American Airlines Group Inc. has been granted a single operating certificate for American and US Airways by the Federal Aviation Administration, marking a major milestone in the integration of the two airlines to become the largest carrier in the world.
The FAA’s approval for American and US Airways to operate under one certificate, that of American Airlines, is the culmination of more than 16 months of work aligning the carriers’ operating policies and procedures since they merged in December 2013.
From April 8, most flight operations, maintenance and dispatch procedures will be identical for all of the two carriers’ flights. Air traffic control communications will refer to all American and US Airways flights with the call sign ‘American’.
“Achieving a single operating certificate is an important step toward becoming a fully integrated airline and the effort to reach today’s milestone touched nearly every area of our company,” says Robert Isom, American’s chief operating officer.
“While today marks a significant milestone for our integration, there is still much that remains ahead and we will intensify our focus on moving to a single reservations system and website and combining our front-line employee work groups,” adds Ison.
A team of more than 700 employees reviewed 465 manuals along with policies, procedures and programs from both carriers and selected best practices to implement for the merged airline.
More than 110,000 employees completed hundreds of thousands of hours of training in multiple phases and more than 115,000 pages on policies and procedures were published.
According to American Airlines, the FAA’s recognition of American as a single operator does not mean change for customers.
They will continue to check in for their flights on aa.com, usairways.com, or at American or US Airways ticket counters until later this year when American moves to a single reservations system.