Skift Take

The delay points to a more likely coupling with U.S. Airways as AMR adjusts its plan to accomodate merger concerns as well as lingering labor issues with the pilots' union.

AMR Corp. told the bankruptcy judge overseeing its case that it needs another month to file its reorganization plan with the court.

The parent company of American Airlines filed a motion Tuesday requesting that its exclusive period for filing the plan be extended to Jan. 28. Currently, AMR must file a plan by Dec. 28, or else other parties such as its creditors will be able to file their own plans.

The unsecured creditors committee joined AMR in its motion, supporting the request to push back the deadline.

A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 30.

“The additional 30 days will be used to develop and build consensus for a feasible Chapter 11 plan,” the filing said.

The company said the extension will give it more time to discuss a possible merger with US Airways and negotiate with its pilots union, which is the only unionized work group that has not approved a cost-cutting new contract agreement.

In an interview last week, AMR Chief Executive Tom Horton said he thought the carrier would be able to file its reorganization plan by the end of the year.

“I think we can do it,” Horton said.

“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that we seek an extension. But there is no reason why we can’t have a plan filed by the end of the year.”

In a hotline message to flight attendants Tuesday afternoon, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said the motion cites strategic alternatives as part of the reasoning for an extension.

“APFA is encouraged by the fact that US Airways and AA have had substantive conversations and hopeful that this extension will bring us another step closer to a merger inside bankruptcy,” the union said.

The Allied Pilots Association also noted that the added time is needed to consider alternatives with the creditors committee. In a note to pilots Monday, APA President Keith Wilson said that “management is listening” to the union’s concerns in the negotiations.

AMR is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results today.

(c)2012 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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Tags: american airlines, bankruptcy, us airways

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