American Airlines' Merger Could Come This Week

Potential last-minute stumbling blocks remain

American Airlines and US Airways appear ready to announce a merger in the next few days.

One person pushing the merger said that the timeline could be pushed back because of resistance from American executives, but another source close to the Fort Worth-based carrier said negotiations were progressing and appeared to be on-schedule.

Nobody wanted to be named because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Under the merger scenario described to NBC 5 and widely reported, US Airways CEO Doug Parker would run the combined airline. American CEO Tom Horton would be named non-executive chairman for a period of one or two years.

Some board members appeared to be pushing for Horton to have a more meaningful role in the new company. His supporters on the board believe he has done a good job guiding the airline through the difficult bankruptcy process.

Horton replaced former CEO Gerard Arpey when American declared bankruptcy in November 2011.

When talk of a merger first surfaced, Horton said he preferred to wait until American exited bankruptcy as a standalone company.

Pressured by creditors, Horton then agreed to consider the idea and entered into confidential talks with US Airways and others.

US Airways executives wooed American's employee groups with offers of higher pay and benefits. AA's union leaders, who have had a testy relationship with management for years, jumped on board with the merger idea.

US Airways' executives have said if they are successful, they would keep the airline's headquarters in Fort Worth. The company would also keep the American brand. The name US Airways would go away.

Contact Us