Justice Department clears the way for merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines

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WASHINGTON -- Officials praise the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Tulsa Mayor, Dewey Bartlett, and Tulsa Regional Chamber President, Mike Neal, are praising an agreement.

The Federal Government today approved the merger and the union is expected to become official next month creating the new American Airlines.

And it will become the biggest airline in the world.

American has more than 6,000 workers at its maintenance facility in Tulsa.

Today the Justice Department announced that it has cleared the way for the airline merger.

A federal judge in Washington still has to approve the deal.

But the new American Airlines expects to take off officially sometime next month when the combined airline begins doing battle with other merger-created air giants like delta and united.

"Having healthy airlines is a good thing. I think if anybody has flown in the last year on some of these bigger airlines they've seen new aircraft finally pop up." said FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney.

But will airfares be popping up, too?

The Justice Department and half a dozen states tried to halt the merger, three months ago, saying it would cut competition and jobs.

In what's seen as a big concession.

The new airline will be giving up dozens of flights in the nation's biggest cities to keep competition tighter.

Critics fear what will happen in the rest of America.

"It's really the other 150 to 175 smaller cities that this is going to dramatically effect over the next probably 4 to 8 years, Seaney said.

American says it doesn't expect employees to lose their jobs but says some may be asked to relocate.