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It's time for the airline shuffle.

American Airlines

(AMR) - Get Free Report

is reportedly about to buy troubled rival




a stake in

US Airways

(U) - Get Free Report


The TWA purchase would allow AMR, parent of American, to take over St. Louis-based Trans World Airways, which for years has been unable to get its financial house in order. The investment in US Airways would broaden American's reach even further and help American's chief rival, United, clear antitrust concerns in its purchase of US Airways. United, a unit of UAL Corp., is the nation's largest carrier and American is the second biggest.

If the deals go through, American and United would control more than half of all air travel in the U.S.

The purchases are reportedly going to be announced this week.

The Wall Street Journal

said the plan calls for TWA to file for bankruptcy -- which would be its third time seeking legal shelter from its financial problems. American would then provide financing for the airline's restructuring. The total value of the deal would be about $2 billion.

Almost at the same time, American would pay $1.2 billion for a 20% stake in US Airways, a stake that would include planes, coveted gates and landing slots, a piece of the Boston-New York-Washington shuttle and part ownership of US Air's new regional carrier.