American Airlines, Delta, Southwest , US Airways, and United/Continental, are planning a mega-merger. The new airline will provisionally be called Delta Southwest United US, and control 70% of the air passenger business in the US.
Delta Southwest United US will have one hub, in Birmingham, Alabama, and fly only five routes. Each plane will offer two cabin class seats, and the rest will be business class. All frequent flyer programs are to be scrapped. About 90% of the airlines' current work force will be laid off.
By flying only the most lucrative routes, eliminating almost every hub in the country, and reducing the workforce to a few pilots who will also double as cabin staff, the new airline will deliver record profits from day one.
"This is a huge win for consumers. A profitable airline industry is a stable one - something that every customer wants," Said David Dosh, a spokesperson for the new airline.
Moreover, with so few routes the carrier will be able to offer better service; each passenger gets a free, family-size bag of peanuts, for example.
"Tickets will be a lot more expensive, but we're introducing a loan program to help passengers pay for flights," added Dosh. "Superior customer service is our top priority."