"I don't believe [Parker] will try and recreate the new carrier off the US Airways model," he adds. "This is a business, after all, which is all about remaining profitable, and if retaining the partnership with Citi will help, that is what he and the board will do."
The combined company will operate as two separate air carriers, each maintaining its current loyalty rewards program, until the merger is complete, which is expected in the third quarter of 2013, says Andrew J. Christie, Jr., associate manager of media relations at US Airways.
"Following the merger, customers will have continued options for travel benefits both domestically and internationally through continued membership in their loyalty program," says Christie in an emailed response.
Leaders from both companies will make up a transition-planning team to construct an integration plan so the transition is seamless and sustainable, he says.
"It's business as usual for the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard program," says Kevin Sullivan, a spokesman for Barclays. "Cardholders should use their card with confidence, knowing they'll continue to receive miles for every dollar of spend and all other card benefits."
In an email, an American Airlines spokesperson said no changes have been made to the information given in the Feb. 14 press release announcing the merger.