Pension group, unions named to AMR creditors panel
* Unions for pilots, flight attendants named to panel
* Trade vendors, banks also chosen for nine-member panel
* Law firms, advisers compete to represent committee
By Nick Brown
NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Allied Pilots Association and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp are among nine members named to the official committee of creditors of the bankrupt parent of American Airlines.
The committee is expected to play a key role in AMR Corp's bankruptcy, having a say on issues such as proposed asset sales by the company to raise cash, union discussions and debt restructurings.
The panel has a heavy union presence. Besides the Allied Pilots Association, the panel also includes two other unions: the Transport Workers Union and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. Most of the American airlines' 88,000 employees are unionized.
The committee members were appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice arm that oversees bankruptcies at a meeting held in New York on Monday.
AMR, whose American Airlines subsidiary is the third-largest U.S. carrier, filed for bankruptcy last Tuesday, listing nearly $30 billion in liabilities. One of the key issues in bankruptcy will be labor negotiations. Talks between AMR and its workforce are at a standstill.
The appointment of the PBGC, which protects underfunded pension plans and could be on the hook for AMR pensions that are about $10 billion in the red, was expected.
Units of Boeing Co and Hewlett-Packard Co , which hold millions of dollars in AMR trade debt, were also named to the committee.
The job of a creditors' committee, appointed in most large, corporate bankruptcies, is to represent the collective interest of unsecured claimants -- those whose claims are not secured by collateral.
Three financial firms -- Wilmington Trust Co, Bank of New York Mellon Corp and Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co -- rounded out the nine-member panel.
Wilmington holds $460 million in senior notes, while M&T and BNY Mellon hold various bonds, including special revenue bonds issued on AMR's behalf by airports and other municipal entities to fund capital projects.
While representatives from municipal groups, including the city of Chicago, were interviewed by the trustee, none made the committee.
A slew of large law firms, including Morrison & Foerster, Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, were at Monday's meeting in hopes of landing the job of representing the committee. Financial advisers, including Moelis & Co and Blackstone Group, were also present.
The bankruptcy case is In re AMR Corp et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463.
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