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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