The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) say that they are in talks with American Airlines and US Airways regarding an interim pilots agreement in the case of a merger.
APA, which represents about 10,000 pilots at American, said that they were in talks with the airlines regarding a memorandum of understanding that would serve as an interim agreement, in a statement on 19 December.
USAPA, which represents US Airways East pilots, confirms that they are participating in talks with the other parties today.
The joint talks are understood to be one of the final points necessary before a deal could be reached.
"The only reason I can imagine them bringing the two unions into the room is they are serious about a transaction," says Bob McAdoo, an airline analyst at Imperial Capital.
Fort Worth-based American and Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways have been in discussions since signing a non-disclosure agreement in August. The latter reportedly made a formal offer to American in November.
"American is actively taking part in on-going discussions with US Airways, APA and USAPA to appropriately evaluate the impact of pilot labour costs, integration and seniority on a potential merger," says American. "Those discussions continue, and the parties have not yet reached an agreement."
US Airways declines to comment.