Next candidates for an airline merger – United Airlines and US Airways?

In what can probably be described as “just a matter of time”, rumors are heating up about a possible United Airlines / US Airways merger.

The push for this kind of consolidation is being fueled by the last big airline merger – that of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Of course, anyone who has followed the aviation world will know that a United/US merger has been in the news before. The two tried to merge back in 2000, and again in 2008. At one point they had already put their signatures on the deal, but had to cancel the party when the government and unions voiced their opposition.

Despite the size of the two airlines, a combination would still only make them the second largest in the nation.

All these mergers mean fewer airlines (US Airways merged with America West several years ago), and a United/US merger may force Continental to go shopping for similar arrangement.

Of course, things are still in a very early stage, and have not moved beyond “speculation”. Time will tell whether three times really is a charm for these two airlines.