American has already added new routes at Yeager.
Beginning June 12, the airline will offer nonstop jet service between Charleston's airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The new flights will give the Boy Scouts of America -- which is headquartered in Irving, near the Texas airport -- better access to West Virginia. The Summit Bechtel Family National Scouts Reserve in Fayette County will host thousands of Scouts, their families and visitors each year.
Atkinson said there are other route alternatives that could be added over time because of the merger.
American has strong business at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York while US Airways is dominant at the Philadelphia International Airport, Atkinson said.
How to get to those places using miles from the new airline's loyalty program is still up in the air.
Atkinson said he doesn't know the full details of what will come of the combined American Airlines AAdvantage program and US Airways Divided Miles.
The website for the merged airlines simply says members can expect "even more opportunities to earn and redeem miles from an expanded global network of routes and partnerships."
Atkinson said frequent-flier miles are typically combined one-for-one during mergers. If a flier had 100,000 points on US Airways, for example, that would convert to 100,000 American Airline miles, he said.
"They typically take most of the good points from both programs," Atkinson said. "Loyalty programs are very important [to airlines]."
On one flight, American had 50 percent of the market on a nonstop flight, but US Airways, which had a layover, had about 38 percent of travelers because of the miles extras they offered, he said.
"People enjoy the perks of having the status of going first, checking bags free and getting miles," Atkinson said.
People also appreciate an easily accessible airport.
Fortunately for the modestly sized Yeager, American and US Airways are already located next to each other.
When Atkinson visited the Denver International Airport last week, he said he wondered how the two airlines, which are located at different terminals, would move gates and counters to accommodate the merger.
Yeager doesn't have to deal with that, he said.
"It won't be a facilities issue for us," Atkinson said. "For the larger airports with larger, separate concourses, those become facility questions and large costs for the airlines because they have to run a new network backbone to support their gate and check-in operations."
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.