Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: American Airlines Merger with US AirwaysFeb 13 - Fitch Ratings has published a new special report titled 'American and US Mergers Could Affect Hub Operations'. The report provides an update on issues affecting airports currently providing large scale connecting traffic operations for the two carriers. A merger of two of the largest U.S. based carriers, American Airlines and US Airways, would be the fourth major consolidation of domestic airlines during the past five years. In Fitch's view, such events are material to the U.S. airport sector from a credit perspective as consolidation allows for opportunities to make changes in route networks and hub arrangements. As seen in recent mergers, some hub airports will likely be strengthened through industry consolidation while others are weakened. To the extent a merger consummates between American and US Airways, the combined carrier would effectively maintain six hub airports in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Phoenix. Separately, the combined carrier would maintain a sizable presence in markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. While geographic location and separation helps support a rationale for hubs, it is still fair to ask whether maintaining as many as six hub airports at the same level of operations will be necessary to maintain an efficient single network. The full report is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.