US Airways Group, pressing to take over AMR Corp.’s American Airlines in bankruptcy, made its case for a merger to the company’s unsecured creditors committee, three people familiar with the matter said.
American Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton has advocated waiting to evaluate merger options after leaving Chapter 11, while US Airways CEO Doug Parker has championed a merger since shortly after AMR’s Nov. 29 bankruptcy filing. The creditors committee has a say in important decisions as AMR restructures.
“From the creditors committee perspective, whatever the two parties are proposing has to be finalized at some point, and the sooner the better,” said Bob Mann, president of aviation consultant R.W. Mann & Co. in Port Washington, New York.
American reached an accord with the nine-member panel in May to study strategic alternatives against which the carrier’s stand-alone plan would be vetted. The committee represents some of those owed money by AMR and is charged with maximizing the amount of debt recovered. The members include American’s three largest unions as well as bondholder representatives.
A combination of US Airways, the fifth-biggest U.S. airline, and No. 3 American would create the world’s largest carrier by passenger traffic, surpassing United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc.