American Airlines, US Airways inching closer to merger



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Posted on February 13, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 13 at 6:50 PM

DALLAS — American Airlines and US Airways are inching closer to a merger.

The board of American’s parent company AMR Corp. was meeting in New York Wednesday afternoon to formally consider a combination, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Simultaneously, US Airways' board has gathered in Arizona, a source said, to sign-off on what’s eventually agreed upon.

The two airlines have flirted with a merger for more than a year and have been in direct talks for weeks.

News 8 has learned American and US Airways are already preparing for a news conference at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday to formally announce a merger. Afterwards, executives from both companies will board a plane at D/FW and fly to Phoenix for another similar event there, where US Airways has its headquarters.

As News 8 has reported for months, the new carrier will retain the American Airlines name and headquarters will stay in Tarrant County, just south of D/FW Airport. The US Airways name and brand will eventually disappear.

Sources told News 8 that US Airways CEO Doug Parker will lead the new airline. He has actively lobbied for the combination for 14 months.

AMR CEO Tom Horton’s role in the new airline is likely to be a board position only, with a set duration of time — something he has opposed.

A merger would take a year or longer, experts said, and also needs approval from American’s creditors, its bankruptcy judge, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the European Union.

Follow News 8 reporter Jason Whitely on Twitter @jasonwhitely for breaking news when the merger if formally announced.