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July 19, 2012

Horton and Parker meet over breakfast in D.C.

The top executives at American Airlines and US Airways Group met for breakfast early Thursday in Washington, D.C., to discuss a potential merger between the two carriers.

US Airways said that AMR chief executive Tom Horton reached out to the carrier for the meeting.

“For months we have discussed the significant benefits of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines. We are pleased that Tom Horton reached out to meet with us this morning," the carrier said in a statement. "No substantial progress was made, but we hope this is the start of a meaningful, fair and transparent process that will give us the ability to demonstrate further why combining American Airlines and US Airways is in the best interests of all of our stakeholders, many of whom have already voiced their support for this merger."

The two executives have not met in person to discuss a merger since American's parent company AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy in November. In an interview in May, Parker said that he called Horton on the day of the bankruptcy filing to congratulate Horton on his new position as CEO. In subsequent discussions, Horton made it clear that the company intended to focus on its bankruptcy restructuring as a stand-alone carrier.

Last week, American announced it would consider possible merger partners as it goes through the restructuring process in bankruptcy. It said it would be sending out non-disclosure agreements for potential partners to sign.

Here is a little more color about the meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"Over oatmeal at a downtown Washington, D.C., hotel around 6:15 a.m., AMR Chief Executive Tom Horton told his US Airways counterpart, Doug Parker, to expect AMR to run a methodical process and not rush into any deals as the larger airline charts a path out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, one of the people said," the WSJ reported.

UPDATE: Here is American's view of the morning meeting:

 He emphasized that American’s management has an obligation to its own stakeholders, as well as the support of the Board and the UCC, to pursue the right plan, which includes several interesting options, to deliver the highest value for our financial stakeholders and the best outcome for our people," said American spokesman Mike Trevino.

-Andrea Ahles


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Why would Horton give Parker the time of day?

Maybe Doug wants to return to American as Horton's intern.


I'm glad Horton and Parker met. It sounds that Horton told Parker that he can bloviate all he wants, AA will not be strong armed into a merger.


That's kinda like Hitler meeting Stalin, isn't it?


Wow, comparing airline CEOs to mass murderers.

That's helpful to our discussion, thanks. It's good to know how little credibility you have.

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