By Giles Hudson, CBSDFW.COM

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, announced on Friday that it has entered into a non-disclosure agreement with US Airways, under which the two companies will discuss a possible merger.

In a short statement issued jointly on Friday morning, the companies said that they have “agreed to exchange certain confidential information and, in close collaboration with AMR’s Unsecured Creditors Committee, to work in good faith to evaluate a potential combination.”

“We are pleased to be working directly with American to study a potential merger and we consider this very good news,” said US Airways CEO Doug Parker in an emailed statement on Friday morning. “It does not mean we are merging — it simply means we have agreed to work together to discuss and analyze a potential merger.”

The Fort Worth-based carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November. Since then, it has been working with its union employees to strike new deals aimed at cutting costs.

amr headquarters AMR & US Airways Agree To Talk Possible Merger

American Airlines parent company AMR Corporation’s headquarters. (credit: Chuck Schechner/NewsRadio 1080 KRLD)

Both companies said on Friday that they do not expect to discuss any further details of the talks until either a merger is completed or the deal called off. In addition, both companies announced that they will not talk to other airlines about a merger while these discussions are underway.

The Allied Pilots Association welcomed the news, said communications director Tom Hoban. “We’re strong advocates of consolidation here in terms of a merger,” Hoban said. “Clearly, US Airways is the best candidate, and frankly the only candidate that’s expressed an interest so far.” He believes that the two carriers could make a decision on the merger within the next two months.

Darrin Pierce, president of Local 514 of the Transport Workers Union, explained that the announcement shows that the two carriers are becoming more serious about their discussions. “Our position is that we want to make sure, whatever road is taken, we’ve done the work we can do to protect our members and get the best deal possible,” Pierce said.

And in an emailed statement, Leslie Mayo, communications coordinator with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said, “We support a strategic alternative that includes a management team with a proven record of effective leadership. Combining our networks will allow American Airlines to grow and compete with our industry’s dominant global carriers.”

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