American Airlines and US Airways are reported to be within a week or two of a merger announcement, according to various reports.
Both airlines decline to comment on the speculation.
Jamie Baker, an airline analyst at JP Morgan, says that an announcement could occur as early as the week of 11 February, in a research note on 6 February. He cites the fact that US Airways pilots will conclude voting on a memorandum of understanding that would be the basis of an interim contract in the event of a merger on 8 February, calling it the "final piece of the merger labour puzzle".
Another sticking point in merger negotiations are the roles of Tom Horton, chairman and chief executive of American, and Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of US Airways, in the new company, according to various sources.
Horton is to become non-executive chairman and Parker chief executive, reports the Dallas Morning News.
The board of American's parent AMR is scheduled to meet the week of 11 February.