ROANOKE, Va. -

The merging of two major airlines could have an impact on air travel in Roanoke.

US Airways merged with American Airlines to form the worlds largest airline.

The two will operate independently for at least the next 18 months. Industry experts don't think there will be any major changes in Roanoke or Lynchburg for a while.

Some experts say the merger could open up direct flights to some of American Airlines larger hubs.

"In theory, we could see service to Dallas which is their main west hub to the west. Or Miami, which is a big hub to the Carribean. Those would be great to see from Roanoke and entirely possible," said Thomas Becher, an airline expert.

The general consensus among experts and the airports is that the worst case scenario is nothing changes, and the best case means direct flights to more places.

Mark Courtney at the Lynchburg Regional Airport views this as a good move.  He's optimistic that this move will also give Lynchburg access to some of the traditional American Airlines hubs beyond Charlotte.