American Airlines CEO Plays Coy On Merger Possibilities

Even though U.S. Airways has made it known to struggling American Airlines that it would like to go on a few dates — only coffee, maybe a drink or two; no heavy petting — its bankrupt object of affection may not be rushing to the altar.

“We’re not opposed to consolidation in the industry, and I wouldn’t rule it out for American as things develop,” American CEO Tom Horton (not to be confused with Canadian donut shop Tim Hortons) said yesterday to the Chicago Tribune. “I think it would be tremendously unwise to get distracted with talk of combination inside a restructuring.”

Trying to get American’s affairs in order and still looking presentable for a suitor would be a matter of “layering complexity on top of complexity,” says Horton. “There’s no reason why the company couldn’t consider a combination on the backside of restructuring.”

Late last week, a batch of newly registered website domain names seemed to hint that the whispers of an impending merger between American and U.S. Airways was more than mere rumor. But this could have just been the corporate equivalent of a smitten teenager scribbling down the name of their crush on the inside cover of their biology notebook.

CEO says American not opposed to merger — at some point [Chicago Tribune]