AA's purchase of TWA isn't an *ideal* thing, but given the way TWA's last days played out, it was probably the best ending to a very sad situation. Between Karabu, bad credit/ high leasing costs, and high fuel costs, TWA couldn't hang on without a buyout. And only American, in the end, came through with a serious offer--though many of us would liked to have seen a serious offer to keep the carrier going til Karabu ran out. TWA might well have gone on to a bright new future with its new fleet and good management.
AA-TW of itself is not big enough to trigger superconsolidation, so that issue appears not to have gotten enmeshed in the whole thing. TWA got saved as a unit, and American gets an additional hub operation which will help relieve O'Hare and DFW.
With Karabu gone, "TWA Airlines" traffic will probably drop some, but that can only spell relief for congested ORD and DFW. American can start shifting some connecting pax to STL. The St. Louis city fathers also deserve credit for pushing the new STL runway through the excruciating and excessively long environmental review process, despite uncertainty about TW's future. Now, when the runway opens in (I think) five years, Lambert will still be well posititioned to host a major airline hub, remain a major regional economic engine, and help reduce delays in the national system.
Today is best described as bittersweet, I think.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)