U.S. Airways In Financial Partnership Talks So It Can Keep Flirting With American Airlines

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker recently showed his company’s hand a bit, admitting that merging with American Airlines’ parent, AMR Corp “represents a unique opportunity that we should not ignore.” And now it may have a potential wingman interested in joining its pursuit of hooking up, private equity firm TPG Capital.

U.S. Airways, the fifth-largest carrier in the country, has picked up some steam recently in its rumored bid for its larger rival, notes Reuters, specifically, the approval of many of AMR’s creditors. That approval is bound to increase if it does join forces with TPG, as that partnership could allow for many creditors to be paid back in cash.

However, sources say the talks between TPG and U.S. Airways are by no means exclusive, and they could very well end up not partnering with each other when all is said and done. After all, U.S. Airways has had some conversations with other parties in regard to financing a merger, and might not even need a partner to finance such a deal.

Meanwhile, TPG is also all about keeping its options open.TPG has invested in several airlines before, so it isn’t new to the game of mergers and all the wheeling and dealing that goes along with it. If it doesn’t end up teaming and scheming with U.S. Airways, it may very well support AMR in a standalone restructuring deal.

American is making eyes elsewhere as well, including a bit of eyelash fluttering atJetBlue Airways Corp and Alaska Air Group Inc.

American said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday: “What’s best for our company, our people and our financial stakeholders, will be determined by the facts in a disciplined manner and process. And this includes whether American will choose to pursue any combination down the road.”

US Airways, TPG weigh joint bid for American’s parent-sources [Reuters]