Senators have concerns over airline merger’s impact

Thad Cochran

Thad Cochran

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have sent a letter to the Transportation Secretary and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over concerns about the possible impact in Mississippi by the proposed US Airways-American Airlines merger.

Cochran and Wicker wrote: “It is our understanding that the Departments of Transportation and Justice are currently reviewing the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines. As you make decisions about this, we are writing to request that you carefully consider the potential adverse impact any slot divestiture at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) could have on communities in states like Mississippi.

“Any reduction in slots at DCA could cause the elimination of the only direct flights between it and small and medium-sized markets. Specifically, we urge you to make decisions that will maintain nonstop air service between Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN) and DCA. This flight represents the only nonstop service linking the state of Mississippi to our nation’s capital…

“We understand that the proposed merger must be reviewed within the boundaries of anti-trust laws. As you undertake your review, we urge you to evaluate the consequences of a potential slot divestiture on communities that depend on access to our nation’s capital.”

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