Before the markets open Monday morning, representatives from American and US Airways will meet at the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Dallas to sign the papers that will merge the two carriers into one company, and eventually one airline.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker will become the Chief Executive of the new American Airlines Group and AA’s current CEO Tom Horton will step down and take over the position of Chairman of the Board.
Yesterday, he sent an email and a video message me to employees thanking them for all their work.
Here’s some of what he wrote:
Two years ago this month, we were at a critical moment in our company’s history. We faced huge challenges. The skeptics doubted our ability to see our way through.
How did the people of American respond? You delivered! You proved wrong all those who questioned our future. On Monday, we will complete our merger with US Airways, one of the most important milestones in the 87-year history of this airline. In so doing, we will have completed one of the most successful restructurings in airline history, or in any industry. This two-year journey – which began under extreme conditions – ends with a win for all stakeholders: our people, customers and owners.
This all happened because of you – because you care deeply about this airline and our customers. Your professionalism, dedication and commitment are an inspiration.
After following the drama of the bankruptcy and the merger all these months, I’ve developed a great respect for Tom Horton and his leadership. He leaves behind an American Airlines that’s much stronger and more competitive than the one he inherited.