American Airlines board to discuss possible merger

No major decision expected to be reached at meeting

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MIAMI - The board of directors for American Airlines will meet Wednesday to discuss a possible merger with US Airways. If they decide to combine forces, the airline would be the largest in the world.

American Airlines has been struggling to get out of bankruptcy since 2011. AMR Corp., its parent company, has until March 11 to figure out a plan for independent reorganization. No major decision is expected to be reached at Wednesday's meeting.

On Thursday, CEO Thomas Horton told employees that the company would make a decision "within a matter of weeks." He previously suggested that his management team has earned the right to continue to lead the airline, even if a merger is reached.

For months, unions have publicly stated that they've lost confidence in their parent company and they support a merger with US Airways. Each union has independently renegotiated contracts. The pilots union was the final group to sign a deal in December 2012.

Part of the renegotiation included salary cuts and layoffs. Merging with US Airways could significantly change that course.

On Friday, the board of US Airways' pilots union unanimously voted to approve the merger. Following that announcement, the management of both airlines released a joint statement praising their pilots union for their response to the potential merger.

American is the fourth-largest private employer in Miami-Dade County, with a work force of 9,000 people. Miami International Airport is the American Airlines' second largest hub, after Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Approximately 300 AA flights fly in and out of the airport each day.

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