It was widely anticipated, but US Airways CEO Doug Parker says in a letter to employees today that the newly merged American Airlines-US Airways will maintain American's membership in the oneworld global alliance.
Oneworld, while having a number of highly regarded airlines among its 11 members, is smaller than the 27-member Star Alliance, which US Airways belongs to. Both alliances have a significant presence in Asia, rapidly emerging as the world's most important international market.
But American is the only oneworld member in North America, and leaving that alliance for Star could raise regulatory questions.
Parker is obviously optimistic that the merger will proceed quickly. He said today that he expected it to close in the third quarter of this year.
Oneworld's members besides American are Air Berlin, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 (a Russian carrier). Mexicana is in line to become a new member.
Star Alliance members are Adriatic, Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels, Cops, Croatia, Egyptair, Ethopian, LOT, Lufthansa, Scandanavian, Shenzen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAM, TAP, Thai and United.