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American Airlines May Consider Potential Mergers

AMR Corp. To Develop Possible Consolidation Scenarios

American Airlines reports that has agreed with creditors to consider potential merger situations while it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. Parent company AMR Corp. said the company had agreed to develop consolidation scenarios but that did not indicate it would pursue a deal with any particular party. This development may suggest that events could be unfolding quicker than the airline expected since US Airways increased its merger rhetoric.

The Associated Press reports that AMR’s CEO Thomas Horton has maintained that he wanted American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy protection as an independent company. However, US Airways has lobbied AMR's creditors and lined up support from American's three unions for a takeover.

A message of “no confidence” was delivered on Friday by hundreds of pilots and other employees to AMR headquarters in Fort Worth and New York. The unions believe a combined company would cut fewer jobs and stand a better chance at competing with industry leaders United and Delta.

US Airways praised AMR's decision, saying a combination would benefit both companies’ employees and customers as well as creditors and investors. Standard & Poor's, citing a Bloomberg News report earlier Friday, said news that AMR would consider a merger as an alternative to its stand-alone restructuring plan made it more likely that US Airways will acquire or merge with AMR. S&P analyst Jim Corridore said a merger would fix US Airways' weak international network and give it size to compete with bigger rivals.

FMI: www.aa.com

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