Bryan Cohen Nov. 12, 2013, 8:58pm

DALLAS (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott praised the settlement Tuesday between American Airlines, U.S. Airways and multiple states that will merge the companies and maintain daily flight service in Texas communities.

The agreement between the airlines, the remaining states that challenged the merger and the federal government, built upon an agreement Texas reached with American Airlines and U.S. Airways in October.

"This is a great day for American Airlines, for jobs in Texas, and for the economic opportunities that will arise from having the world's largest airlines headquartered in Texas," Abbott said. "The office of the attorney general's early involvement in this case provided Texas a critical seat at the table and resulted in a settlement agreement that preserved competition, ensured daily flight service to communities across the state and protected Texas jobs."

The amended agreement with Texas expands the requirement that American maintain daily flight service to Texas communities from three to five years and adds the Texarkana Airport to the daily service commitment list.

"Since our agreement was announced, we have continued working with American Airlines - and other states that objected to the merger - to achieve the best possible results for Texans and keep the new American on the path to success," Abbott said. "Because of our early and ongoing efforts, we've secured an agreement that will leave Texas in a much better position, ensuring that Texas jobs will stay in Texas."

The Oct. 1 agreement between Abbott's office and American Airlines made sure that 22 airports throughout Texas would continue to offer daily departures and arrivals. The agreement also ensured that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport would stay a hub for the airline and that the headquarters would be located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

The agreement with American to maintain daily service and hubs only applies to states that challenged the merger.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Tuesday that the new merged airline will maintain daily scheduled service at multiple airports in Michigan for at least the next five years, protecting widespread access to air transportation and protecting Michigan jobs.

"From the start, protecting Michigan residents' access to reliable, competitive air transportation has been my priority, and this agreement with American Airlines and U.S. Airways accomplishes that goal," Schuette said. "This settlement preserves free-market competition, protects the jobs associated with that service, and retains key airline routes in Michigan."

In September, Schuette took legal action against U.S. Airways and American Airlines to address concerns that reduced competition could impact Michigan markets adversely, including the possibility that airline service would be reduced at several of Michigan's smaller airports.

The settlement requires that the New American Airlines maintain daily scheduled service in Marquette, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint and Detroit.

"I am pleased our negotiations resulted in a commitment to maintain daily flight service for Michigan families flying in-and-out of Michigan airports, a service especially important to our members of the military who depend upon reliable flights," Schuette said.

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