USAPA pilots approve merger MoU

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US Airways pilots represented by the US Airline Pilots Association have approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that lays out an interim labour agreement in the event of a merger between American Airlines and US Airways.

Union members approved the MoU by a 25 percentage point margin with 75% voting for the agreement, according to USAPA.

"Should the merger of American Airlines and US Airways occur, your endorsement of this MoU now establishes a clear path forward for the pilots of US Airways, highlighted with $1.6 billion in economic improvements for you over the next six years," says Gary Hummel, president of USAPA, in a letter to members.

US Airways declines to comment on the vote.

American's board as well as its unsecured creditors committee could vote on a merger as early as 11 February with an announcement later that week, according to various reports.

Jamie Baker, an airline analyst at JP Morgan, called the MoU approval by US Airways pilots the "final piece of the merger labour puzzle" and said that it could lead to a merger announcement during the week of 11 February, in a recent research note.

"We think a merger should be very positive for the majority of constituents at both AMR and US Airways as well as the industry as a whole," says Michael Linenberg, an airline analyst at Deutsche Bank, in a research report today.