So...would an AA/NWA combined company be bigger than UA/US?
There are a lot of drawbacks to AA/NWA:
-Incompatible fleet types
-NWA's old DC-9's
-Heavy midwest presence + AA at Chicago = anti-trust
-Still no big presence for either in the west
The big bonus is AA's access to the pacific with a NWA merger.
All in all, I think UA is the best positioned winner any way you add it up. This thing is gonna play out for over a year!