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]


Edit Your Comment

  1. CrazyEyed says:

    In response to incurring more debt from the acquisition of American Airlines, AMR is tacking on an airport fee, bagged check fee, terminal seat fee, and bathroom fee.

  2. selianth says:


  3. ferozadh says:

    Just another bee in the hive my friend, just another bee, AA says to Ryan Reynolds

  4. Sarek says:

    I don’t see how any of these partners would be of any help to American. Alaska & Frontier are too small. Virgin overlaps their routes. Jet Blue is a completely different animal and would probably lose most of its customer base if it turned into American.

    • aerodawg says:

      I think US Airways is the only one that really makes sense. There’s not a whole lot of route overlap and the hub structure could be very complimentary.

      • cowboyesfan says:

        The CEO of USAir used to work with Horton at AA – no merger will be possible with those two.

  5. MPD01605 says:

    I don’t see it being JetBlue. JB (B6, if you will) has two types of planes and a well-planned system and brand. Uniting AA into B6 seems like it would be very difficult for B6 in terms of scale. Likewise for Virginia America, who has a very specific brand and is in a family with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. I could see US Air or Alaska going for it, though. They seem to be able enough to unite AA with their brands.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      Th CEO of Virgin (David Cush) used to work for Horton also. No merger would be possible between them two.

  6. fsnuffer says:

    I say merge them with AmTrak. With they way airlines are being run today it would be a step up in service and reliability

  7. Delicious Spam is delicious says:

    hey baybee u wanna buy mi airline?

  8. cowboyesfan says:

    This is merely a ploy to encourage the pilots union to vote for the new contract w/concessions.

    After Aug 8th, Horton will merely announce no merger.

    AMR gains nothing with a USAir merger. Their route structure is not complementary at all. If they merge with anyone, it will be British Air ( with whom they have a joint business agreement with ), however US law prevents such a merger – for right now that is.