Despite the obviousness of USAirways acquiring it as American Airlines' only hope for survival, apparently some AMR executives are having a Walter Mitty moment:
A source familiar with the situation said AMR sees itself as an acquirer in potential mergers and at least five airlines -- US Airways Group Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp, Alaska Air Group, Republic Airways' Frontier Airlines, and Virgin America -- will be considered.
American has faced mounting pressure from vocal members of its creditors committee, led by its largest labor unions, who have argued that a merger with US Airways would give the combined carrier a strong network to compete with rivals beefed up by their own mergers. US Airways has expressed interest in a merger and has been courting AMR's creditors.
The problem, one will see immediately, is that AMR doesn't have the resources to take over another airline. And the ones they listed are regional, medium-sized, or discount airlines, not at all likely to help American get out of bankruptcy. Virgin just has to be a joke, of course. Not that there haven't been mergers between Americans and Virgins in the past—I just don't think Richard Branson will put out for Tom Horton in the near future.
Possibly this is just posturing by AMR executives. I hope so. Because if not, USAirways won't buy American, and American will die, and I'll have to fly United. And that would really suck.