Last updated: 04:40 PM ET, Wed May 13 2015

US Airways Begins Final Descent

Airlines & Airports | American Airlines | Patrick Clarke | May 13, 2015

US Airways Begins Final Descent

US Airways is returning all seat trays to their upright and fully locked position as it readies for its final descent into the history books. 

According to the Associated Press, American Airlines, which completed a merger with US Airways back in December 2013, plans to shut down the carrier over the course of 90-day period, with the process potentially beginning as early as July 2015.

On that timetable, the last US Airways flight ever could be completed sometime next fall.

With a shutdown of US Airways on the horizon, American must now turn its attention to initiating as smooth and seamless a transition as possible. 

As US Airways flights begin to disappear, the plan is to replace them with American flights in a single reservation system. And while flights under the US Airways brand are likely to become a thing of the past by year's end, it could be more than a year until all of the US Airways aircraft are repainted to reflect American's ownership.

What's more, American executives anticipate they'll be combining labor groups and flight-operating systems through the year 2017. In anticipation of the changeover, which could be hectic as history shows, the airline plans to train as many as 9,000 airport employees and 2,000 reservations agents.

Despite American's plans to move forward, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has stopped short of giving itself a deadline. 

"I've worked in technology long enough to know not to give any specific dates," said American Airlines Group chief information officer Maya Leibman via the AP. "Because when you don't necessarily meet that date for a good reason, it looks like a failure to the outside world."

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