AMR Seeks More Time To File Bankruptcy Plan

March 9, 2012

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The parent of American Airlines asked a US federal bankruptcy judge to extend by six months the period in which it has the exclusive right to file a reorganisation plan.

The request by AMR to extend the exclusivity period to September 28 was expected, and came one day after the Fort Worth, Texas-based company proposed to freeze pensions for many of its workers, retreating from a proposal to terminate them.

AMR's initial exclusivity period was just 120 days, and the law allows courts to grant extensions up to but not beyond 18 months after a Chapter 11 filing. Thereafter, others may file competing plans. AMR filed for court protection last November 29.

"The relief requested will allow American to continue focusing on preserving and enhancing going concern values and restructuring American's financial condition and operations," AMR said in a filing with the US bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

Such a restructuring would help "achieve a competitive and sustainable cost structure and, thus, achieve the objectives of Chapter 11 -- a successful rehabilitation," AMR added.

A March 22 hearing on the request has been scheduled.

American is the 3rd-largest of the US legacy carriers, after United Continental and Delta Air Lines.

Delta, smaller rival US Airways and private equity firm TPG Capital have been studying whether to bid for AMR, people familiar with the matter have said.