Exclusive: American, US Airways in Final Pilot Talks to Set Up Merger

Tickers in this article: AAMRQ.PK LCC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- The key parties involved in a potential merger between US Airways (LCC) and American Airlines are negotiating a memorandum of understanding for a pilot contract.

"We are negotiating," said Tom Hoban, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots. "Everybody is at the bargaining table (in Dallas)."

The document would establish the terms for an interim pilot contract if there is a merger. It has not been reviewed by either airline or union board, but negotiating teams for the four parties are nearing an agreement. APA has not reached a final agreement, but USAPA negotiators apparently have.

In a Tuesday afternoon e-mail to members of the US Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways pilots, President Gary Hummel wrote: "We have reached an important milestone in our relationship with US Airways and American Airlines.

"Last week your union entered into discussions in Dallas regarding a potential merger between AMR and US Airways," Hummel wrote. "Your negotiating representatives have concluded discussion on a comprehensive memorandum of understanding between USAPA, APA, AMR, US Airways, and the UCC."

Hummel said the memorandum of understanding will be reviewed by pilot leadership to determine whether to endorse it. He said US Airways CEO Doug Parker and President Scott Kirby, as well as the creditors' lead counsel, Jack Butler, will address the USAPA board in Charlotte on Wednesday.

A merger would create the world's largest airline with major hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Phoenix and a strong presence in Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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