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US Airways Mulls Non-Disclosure Agreement With AMR (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: ALK AAMRQ.PK JBLU LCC

This story corrects an earlier version that said the US Airways board has decided to sign a non-disclosure agreement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- The board of US Airways (LCC) is considering whether to sign a non-disclosure agreement with bankrupt AMR (AAMRQ.PK), which would enable the two carriers to confidentially share financial information.

"We received a (non-disclosure agreement) and are reviewing it," US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said Tuesday.

In an email to members Monday night, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association said the airline's board "had approved signing a non-disclosure agreement." But in a correction issued Tuesday, USAPA spokesman James Ray said that did not occur. "US Airways has in fact been asked by AMR, as a sign of good faith, to cease union negotiations and behave as if the NDA has already been signed," Ray said. "US Airways has agreed to honor that request."

A non-disclosure agreement would impose conditions on the carrier including restrictions on its ability to discuss merger issues with labor groups.

At the heart of US Airways' merger effort is a working relationship with American Airlines' labor unions. Also, US Airways has been negotiating a memorandum of understanding regarding contract terms with its own pilots, members of the U.S. Airline Pilots Association. With a non-disclosure agreement, those relationships would become less open.

Negotiators for USAPA had expected to talk with US Airways executives this week regarding the memorandum of understanding.

AMR filed for bankruptcy protection in November and initially resisted merger overtures from US Airways. However, CEO Tom Horton said in July, apparently at the behest of creditors, that the carrier would be open to signing non-disclosure agreements with several potential partners, including Alaska (ALK), JetBlue (JBLU), Frontier and US Airways.

Only US Airways has expressed interest in a merger. But it has been hesitant to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Last week, US Airways President Scott Kirby and CEO Doug Parker met with the editorial board of The Arizona Republic. Kirby told the board, "We're hopeful that we'll be in a consensual process, maybe sometime soon." But Parker also raised the possibility that US Airways might decide it did not want to agree to the terms of the agreement and said that if that decision were made, "we'' try and do something. You'll see something else."

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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