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AMR Can Survive Without Taking a Merger Partner, CEO Says

An Airbus A319, operated by US Airways Group Inc., takes off behind a Boeing Co. 737, operated by AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, at Reagan National Airport. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
An Airbus A319, operated by US Airways Group Inc., takes off behind a Boeing Co. 737, operated by AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, at Reagan National Airport. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton said American Airlines doesn’t need a merger to thrive after bankruptcy, even with US Airways Group Inc., which has said a combination is vital to the larger carrier’s survival.

American “has great assets,” Horton said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We have the best partners around the world and we have got a pipeline of industry-leading products and services” that include 550 new airplanes on order.

American parent AMR Corp. hopes to complete a review of strategic options by the fall, Horton said in a separate interview today. The company has begun considering options now that it has cost and revenue projections for a stand-alone plan.

US Airways, the most vocal suitor, said yesterday it won’t wait indefinitely for a merger agreement. Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker has argued a combination with US Airways is the only way for American to resolve route-network weaknesses after consolidation in the industry left it a distant No. 3 behind United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc.

US Airways was one of five carriers Horton mentioned as potential partners in a meeting with AMR’s creditors committee June 10, people familiar with the matter have said. The others were Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp. and Virgin America Inc.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Langford at jlangford2@bloomberg.net

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