Tags: JetBlue | amr | airline | talks

JetBlue Shuns AMR Talks; CEO Seeks Wider Airport Access

Monday, 20 Aug 2012 06:04 PM

JetBlue Airways Corp. has “no interest” in a merger with AMR Corp.’s bankrupt American Airlines, and wants to expand by winning more airport flight slots while remaining independent.

After being identified by AMR management as a possible merger partner, JetBlue hasn’t received a nondisclosure agreement as a step toward talks and isn’t interested in getting one, Chief Executive Officer Dave Barger said Monday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters office in New York.

JetBlue will focus on adding flight slots at airports including Washington’s Reagan National and increasing service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Barger said. That would keep the New York-based carrier out of the industry deal-making that included the creation of the world’s two biggest airlines, United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., since 2008.

“We’re just not interested in participating in the consolidation path, either being acquired or in acquiring another company,” Barger said. “Independence is our plan today and it’s our path on a go-forward basis.”

AMR sent US Airways Group Inc. a non-disclosure agreement last month. At a meeting of AMR’s unsecured creditors committee in July, CEO Tom Horton identified JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Virgin America Inc. as possible merger partners, a person familiar with the situation said at the time.

A non-disclosure agreement would give prospective partners access to each other’s financial records on condition that the information not be shared. US Airways, which is studying whether to mount an AMR takeover attempt, has confirmed receiving such an agreement.

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