Airline Mega-Mergers Deserve Close Scrutiny, Says Menendez

Airline Mega-Mergers Deserve Close Scrutiny, Says Menendez

After Delta and Northwest agree to form world's largest carrier, Continental and United reportedly discuss merger

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is signaling his reservations about airline mega-mergers that have the potential to create a lack of airline competition, limit choices for passengers and send airfares skyrocketing. This week, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines are agreed to merge, creating the world's largest airline, and now it has been reported that Continental Airlines and United Airlines are discussing a merger.

Senator Menendez released the following statement:

"I have serious reservations about these mega-mergers and the potential for a lack of competition that would end up squeezing air travelers even further. I understand that the airlines are in a tough situation dealing with a dysfunctional FAA and facing high fuel costs, and that they are looking to restructure. However, the possibility of air travelers bearing the brunt of these mega-mergers is a serious concern. Frustration among passengers has never been higher, but if we think it's bad now, just wait until they have to potentially deal with fewer flight options and higher prices.

"On top of this, if a mega-airline were to fail, it would be a catastrophe for air travel in this country. It's like the saying goes - the bigger they are, the harder they fall. I worry that the strategy here is not to get bigger in order to become more competitive, but to get bigger in order to guarantee a federal bailout should the company enter bankruptcy.

"The high cost of fuel is an issue for all Americans, not just the airlines, but creating mega-airlines will not lower fuel costs. As they review these deals, the Department of Transportation and Department of Justice should recognize these issues and how they could put even more of a squeeze on passengers."