The CEO of US Airways says the airline might not be willing to wait for a merger until after American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy protection.
Doug Parker runs US Airways Group Inc. and has been vocal about wanting to merge with American. He said in a speech Wednesday that US Airways is ready to talk about a merger now. But he says there's no guarantee that will be the case forever.
If the merger goes through, the airline's headquarters will move to Fort Worth, TX, from Tempe, Parker said.
"We are certain that any objective analysis will conclude that the best plan for the creditors, employees and customers of American is a merger with US Airways during the bankruptcy process," he said.
Parker pointed out that there are benefits to combining airlines. He said mergers have led to increased traffic, cost reductions and better competition.
Parker said a merger would give employees greater job security and more long-term opportunities. He said customers would get more flight options at more convenient times.
"We've taken a long, hard look at American, and we know that together we can build the greatest airline in the world - an airline that can compete more effectively with the networks of United, Delta and others," he said.
Parker also praised the decisions to support the merger by American Airlines' three unions - the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union.
Parker spoke at the National Press Club in Washington.
American filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Its CEO initially resisted the idea of merging with US Airways, but recently American has said it will study various merger options. A combined American and US Airways would rival United as the world's largest airline.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation) contributed to this report.
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