American Airlines late Friday asked a bankruptcy judge for a delay in filing a business plan to emerge from restructuring -- a sign a consensual merger with US Airways is unlikely anytime soon.
The Fort Worth-based airline asked for an extension until April 1.
It's the fifth time the carrier has asked to delay the process.
American was joined in the request by the influential Unsecured Creditors' Committee, or UCC.
The airline has made "significant progress" in its restructuring effort but still needs more time, the company said.
"The work proceeds on many fronts concurrently, but is time and resource demanding, and therefore, additional time is necessary," the airline's attorneys wrote.
The board of directors of American's parent company, AMR Corp., met this week but made no announcements.
American Airlines Spokesperson Sean Collins released a statement on Friday afternoon:
"American has made significant progress in its restructuring. This work, while progressing well, takes time, and American and the unsecured creditors' committee believe that the proposed extension to April 1, 2013, is appropriate for this process to continue in an orderly and efficient manner."
Friday's request, filed as the bankruptcy court in New York closed for the day, is an indication the airline has chosen to continue to evaluate its options and has decided not to pursue an immediate merger with US Airways.