Landmark airline merger given the all clear for take off

In what was seen as the last hurdle the two firms needed to clear for the merger to proceed, a US federal bankruptcy judge ruled in favour of the plan to bring the companies together. American Airways says it now expects the deal to be completed by 9 December.

This news comes in the same month that the two airlines settled an anti-trust suit brought by the US Justice Department, which claimed the merger would result in reduced competition and higher prices for customers. As part of the settlement, American Airlines and US Airways agreed to give up slots at several US airports, including Reagan National Airport in Washington DC and LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011. The company says it expects to emerge out of bankruptcy once the merger is complete. Shares in US Airways were up slightly after the ruling was announced.

US Airways is expected to cease trading on 6 December, three days before the new American Airlines Group (AAL) is scheduled to start trading on the NASDAQ exchange.