Stories about the future of American Airlines after it emerges from bankruptcy as practiced under US law have always been hard to assess from an Australian perspective, but what happens to it is important to Qantas travellers and shareholders, given the network and marketing alliance between the two carriers.

It seems after fresh reports today that slowly AA is moving perceptibly to a better future, rather than the ugly end that looked like a real risk earlier this year, but the latest report of a no-cash, share merger between it and US Airways¬† doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the solution that wins out.

Earlier today some US media began carrying reports that a shares only offer of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines had been made.¬† And CBS news focused instead on AA’s pilots accepting in principle the terms of a new labor contract which could either be seen as an important step to securing such a merger, or for American to pursue a future in which it didn’t merge with another carrier, meaning US Airways, since every other combination was other ‘not on’ between the parties or ‘not allowable’ under competition laws.

Either way, the outcome would almost certainly auger well for the Qantas/American joint commercial agreement, since the American brand would continue, and in the event of a US Airways merger, continue with an even larger range of US cities via code shares.

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