American Airlines, US Airways boards said to approve merger

The boards of AMR, the parent of American Airlines and its smaller competitor US Airways Group yesterday separately voted to approve a merger, a deal which would create the world's largest airline, according to several media reports.

A formal announcement due to be made later in the day would end more than a year of backroom negotiations as the smaller US Airways pushed the larger but bankrupt American Airlines to merge and accept conditional labour deals with its unions.

Under the deal that was hammered out prior to the vote, AMR's bankruptcy creditors will own 72 per cent of the combined airline, while US Airways shareholders will own the rest.

The board approval came after AMR's unsecured creditors committee, which includes all three of AMR's major unions finally approved the proposed merger.

The merged company will have 12 members on the board - four from US Airways including chief executive Doug Parker, three from AMR including chief executive Tom Horton and five to be designated by AMR's creditors.

The merger approval comes more than 14 months after AMR filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, which would be the last merger between major US carriers, following the Delta-Northwest and United-Continental mergers.