* 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 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
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
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
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.