Report: American Eyeing Up 5 Airlines As Potential Merger Partners

Bankrupt American Airlines has flirted with a few options for mergers in the past, and now it’s being reported that its pool of suitors has grown to at least five potential hookups: US Airways, JetBlue, Alaska Air, Frontier Airlines and Virgin America. Its parent company AMR said it will be moving ahead on evaluating potential mergers and will be in touch with those interested, in order to soothe some of its creditors who aren’t so happy with a stand-alone restructuring plan.

Reuters cites a source familiar with the situation in naming the five airlines, and says AMR sees itself as an acquirer. Any proposal to merge with another airline will have to be compared to a standalone restructuring plan that it is in the works as well, to see which would ultimately be better for the airline and its creditors.

Many of those on American’s creditors committee, which is led by its largest labor unions, have argued that a merger with US Airways would give the two combined airlines a stronger network to compete with other rivals who have already gone through mergers, like Delta and United. US Airways has been the most common name to pop up in merger talks.

Chief Executive Tom Horton wrote to employees in a letter explaining that there was still a lot of work to be done to figure out revenue and the company’s costs in each potential merger.

“It now makes sense to carefully evaluate a range of strategic options, including potential mergers, which could make the new American even stronger,” he wrote.

It’s been two months since American vowed to explore merger options while it’s still in the process of bankruptcy.

Favored boyfriend US Airways seems happy to still be in the running.

“All we have asked for is a fair and balanced opportunity to present our plan versus others, and we are hopeful this is the beginning of such a process,” US Airways said. “We remain confident that our plan will maximize value for all stakeholders.”

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

American Airlines, creditors discuss 5 merger partners [Reuters]