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American Airlines says US Airways to join trans-Atlantic venture

A US Airways Embraer ERJ-190 jet descends for landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 201
A US Airways Embraer ERJ-190 jet descends for landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 201

(Reuters) - American Airlines Group said on Thursday that US Airways will join its venture with British Airways , Iberia and Finnair that operates flights between the United States and Europe.

The addition of US Airways will add 28 routes to the joint business, American said in its statement. US Airways has hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

With US Airways the venture, which already provides more than 50 daily trans-Atlantic flights, will gain nonstop flights from North America to 18 European cities, including Athens, Amsterdam and Munich, American said.

American Chief Executive Douglas Parker, the former CEO of US Airways, told an aviation summit in Washington on Thursday that the addition of US Air gives the American-British Airways alliance "twice the scale" of a similar venture that Delta Air Lines began with Britain's Virgin Atlantic Airways earlier this year that operates more than 30 flights.

"We're well ahead of them already," Willie Walsh, CEO of British Air parent International Airlines Group, said on the sidelines of the conference.

Former American parent AMR Corp and US Airways merged in December to create the world's largest airline. American, British Airways and Iberia set up the joint business in October 2010.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Washington, editing by G Crosse)

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