CHARLOTTE, N.C. (
CEO Doug Parker said his effort to merge with bankrupt
has backing from every major constituent except for one -- senior management at
Speaking Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Parker said Wall Street, bondholders, the media, and the airline's employees support the merger effort. Leaders of American's three biggest unions, which represent 55,000 workers, attended the session in a display of support.
"I find it noteworthy that the only opposition that seems to exist to this merger is (from) the senior management of American Airlines," Parker said. "I don't want to guess as to why it is they don't support it. We are hopeful we can get their support at some point in the future."
Parker noted that he began his career at American -- "I've been there myself and I love that brand" -- and that AMR CEO Tom Horton "and I are friends and have been friends for a long time. Hopefully, when this is over, we'll remain friends.
"It's a business disagreement," he continued. "None of this is remotely personal."
Parker said he is satisfied with the process Horton announced last week, after meeting with the creditor's bankruptcy creditors committee. It involves evaluating mergers with five airlines including US Airways.
However, Parker quoted Bob Dylan as saying, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." He said "analysis just complicates the situation. You don't need all of that to tell you what you already know. You already know what the right answer is. Everyone on Wall Street knows it.
"Cut through the noise and the process and get to the substance," Parker said. "Don't wait. There are 100,000 jobs at stake here." Workers would benefit from being employed by a carrier big enough to compete with
(DAL - Get Report)
(UAL - Get Report)
, he said.
The battle over the merger effort seemed to reach a new level of intensity on Wednesday. Early in the morning, American reported improved second-quarter financial results. It has trumpeted its improving financial results as an indication that it doesn't need a merger to be successful.