Doug Parker Decides ‘Small is Beautiful’ – Doesn’t Want AA-US Merger After Livery Concerns

In a surprise turn of events, US Airways CEO Doug Parker announced that the airline’s planned merger with American Airlines had been called off shortly after receiving bankruptcy court approval.

Parker, one of the industry’s staunchest supporters of consolidation, explained that while there were tremendous financial synergies, the stress of determining how to paint the aircraft, often called the livery, was too much.

“Everyone knows that the most important part of any merger is how you paint the airplanes. This one was just too difficult for us to figure out,” sighed Parker.

American, which has long been associated with the polished, bare metal look on its aircraft, recently changed to a gray paint with a stylized American flag covering the tail. When the new look rolled out, American CEO Tom Horton described it with a simple, “‘Merica!”

The merger between the two airlines would have created the largest airline in the world with $1 billion in annual revenue synergies. Reaction to the announcement was mixed.

Horton expressed disappointment. “We at American really believed that this merger was the best plan. In fact, I suggested a merger between American and Allegheny when I was in my mother’s womb. I’m shocked and saddened that I will no longer get my $20 million severance, er, I mean, that two great companies will not be uniting as one.”

American’s unsecured creditors issued a joint statement.

“Though the US Airways merger would have been the best financial outcome for all creditors, we fully support the decision to not move forward. The livery really is so incredibly important.”

Some wondered whether there were other issues at play in this decision. One anonymous source questions, “I mean, would you want to live in Dallas?”

[Photo Credit: Flickr user Fly For Fun]