* US Air CEO says AMR to likely delay any review
* AMR not likely to emerge by year's end -Parker
By John Crawley
July 4 US Airways Group is in no rush to
merge with bankrupt American Airlines and expects its rival to
defer any review of a possible deal now that it has asked a
judge for more time to formulate an exit plan on its own.
"That delay is fine by us - there is certainty no urgency to
merge," US Airways' chief executive, Doug Parker, said in a note
to employees on Wednesday.
"American is in bankruptcy and we need to respect the
bankruptcy process, so we are doing just that," Parker said.
US Airways has not made a formal bid, but would like to do
so as part of American's exit from Chapter 11 protection from
Parker said it seems "highly unlikely" that American will
step out of bankruptcy before year's end, and speculation about
a US Airways-American tie-up will "continue for at least several
American had no immediate comment.
American's parent, AMR Corp, and its creditors
last week sought permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge in New
York to extend through December the period during which it can
develop a reorganization plan without outside interference.
It currently has until the end of September to do so, but
would like more time now that it is making progress in
long-stalled contract negotiations with its big unions.
American management reached a tentative deal with pilots
last week and is again talking with flight attendants and
Progress with labor added stability to its court
restructuring and reduced the near-term possibility of a
third-party forcing alternatives on the company and the court.
The airline wants to cut labor costs by more than $1.2
billion annually, most of it from unions that made steep
concessions to keep American out of bankruptcy nearly 10 years
American says new cost cuts are needed now to help it
compete more fully with rivals that reduced labor and other
expenses in bankruptcy.
American plans to emerge as a stand-alone carrier but has
agreed to explore consolidation. Its unions are pushing for a
deal with US Airways to help bolster American's domestic and
overseas route network.
American's chief rivals, United Airlines and Delta
Air Lines, both strengthened their operations through
mergers after bankruptcy.
The current US Airways was formed through a merger with
America West in 2005.