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January 03, 2013

AMR CEO Horton tells employees decision on merger will come "to conclusion within a matter of weeks"

In a letter sent to employees on Thursday, AMR chief executive Tom Horton said the company will reach a decision on a potential merger with US Airways "within a matter of weeks."

Horton also updated American Airlines' workers on the discussions between the pilots unions and the two carriers which are reviewing the memorandum of understanding that was approved by the Allied Pilots Association last week.

"I have been personally involved in all deliberations regarding the overall strategic review and focused intently on creating a framework with the unions and for all our employee groups that keeps American competitive and allows us to build a successful future," Horton wrote. "The proposed MOU will be reviewed alongside other factors under evaluation, as part of making an informed decision about whether a merger should be pursued."

Next week, AMR's board of directors is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss a possible merger. The non-disclosure agreement that AMR currently has with US Airways is scheduled to expire on Friday.

Keep reading for the full letter from Horton.

-Andrea Ahles

Dear American Team:

As we start a new year, I'd like to thank you all for capping a year of extraordinary work by delivering for our customers during our busiest season. This dedication underscores why I have so much confidence in the future of the new American.

As you know, we continue the process we embarked upon months ago to carefully assess how we can deliver the greatest value for our stakeholders and the best outcome for our people and customers. Together with our Board, and the Creditors' Committee, we asked our unions and those of US Airways to join the discussions underway in order to better evaluate the potential benefits, costs and risks of a potential merger. All parties are operating under a confidentiality agreement, and whiel I cannot provide any details, I can assure you we are conducting a collaborative, fact-based analysis to determine the best path forward for American.

As part of these joint efforts, last week APA announced that its Board voted to approve a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which is now subject to review and approval by American, US Airways and the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), the union representing US Airways' pilots. Discussions with our other unions and those of US Airways are also in progress. I have been personally involved in all deliberations regarding the overall strategic review and focused intently on creating a framework with the unions and for all our employee groups that keeps American competitive and allows us to build a successful future.

The proposed MOU will be reviewed alongside other factors under evaluation, as part of making an informed decision about whether a merger should be pursued.

I know many of you have questions about what happens next and how long this evaluation will be underway. While I cannot give you a precise date, I can tell you that we expect to bring this to conclusion within a matter of weeks. As we do, our objective is unchanged - to create the most value for our owners and the strongest possible American going forward. All of our efforts have been aimed at building on the extraordinary progress we have already made.

In just over a year, we have moved faster and performed better through our restructuring than any airline in history. Our collective efforts have created a strong foundation for the future of the new American, which is on course to become a premier global airline, equipped to compete against the best in the world. Staying laser-focused on serving our customers and running a great airline must remain our highest priority.

Thank you again for your commitment, and I look forward to sharing more information as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Tom

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Comments

Richard

That's good - this shouldn't drag on forever. I'll be very curious to see how this plays out. We should start a pool on this blog about the first hub to close if a merger goes through.

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