The request comes following five days of negotiations that concluded Wednesday. In an update released Wednesday evening, Mark Burdette, American's vice president of employee relations, indicated progress was made. "Both parties made significant moves toward each other on compensation and pension," he said. But the two sides remain far apart on several key issues, including retiree medical costs and outsourcing cabin cleaning.

Standard & Poor's analyst Jim Corridore said he does not anticipate that labor talks will significantly impact American's share price. "Labor talks at airlines are long and drawn out and take years," he said. "At American, the unions were helpful in 2003 and they are having pushback now. They are trying to capitalize at a time of positive momentum, rather than at a time of losses." In early afternoon trading, shares were up 15 cents to $10.12.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .

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