The growth would mostly come from the addition of US Airways' hourly shuttle service linking La Guardia to Boston and Washington. American would offer 30% of the seats departing La Guardia, second only to the 42% controlled by Delta Air Lines Inc., DAL +0.65%according to schedule data from Innovata LLC.
"This puts American in the big leagues for airlines in New York," says industry consultant Henry Harteveldt of Hudson Crossing. American is "now going to be a very credible No. 2 competitor to Delta." The merger still requires antitrust approval. A hearing on the plan is scheduled for Wednesday before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge overseeing AMR's case.