In the last few days the bondholder group indicated that it would not remain bound by a confidentiality agreement past Feb. 15 and wanted a swift decision on a merger, increasing the sense of urgency around the negotiations, according to the people familiar with the matter.
US Airways has been pushing a merger since shortly after AMR filed for Chapter 11 protection in November 2011, but Horton has resisted the idea. He wanted to restructure his company and exit from bankruptcy before considering a merger.
However, under pressure from creditors, AMR agreed in late August to consider a merger. In the five months since, AMR and US Airways have held private talks and exchanged financial information to let the companies and AMR creditors weigh the benefits of a merger compared with an independent AMR.
American is the nation's third-biggest airline and US Airways ranks fifth. Together they would be roughly the same size as United Continental Holdings Inc. and bigger than Delta Air Lines Inc. by passenger traffic.