T.F. Green sees benefit to proposed airline merger

The proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways could bring more destination options to passengers at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, airport officials said Thursday.

US Airways is the second biggest carrier at T.F. Green, with an average of 34 flights a day. American stopped serving Providence in 2008.

Interim airport Director Peter Frazier said he thinks a merger could mean more options for travelers.

"We've been marketing and trying to get them back here for some time. So, if the merger did go through, we'd almost overnight have American's presence back here at Green and that would open up all their routes and connectivity through US Airways," Frazier said.

But a merger would also mean less competition.

"Less competition for the average consumer, so prices will probably go up, I think," said traveler Frank Loria.

Carl Richardson with AAA Travel predicted that ticket prices will start to creep up a few months after the merger.

"I think we've seen rate increases sort of start at the 10 dollar mark. 10 dollar 20 dollar increases. It's difficult to say whether that will even happen. I think that's everyone's guessing game right now," Richardson said.

Richardson said low fare airlines like Southwest and JetBlue should keep prices in check.

The $11 billion deal, if it wins the necessary approval, would create the world's biggest airline.