US Airways Chief Executive Doug Parker last week said that hedge funds would play an important role in consolidating the airline industry, Reuters reports.

In an effort to rescue their struggling businesses, US Airways is merging with America West Airlines, a move that has airline industry executives at the edge of their seats.

"There will be the need to have new money flow in. It's appealing to that type of an investor," said Parker told the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit. "The business is so leveraged, that they are willing to take on a high risk, to get a high rate of return."

Parker added that of the $870 million raised through US Airways' merger with America West, a majority came from hedge funds, and the smaller portion was from private equity investors.

Due to overcapacity and high-energy costs, the airline industry has struggled to deliver profits. Thus, the merger of the two airlines will be a litmus test for the industry. 

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