American-U.S. Air merger to help budget carrier Allegiant get jets

Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:44pm EST
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By Alwyn Scott

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A planned merger between American Airlines and US Airways is likely to add to a growing supply of used aircraft on the market, helping airlines who operate those jets find spare parts, budget carrier Allegiant Air said Tuesday.

US Airways LCC.N and American's parent AMR Corp AAMRQ.PK are nearing an $11 billion merger and could announce a deal within a week, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Jude Bricker, vice president of corporate finance and treasurer at Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co (ALGT.O: Quote), said the merger to create the world's biggest airline likely will prompt American and US Air to offload some of their MD-80 and Boeing 757 jets.

"Airplanes will become available," he said in the sidelines of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance annual conference near Seattle.

American has the largest remaining block of MD-80s in the world, or 210 jets, as well as 124 757s.

US Airways has 24 757s and no MD-80s.

Bricker said he did not think that sales of older planes would be a goldmine for Allegiant, which only buys used planes. It owns 58 MD-80s and six 757s.

"I don't think MD-80s can get cheaper," Bricker said, noting they cost about $600,000 now, and if the price fell to $400,000 it wouldn't make much difference.   Continued...