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US Airways indicated Thursday it’s ready to work with American Airways on a combination of the carriers, saying a linkup would be better for all stakeholders than American emerging from bankruptcy on its own.
“We’re encouraged now that we can work with American and the creditors to get this deal done,” US Airways Group Inc. President Scott Kirby said at a Bank of America transportation conference in Boston.
US Airways wants to take advantage of the bankruptcy of AMR Corp, parent of American, to craft a carrier that would pass United Continental Holdings Inc. as the world’s largest airline.
While Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways hasn’t made a formal proposal, it has built support among American bondholders and reached contract agreements with that airline’s major unions.
AMR and the nine-member committee that represents unsecured creditors in its bankruptcy have agreed to assess “strategic alternatives” to the Fort Worth-based airline’s stand-alone plan, the panel’s attorney said last week.
Shares of US Airways slid 8.5 percent close at $10.19 on the New York Stock Exchange as the Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index declined 5.6 percent, the most since Feb. 21. US Airways stock has doubled this year, and the index has gained 12 percent.
For American’s workers, “this is a fantastic opportunity,” Kirby said of a merger with US Airways. “It preserves jobs and creates a company that is sustainable and can compete with United and Delta.”
US Airways has said it would have to cut American’s labor costs by $800 million a year to be competitive with those peers.
American is seeking bankruptcy court permission to void most of its union contracts and implement terms that would trim annual labor spending by $1.25 billion. Changes include eliminating as many as union 13,000 jobs.
On May 19, 1982, Ronald Reagan served as president of the United States, and Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of the United Kingdom. Also on that date, a significant development occurred in American Airways history when the carrier launched new service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and London. Tomorrow marks 30 years of service between the two cities that began with American’s inaugural flight from DFW to London Gatwick Airport (LGW). Today, because of a joint business agreement with British Airways, American customers can choose from nearly 70 daily flights between North America and the United Kingdom.
Beginning June 14, American will launch a fourth daily flight between DFW and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) providing customers with even more options when traveling to Europe. This additional flight is another example of how American has further enhanced its commitment to Europe and meets the needs of customers around the world. London Heathrow is the largest premium market in the world with 4,200 international premium customers per day.
In 2010, American, British Airways and Iberia implemented a joint business allowing the three airlines to cooperate commercially on nonstop flights between the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. As a result of the agreement, customers can earn and redeem AAdvantage® miles on all British Airways and Iberia routes and can earn 100 percent of base miles flown on any British Airways flight or any Iberia flight between the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico and Spain.
This strengthened relationship between the airlines further establishes American’s commitment to Europe and provides customers with a route network to more than 420 destinations in more than 100 countries with about 5,200 daily departures. The three airlines are continuously working together to provide additional benefits to their customers.
About American Airways
American Airways, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,500 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airways is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 150 countries and territories. American Airways, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airways, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.