The pilots union says a proposed delay in American Airlines' bankruptcy case could lead to a merger.
American is asking for another month of exclusive rights to present a turnaround plan in federal bankruptcy court.
The president of the Allied Pilots Association said creditors may have pushed for the delay to give merger talks more time. Such a delay increases the chances that the company will be taken over, maybe by US Airways, he said.
But the Fort Worth-based airline refutes the suggestion that a delay could lead to a merger. In an emailed statement, American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said:
We are in the midst of a complex restructuring, intensely focused on successfully reorganizing American to restore our airline to industry leadership, profitability and growth. The company has said all along that our goal is to move through the restructuring process as quickly as possible, but has also recognized that it's impossible to predict a precise timeframe for this process. More time does not mean that we intend to slow the process down.
Multiple requests for extension are a routine part of the restructuring process in a large and complex case such as ours and were made by the majority of other airlines as they went through the Chapter 11 process.
The formulation of an appropriate Plan of Reorganization includes an in-depth analysis of strategic alternatives, which is ongoing. Our objective, thorough strategic review of all alternatives is appropriately focused solely on creating maximum value for all stakeholders.
American is supposed to submit its plan by the end of December. The company is asking for another month to get it all together.