American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., and US Airways have asked the federal court for a November 12 trial date to hear the Department of Justice's anti-trust lawsuit against the merger.
The companies said it expects the trial will take ten days, according to a filing made with the court on Thursday afternoon.
AMR chief executive Tom Horton said he believes a November trial date provides enough time for the government and airline attorneys to prepare for the case.
"The request for a November trial date also reflects our strong, unwavering belief in our merger with US Airways and in our legal case. Simply put: We’re ready to go. It’s time to remove the uncertainty for our customers, people and owners, and achieve our vision for the new American," Horton said in a letter sent to employees on Thursday.Last week, the Department of Justice filed an anti-trust lawsuit to stop the pending merger between the two airlines. In its suit, the government said the merger would lessen competition in the airline industry and result in consumers paying higher airfares and increased fees.
In its court filing, the airlines argue that the government cannot justify a slow trial schedule as it has already had over 16 months to investigate the merger.
American said its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings give greater urgency to resolving the case as the Fort Worth-based carrier is incurring $500,000 in bankruptcy-related professional fees every day.
The filing noted that the airlines also have a merger agreement that gives either carrier the right to terminate the merger as of December 13 if all of the regulatory issues have not been cleared.
"The fact that the merging parties will have the right to terminate the transaction at any time after that date if there has been no decision from this Court will necessarily introduce even greater uncertainty for the airlines' employees and customers if Plaintiffs' alternative proposal for a later trial date is accepted," the filing said, adding that the DOJ has proposed a February 10, 2014 trial date.