AMR/US Airways Merger Meeting Delayed, But Still Happening
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FORT WORTH (AP/CBSDFW) - The boards of Fort Worth-based American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways have pushed back meeting on plans to consider a final merger, Associated Press and CBS 11 News sources say.
A source close to the matter said Sunday that the AMR board wants to meet in person, and that the US Airways board would only meet after the AMR board approves a deal.
It is not clear when the two boards would finally meet. People familiar with the matter said negotiations are continuing, on issues that include AMR CEO Tom Horton’s exact title and role in the combined company.
The news agency Reuters was reporting Sunday the AMR board would be meeting Wednesday. CBS 11 has learned the announcement could come as early as Thursday. A Friday announcement would be unlikely, but still possible, sources told CBS 11 Sunday afternoon.
Discussions were centered on Horton being a non-executive chairman of the board while US Airways management, led by CEO Doug Parker, would run the day-to-day operations of the new carrier, which would keep the American Airlines name.
The negotiations could still fall apart. United Airlines and Continental Airlines were within days of announcing a merger in 2008 when that deal fell apart, although they later resumed talks and completed a deal in 2010.
If American and US Airways combine, it would create the world’s biggest airline as measured by passenger traffic, although United Continental Holdings Inc. would still be slightly bigger if regional operations such as United Express and American Eagle are counted.
On Friday, US Airways pilots ratified an agreement covering their pay and working terms if there is a merger. That was the last major piece to fall into place on the labor side for a merger to occur. American Airlines pilots approved a similar agreement in December. All three of American’s unions support a merger that would result in US Airways management running the new company.
The committee representing unsecured creditors in AMR’s bankruptcy case had planned to meet Monday.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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