers, the trick will be to find out what carrier US Airways is eyeing as a partner and then figure out what other company that carrier might merge with.
JetBlue + Everyone
Airline watchers long for the days of merger speculation involving
, which flourished despite JetBlue management's insistence in 2007 that it had no desire to merge with anyone. Instead, JetBlue is today partners with everyone.
Everyone, that is, except for Delta.
Southwest + Sun Country
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Hunter Keay has found a potential merger to write about. In a recent report, Keay mused about a merger between Southwest and the privately-held, Minneapolis-based
This deal has every possible synergy:
Southwest began flying to Minneapolis in 2009 and has been growing there; an acquisition would enable more growth.
Southwest flies 737s, Sun Country flies 737s.
Southwest wants to grow internationally; Sun Country flies to Mexico, the Caribbean and London/Stansted.
Southwest has $3.7 billion sitting around, probably drawing 0% interest, just like our CDs.
Plus, Sun Country currently resides in bankruptcy court -- ground zero for airline merger speculation.
Keay emphasized that he has no knowledge of any talks; he just thinks the idea is an interesting one.
The airline industry, which loves merger speculation, owes him its thanks.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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