Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
The federal judge overseeing American Airlines' bankruptcy has postponed a key ruling for one week.
A federal bankruptcy judge has given American Airlines and its pilots more time to agree on a contract by postponing a key ruling until June 29.
The judge's decision on whether to void the airline's major labor contracts was set to be announced on Friday.
The delay came at the request of the Allied Pilots Association and the Fort Worth-based airline.
Company spokesman Bruce Hicks said the delay gives the APA board another opportunity to vote on the proposed deal.
"The extension will not change the terms of our final offer to APA, but will give the APA board more time to better understand our proposal and make a decision that is in the best interests of our pilots," he said.
Hicks also said the airline is ready to resume talks with flight attendants and ground workers.
Leaders of the Allied Pilots Association rejected American Airlines' "best and final" offer on Wednesday, and APA spokesman Tom Hoban said then that the union needed clarification on some key issues, including scheduling.
The airline released details of the the proposed contract late Thursday.
It would give pilots a 14.8 percent pay increase over 5 years, including 4 percent when the contract is signed. Pilots would also share in the airline's profits.Their pensions would be frozen instead of terminated. And no pilots would be furloughed.
In exchange, the airline would save money through increased productivity and reduced overall pension costs. Pilots would fly more hours and allow more code-sharing, meaning American could develop partnerships, and, in effect, share flying with other airlines.
A message posted on the APA's website said the union board members would meet through the weekend with airline management.
The board must vote again by next Wednesday on whether to pass the proposed contract to the rank-and-file for approval.