American Airlines is close to completing two deals which could help it catch up with its newly expanded rival United Airlines.

American is trying to push through a deal to buy troubled carrier Trans World Airlines, the eighth largest airline in the US. It has also agreed to buy certain assets from US Airways - number six in the nation’s rankings - to allay antitrust concerns following its recent purchase by United.

Should the deals go through, over half of America’s air travel is likely to be shared by United (26%) and American (25%) – already the world’s two largest airlines. Currently the duo control only 36% between them (United 19%, American 17%).

United is believed to be ready to pay $2 billion for TWA and $1.4bn for the US Airways assets. Although neither deal is secure, an announcement on their outcome could be made as early as this week.

News source: Wall Street Journal