US Airways says its merger discussions with United have dissolved, and is arguing it will remain strong as a stand-alone carrier if United Airlines ultimately merges with Continental Airlines.

Merger rumors have swirled around the three Star Alliance partners during the last couple of weeks as reports surfaced US Airways and United had revived previous merger discussions.

Following those talks speculation grew that United would ultimately prefer to merge with Continental. Those two carriers also held merger discussions in 2008.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker tells employees that while some industry experts "will suggest that US Airways will be strategically harmed if United now chooses to merge with Continental. They will be wrong...we have a strong and viable standalone airline that is producing industry-leading results."

Parker's propensity for consolidation is well-known, and he stresses to employees that if "our competitors choose to merger and help create a more stable airline industry, our independent airline will only become stronger".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news