Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has become the third firm this year to start lobbying for U.S. Airways Group Inc., which is looking to merge with American Airlines Inc. parent company AMR Corp.
The law firm filed paperwork with Congress on Friday to advocate for U.S. Airways, joining recent hires The Gibson Group and Chesapeake Enterprises, as well as three firms that lobbied for the Tempe, Ariz.-based company in 2012, according to congressional records. U.S. Airways, which spent $2.8 million on federal government advocacy last year, entered 2013 with lobbyists from Podesta Group, The Cormac Group and Vandor Strategies, in addition to in-house lobbyists.
Akin is lobbying for U.S. Airways on "[a]viation, commerce and judiciary issues," according to its congressional filing. Austin, Texas-based senior policy adviser Ryan Thompson is handling the account.
Akin's lobbying registration paperwork came two days after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in New York approved the merger of U.S. Airways with AMR, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011. But the close of the $11 billion combination isn't expected to come until the third quarter of this year, pending the endorsements of U.S. Justice Department antitrust officials and U.S. Airways shareholders.
American Airlines spent $4.8 million on federal lobbying in 2012, congressional records show. For its advocacy efforts, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company used its own staffers, as well as lobbyists from more than a dozen firms, including Venable and Heather Podesta + Partners.