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Air travel is more than just a business. To me, it is part of the American personality. The freedom of movement we provide — the ability to cross vast distances in remarkably short amounts of time — speaks to our frontier history and to the sense of adventure and love of exploration that are embedded in our country’s collective DNA.

As many of you know, earlier this year American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge — to create America’s flag carrier, the new American Airlines. This merger represents the next big step in the ongoing transformation of our company, which among other things includes the most dramatic fleet upgrade in our long history, a thorough modernization of the travel experience, and the refreshing of our iconic brand.

Let me tell you a little bit about what this merger will mean to you. First, and perhaps foremost, the combination of American and US Airways will create the airline industry’s biggest and best global network, with roughly 6,700 daily flights to 336 cities in 56 countries around the world. In the United States, we will offer an unmatched level of connectivity and choice, as the US Airways hubs in Philadelphia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Phoenix combine with American’s formidable presence in the key markets of New York, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, and Miami.

Internationally, the merger will further strengthen our service across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, while bolstering our industry-leading position in Latin America and the Caribbean. And of course, the merger will only strengthen oneworld, the industry’s premier global alliance.

The new American will not only provide you with better, easier access to more places around the world — it will also deliver a superior travel experience. With a rock-solid foundation, we will have ample flexibility to invest in one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, while simulta-neously investing in cutting-edge technology and the products and services you value most. Between the two airlines, we have more than 600 brand-new aircraft on the way.

The combining of our two companies is obviously great news for AAdvantage members, who, once the merger is completed, will have even more opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the new American network. And those of you who enjoy the service, comfort, and amenities of our Admirals Clubs will be glad to know that you will have access to the network of US Airways clubs around the world too.

So what happens now? We expect the merger to be completed in the third quarter of this year, and I encourage you to visit aa.com/arriving to keep up with our progress. As you can imagine, the integration of one airline into another is a very complex process. Achieving a smooth transition is going to require months of careful planning, training, and hard work from people in dozens of departments at both carriers. While our plan is to integrate as quickly as possible, we are committed to getting it right, and that will take some time. For now, it’s business as usual. American and US Airways remain separate companies, and you can continue to count on us to provide you with the excellent service and the safe, reliable travel experience you deserve.

Among our many other strengths, I believe the new American will have the best team — across the board — in the airline industry, and you can rest assured every member of that team is going to be working and thinking hard to assure a smooth transition as we create the world’s leading airline.

With the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, we are ushering in a new and exciting era in the long, proud history of our company. And I’m reminded of something Charles Lindbergh — who, way back in 1926, flew for one of the small carriers that eventually merged to form American — wrote long ago: “We actually live, today, in our dreams of yesterday, and living in those dreams, we dream again.”

At American Airlines, we have big dreams, and big plans, for the future — and we know you do too. Wherever your dreams are taking you today, I want to thank you for flying with us. Have a great trip!

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Thomas W. Horton
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines