US Airways shares rise after court OKs merger

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of US Airways Group Inc. rose more than 2 percent Thursday after the company's merger with American Airlines was approved by a bankruptcy judge.

US Airways began its pursuit of a merger shortly after American's parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011. The companies announced the merger on Feb. 14, helping to spark a run-up in airlines stocks.

US Airways shares rose 35 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $17 in morning trading. The shares are up more than 25 percent so far this year, and have tripled since the start of 2012. They set an all-time closing high of $17.23 on March 20.

Judge Sean H. Lane approved the merger Wednesday afternoon, calling it "an excellent result."

The merger will create the world's biggest airline. The new American will fly slightly more passengers than United Airlines.

The deal needs approval from federal antitrust regulators and US Airways shareholders. It is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.