American Airlines Mum as Merger Talk Heats Up

Back on Jan. 3, American Airlines CEO Tom Horton told employees they’d learn if a merger with US Airways was going to happen in “a matter of weeks.” That was weeks ago – four, to be exact – but so far, no further news on whether American will join forces with a rival or go it alone..

Crunch Time for American

Merger Question – Who Would Lead?

The consensus seems to be that while a merger is likely, it’s not quite a sure thing – but the Wall Street Journal reports that American CEO Tom Horton is in “talks about becoming board chairman” if the two airlines join up. The report also points out, however, that US Airways chief Doug Parker is “widely seen” as the person who would run the merged airlines.

American Apologizes to Passengers

Pro-Merger Shift

Meanwhile, USA Today cites an AP report saying that “a group of major bondholders has decided to support a merger rather than a rival plan for AMR [American’s parent company] to emerge from bankruptcy protection on its own.” And as FareCompare has reported, American’s pilots have long expressed support for a merger.

FareCompare contacted American for comment but we were told there was nothing new to report. Meanwhile, the airline has been making waves in other areas.

American Drops Flights from Boston

The Boston Globe reports on American’s vanishing act at Logan International with the carrier’s plans to drop its last remaining flight from Boston to London in March. According to the paper, American flew to 33 cities on non-stop routes from Boston back in 2003; in a couple of months, it now flies to just six.

See American’s ‘New Look’

American’s New Look: Love it, Hate it

As for American’s rebranding effort, unveiled two weeks ago – it is not to everyone’s taste. The headline of a review by an architecture and design critic called it, “Something lousy in the air” while a spokesman for American’s pilots union dismissed it as mere “cosmetic changes.” However, earlier this week FareCompare’s Alexandria Williams toured one of American’s new 737 planes featuring the redesign and pronounced it “radiant and eye-catching.”

As FareCompare noted earlier, American’s new look for the tail features a stylized U.S. flag motif – not unlike the stylized flag currently sported by potential merger partner US Airways.


Published: January 30, 2013