American Airlines Has First Hearing in Bankruptcy Court

Hearing focused on procedural issues

Employees at American Airlines aren't letting bankruptcy ruin their holidays.

A small group sang Christmas carols in the lobby at AMR's headquarters Tuesday, as the company's attorneys prepared for a court hearing in New York.

The hearing was the first since the company filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago and focused mainly on procedural matters, including how to handle claims from vendors who delivered products and services just before the company declared bankruptcy.

Attorneys for pilots and other union members were also in the New York courtroom, representing the members of what's called the "Unsecured Creditors Committee"

"It gives us a seat at the table as far as the bankruptcy process and the reorganization plan is concerned" says First Officer Tom Hoban, with the Allied Pilots Association, a member of the committee. "It gives us visibility into the process and a stake in the game, so to speak"

Committee members will meet for the first time this Thursday. but union leaders are already looking ahead to seeing some critical documents from the company the middle of next month.

"What we're waiting for is the corporation to file what's referred to as its 1113 term sheet" says Hoban, "that's their wish list of contractual changes that they would like to make to our contract whether it be in the form of work rules, pay productivity, retirement."

Court hearings a various sorts will continue through much of next year and possibly beyond. American hopes to come out of bankruptcy in fewer than 15 months.

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