FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Talks of a possible merger between American Airlines and US Airways are heating up.
Bloomberg reported that US Airways has briefed creditors on a take-over plan of American.
The discussions come as American is trying to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
That idea concerns frequent flyers — including John Rome. He says, “Anytime you merge it’s a concern. You’re only dealing with a couple of carriers rather than 5, 6, or 7. Yeah, that’d be a concern.”
Bill Lincourt, a frequent flyer on American, says he’s also worried. “Flyers are already crowded. there are fewer and fewer seats available. We’re really packed in. I’m really concerned that we decrease the number of flights, especially to the places they both fly into.”
US Airways declined comment.
American says it is “laser focused” on its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
On Thursday, the bankruptcy court granted American’s request to extend the period of exclusivity — in which the airline can be the only entity to propose business plans to the court — through late September.
Still, SMU economics professor Bernard Weinstein believes a merger between American and US Airways is a very strong possibility. He says, “If you look at consolidation in the industry, there’s really no one else for those two airlines to dance with.”
On Thursday, American warned its unions that it may try to wipe out their existing contracts next week if they can’t come to an agreement on new deals.
Weinstein says American’s labor unions could push for a merger — in part because their representatives have votes on the creditors committee.
“They may feel that they can get a better deal over the long term working with an entirely new management team than the current team.”
Some of the unions declined comment after the creditors committee asked every group that serves on the committee not to say anything.
As for a possible merger between American and US Airways, Weinstein speculates that a new combined carrier would retain the “American” name, and would be based in Fort Worth.
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