American Airlines, AMR seek more time to finish bankruptcy case
By TERRY MAXON
American Airlines Inc., parent AMR Corp. and the unsecured creditors committee in their bankruptcy case asked Friday for another 20 days to file a plan of reorganization.
The request comes as American and US Airways Group Inc. appear close to making an announcement on a possible merger.
In a filing Friday afternoon, the parties asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane to let AMR and American have until April 1 to file a plan, instead of the current deadline of March 11. They also asked that the parties have until May 31 to seek approvals to the plan.
This is the fifth delay requested since AMR, American and their subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29, 2011. As before, the parties said they needed more time to complete the plan.
“American has made significant progress in its restructuring,” American spokesman Sean Collins said. “This work, while progressing well, takes time, and American and the unsecured creditors committee believe that the proposed extension to April 1, 2013, is appropriate for this process to continue in an orderly and efficient manner.”
The request comes as American and suitor US Airways are nearing completion of their joint exploration of a possible merger.
Among the reasons cited in Friday’s filing for justifying the delay was “American and the UCC [unsecured creditors committee] are pursuing their collaborative review of strategic alternatives that might be beneficial to American’s economic stakeholders and the enterprise.”
Executives at the two carriers signed nondisclosure agreements Aug. 31 allowing them to exchange confidential information about their businesses. Others have since signed on, including the creditors committee and the airlines’ unions.
Those nondisclosure agreements have been extended a number of times since then.
The agreements, which had been set to expire Friday, now will go to the end of January, by which time the carriers are expected to make public their decision on a merger.