American Airlines and US Airways sign NDA on the path to merger?

American Airlines' parent company company, AMR Corp. (PK: AAMRQ), and U.S. Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC) announced Friday that they have entered into a non-disclosure agreement under which each company will exchange confidential information as they study a potential merger.

The companies said that they would work closely with AMR's Unsecured Creditors Committee as the Fort Worth-based airline company works its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Both companies agreed that they would not talk with other parties about potential mergers while the agreement is in place, but said that a merger between AMR and US Airways is not guaranteed.
American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, citing high labor costs as part of the reason for its financial distress.

US Airways within days expressed an interest in merging with American and reached agreements with the three unions representing American's workers in case such a merger could be reached.

The Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union have all expressed support for a merger of the two airlines.

On Friday, the flight attendants union said it "looks forward to the prospects of a merger."

"The next few months will be an intensive exercise between the two management teams during which both US Airways and American Airlines will examine and explore the possibility of strategic alternatives," the APFA said. "APFA's position remains consistent regarding a possible merger with US Airways: We support a strategic alternative that includes a management team with a proven record of effective leadership."

APFA President Laura Glading said Thursday that she has been meeting with the union representing US Airways flight attendants. The two unions issued a joint statement saying that a merger was in the best interest of flight attendants at both carriers.

Glading and Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said they would work on merger-related issues of mutual concern "at the appropriate time." Those issues include seniority integration at a merged carrier, representation issues and collective bargaining agreements.



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