A Single Operating Certificate–also known as a SOC–is a document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the regulatory process of combining the two subsidiary air carrier certificates under one certificate has been completed. In this particular case, this means that the American and US Airways certificates will officially be combined in the eyes of the FAA, but the merger process is still a bit far from being completed.
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American Airlines and US Airways are now operating under a single operating certificate issued by FAA. The milestone was achieved 16 months after American emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and merged with US Airways.
American said in a statement that “most flight operations, maintenance and dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights. Air traffic control communications will refer to all American and US Airways flights with the call sign ‘American’.”
American originally hadn’t expected to achieve a single operating certificate until late 2015.
American COO Robert Isom said the remaining significant merger components are “moving to a single reservations system and website and combining our frontline employee workgroups.” Earlier this year, American’s pilots ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement that brought all of the flight deck crew of American and US Airways under one labor contract.
American noted that “more than 110,000 employees completed hundreds of thousands of hours of training in multiple phases and more than 115,000 pages on policies and procedures were published” in order to achieve a single operating certificate.
American said that “FAA’s recognition of American as a single operator does not mean change for customers, who will continue to check in for their flights on aa.com, usairways.com, or at American or US Airways ticket counters until later this year when American moves to a single reservations system.”
On Dec. 9, 2013, AMR Corporation and US Airways Group Inc. announced the completion of the companies’ merger to officially form American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL).
American Airlines Group is the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways. Together with American Eagle® and US Airways Express, the airlines operate an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to more than 330 destinations in 54 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The American Airlines AAdvantage® and US Airways Dividend Miles programs allow members to earn and redeem miles for travel and everyday purchases as well as flight upgrades, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and other retail products. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members and members-elect serve 981 destinations with 14,244 daily flights to 151 countries.
On an average day, American Airlines Group:
- Flies about 530,794 passengers.
- Flies about 6,700 flights.