American Airlines May Merge After All

     FORT WORTH (CN) – Potential merger partner US Airways Group has become a creditor of bankrupt AMR Corp. by buying its debt, US Airways said in a Thursday filing in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court.



     To participate in the bankruptcy, the Tempe, Ariz.-based airline paid $600,000 for AMR corporate bonds that have a face value of $1 million, US Airways spokesman John McDonald told The Associated Press.
     “As has been widely reported, US Airways would support a combination of the debtors and itself pursuant to a plan of reorganization or other court-approved process,” the filing states.
     “It believes that such a combination would create significant synergies and economies of scale, the benefits of which would accrue to the parties in interest in these chapter 11 cases, as well as to the shareholders of US Airways.”
     US Airways joins other creditors in supporting AMR’s request for more time to complete a reorganization plan, but reserves the right to back out if AMR does not stick to a pledge to creditors to seek alternatives to staying an independent airline, according to the filing.
     In a Tuesday letterto American Airlines employees, AMR and AA chairman and CEO Thomas W. Horton backed away from his opposition to discussing a merger.
     “We are approaching the point where we have greater clarity on our revenue outlook and cost structure and can begin to accelerate the plan for the new American,” Horton wrote. “And it is at this juncture that it now makes sense to carefully evaluate a range of strategic options, including potential mergers, which could make the new American even stronger.”
     Horton added: “I have held the view that it is best that we first put our own house in order before considering a complex and challenging airline acquisition. That is just common sense. But it is also prudent merger strategy, should we take that path, to assure that we begin from a position of greatest strength and stability.”
     AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcyprotection in November 2011. It was the last legacy carrier to do so after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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