Dec 13 American Airlines' pilots union still
supports a merger with US Airways Group, a union
spokesman said on Thursday, unmoved by a pitch from AMR
Chief Executive Tom Horton that the company should
exit Chapter 11 as an independent carrier.
Next week, US Airways CEO Doug Parker is expected to meet
with the board of the Allied Pilots Association, spokesman
Dennis Tajer said.
Horton, who became CEO of American parent AMR Corp as the
company filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011,
requested the meeting with the pilots union leadership and met
with the board for about three hours on Thursday, Tajer said.
"The case was made for the standalone plan, and APA
leadership gave the standalone plan pitch due consideration but
after the meeting continued to believe that a merger is best for
the longtime interest of our pilots and our airline," the
American Airlines met with the union to thank it for its
leadership in reaching a new labor contract, "discuss the next
steps in our evaluation of strategic alternatives and exchange
information," according to a statement from spokesman Mike
US Airways declined to comment.
US Air has been pushing for a merger with American all year,
and its plan has the support of unions that represent American's
flight attendants and ground workers, in addition to the pilots
union. The two carriers combined would be on par with current
No. 1 United Continental Holdings in scope.
"We anticipate that Mr. Parker will articulate his vision
and plan for the new American Airlines next week," Tajer added.
American Airlines creditors want a potential merger with US
Airways to be an all-stock deal rather than one that pays some
claims in cash, people familiar with the matter said this week.
Merger discussions among US Airways, AMR and its creditors are
at an advanced stage, the sources said.
The pilots unions at both American and US Airways said this
week they would join the merger talks with AMR creditors and the
companies. The Allied Pilots Association last week approved a
new labor accord with American that grants it a 13.5 percent
equity stake in a reorganized AMR.
Keith Wilson, president of the pilots union, said in a
message to members on Wednesday that Wall Street analysts
suggest an American-US Airways merger is likely. "While I will
refrain from speculation, we must be ready to move quickly
toward a potential merger," Wilson said.
American Airlines shares rose 16.9 percent to 76 cents on
Thursday, while US Airways rose 2.1 percent to $12.97.