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American Airlines, U.S. Airways Considering Merger

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An American Airlines jet taxis past American Eagle jets at O'Hare Airport March 26, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. American Airlines canceled about 200 flights nationwide today so they could inspect some wiring aboard their MD-80 aircraft. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An American Airlines jet taxis past American Eagle jets at O’Hare Airport March 26, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. American Airlines canceled about 200 flights nationwide today so they could inspect some wiring aboard their MD-80 aircraft. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — American Airlines and U.S. Airways, both of which operate in Chicago, are considering joining forces, a move that would create the country’s largest airline.

Dr. Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University, believes the merger is a foregone conclusion.

“This, I think, will sail through antitrust with some big caveats,” said Schwieterman. “They have to divest some assets, they have to make some accommodations, but this thing now has a full head of steam.”

Schwieterman still believes there’s enough competition that consumers won’t see much in the way of fare hikes if the merger happens.

He believes getting the buy-in of labor will be key to the timing of the merger.

American accounts for more than a quarter of the seats leaving O’Hare and Midway daily.

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