Roanoke, VA - American Airlines and US Airways have made it official: After nearly a year and a half of talks, the two airlines are merging. The $11 billion deal makes the "new" American Airlines the largest airline in the world.
For folks that fly out of Roanoke and Lynchburg, it means the number of cities that you will be able to reach will likely increase. The main reason is American Airlines has routes into areas US Air doesn't.
While U.S. does its primary service up and down the East Coast, American has major reach into the south, out west and into Latin America. Not only that, but American also holds a mutual user agreement to certain foreign airlines that are currently not accessible to travelers flying out of Roanoke.
It all comes down to access.
"For example American has a hub in Miami that US Air will now have. So that's definitely a service option and yes we will be asking for that. But, yes, you'll have more connecting options. Even if we have the same hubs you can get to more places from there," said Sherry Wallace with the Roanoke Regional Airport.
The big question most consumers have is whether this means ticket prices will go up. That question is too early to answer. But it all boils down to competition, so if more than one airline is flying out of Roanoke to the same destination, there will likely be a break. If not, there's a chance prices could go up.
As for Lynchburg Regional Airport, they released a statement saying expect additional routes, flights, and hubs.