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American Airlines' Unions Support Possible Takeover By US Airways

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Aviation insiders say Tulsa's largest private employer could be in the early stages of a hostile takeover by rival US Airways. Aviation insiders say Tulsa's largest private employer could be in the early stages of a hostile takeover by rival US Airways.

American Airlines' three major unions and US Airways announced Friday morning that the unions are supportive of a merger of US Airways and American Airlines.

American lost nearly $2-billion in last three months, but its CEO says the company is dedicated to cutting costs, so the airline can emerge from bankruptcy.

04/19/2012 Related Story: American Airline's Parent Lost $1.6 Billion In First Quarter

Statement from the Allied Pilots Association, the Transport Workers Union and Association of Professional Flight Attendants:

"On behalf of nearly 55,000 American Airlines front-line employees--including the 17,000 members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the 10,000 members of the Allied Pilots Association and the 26,000 members of the Transport Workers Union--we are pleased to confirm our support of a possible merger between our airline and US Airways. We have reached agreements on terms sheets for collective bargaining agreements that would govern the American Airlines employees of the merged airline with US Airways.

"This significant step represents our shared recognition that a merger between American Airlines and US Airways is the best strategy and fastest option to complete the restructuring of American Airlines, enabling it to exit the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and restore American Airlines to a preeminent position in the airline industry.

"As envisioned, a merger of US Airways and American Airlines provides the best path for all constituencies, including employees of both American Airlines and US Airways. The contemplated merger would be based on growth, preserve at least 6,200 American Airlines jobs that would be furloughed under the company's standalone strategy, and provide employees of both American and US Airways with competitive, industry-standard compensation and benefits. Over the long term, the combined new airline would support greater job security and advancement opportunities for both American Airlines' and US Airways' employees that are far superior to those available to employees at either airline on a stand-alone basis. Importantly, by avoiding a lengthy and contentious 1113 process, the new carrier would be able to emerge from bankruptcy more quickly.

A merger would create a foundation to establish American Airlines as a vigorous competitor of the two larger network carriers and the industry at large. Customers of both airlines and air travelers in general will benefit greatly from a viable third network carrier and significantly enhanced travel choices."

The U.S. Airways deal would need support from Congress, but taking over American's fleet, workforce and hubs in Miami and Dallas would make U.S. Airways into a power player.

"They get some international routes that they can't get on their own that are worth millions, and they get a good domestic structure that they don't have the people or the equipment right now to fly," Denny Kelly said.

Analysts say American's unions could stand to get a better wage and benefit deal from US Airways. The result of the merger could be just four major U.S. airlines - United, Delta, US Airways and Southwest - compared to eight in 2001.

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