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February 11, 2013

Monday Midday Must-Reads: The American-US Airways merger rumor edition

Will a merger announcement between American Airlines and US Airways come this week? Or will it be next week?

Is AMR's board meeting on Monday, Wednesday or not at all?

All of these questions are swirling around in various media reports from over the weekend and this morning, so unlike the usual Monday Midday Must-Reads, this week's edition will feature all of the various "sourced" reports about the American Airlines/US Airways merger.

But first, here's what sources I have talked to are saying:

Everything is "fluid" (that's the word being tossed around) and what may be true at noon on Monday, may change at 1 p.m. They say the boards are supposed to meet this week, with one source saying AMR board members were flying in on Monday for a possible meeting.

The source said the board meeting was delayed from Monday because the weekend snowstorm messed up travel plans to get people here in a timely fashion. But then a different source said that's unlikely since those board members would get priority seating on a flight, over a paying passenger, if there was urgent company business to attend to (maybe they couldn't shovel out of 3 feet of snow in their driveway?).

Over the past week, I've had sources say an announcement would come this week, maybe Tuesday and then maybe Wednesday or possibly Thursday, but probably not Friday. The point is, it's a moving target, if it comes at all.

Since journalists following this possible merger all have different sources, I thought I'd share with Sky Talk readers what is being reported out there:

-On Sunday, the Associated Press reported the AMR board wants to meet in person while the US Airways board wants to meet after AMR's board has made a decision.

-The latest piece in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) says the AMR board and the US Airways board are meeting on Wednesday with a possible announcement scheduled for Thursday.

-The New York Times also predicts a merger announcement this week as part of its larger article on what a combined carrier will look like.

-Bloomberg News, which reported on Friday that AMR's board would meet on Monday, did a lengthy profile piece on US Airways chief executive Doug Parker and how he's learned from previous failed merger attempts. (Parker tried to purchase Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.)

-Andrea Ahles


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