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Boeing CEO Backs AMR On Delaying Merger

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 2:09pm
The Associated Press

US Airways has mostly Airbus planes. American Airlines has an all-Boeing fleet, although it plans to order new planes from both manufacturers.

That difference between the companies' fleets is causing aviation industry insiders to speculate that US Airways' potential bid for American — if it leads to a merger — would help Airbus more than Boeing Co.

Boeing CEO James McNerney said on a conference call with investors and reporters Wednesday that Boeing will adjust to any outcome. But he sided with American Airlines parent AMR Corp. in its desire to put off any merger until it finishes slimming down and reorganizing during bankruptcy court protection.

Boeing is a key player in that process because it holds one of nine seats on the unsecured creditors' committee, a group that could influence when US Airways gets to present a takeover plan to the bankruptcy court.

QUESTION: How would a US Airways-American merger affect orders for Boeing planes?

MCNERNEY: American is working through the process now and we support them emerging from this thing as a stronger airline. If, at that point, a merger makes sense to the two managements..., we'll support that as well.

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