The parent companies of American
Airlines and US Airways signaled Friday that merger talks are moving
The two companies are taking a close look at each other's books and exchanging confidential information, they said in a press release.
AMR Corporation, the bankrupt American Airlines parent, said it and US Airways Group were "working in good faith to evaluate a potential combination." Talks between American Airlines, the largest US carrier, and US Airways have been ongoing.
The statement said the companies did not expect to make any further announcements until they either reached a decision to merge or ended negotiations.
After the announcement the share price of US Airways rose 3 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange in early trading. It has been searching for a partner for months as most of its rivals have paired up in mergers, which result in lower operating costs because the two companies can share maintenance personnel and booking systems, among other measures.
Earlier this year Delta Air Lines swallowed the smaller Northwest Airlines, while United Airlines joined with Continental.
US Airways asnd American Airlines assured each other that during their talks they would not negotiate with any other airline over a merger. International Airlines Group - parent company of British Airways and Iberia - had previously shown interest in American Airlines.
American Airlines declared bankruptcy in November. It continues operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which grant companies protection from creditors while they reorganize their debt.
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