"It is possible that this group could actually be planning to replace the board with members favorable to an AMR merger," which could produce a faster and "more promising" recovery for the troubled company, Bryan said. She said keeping AMR's current management would lead to continued "bad blood" between it and labor unions.
The ad hoc group's letter was written Nov. 15 by Uzzi, a lawyer for the New York firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, to Allied Pilots Association President Keith Wilson. It was first reported by Bloomberg News.
It comes as American's 7,500 pilots are voting on a proposed contract that would boost their pay in line with pilots at United Airlines and Delta Air Lines after three years and give American's pilots 13.5 percent of the stock in the restructured company. In exchange the contract would reduce benefits and allow American to outsource more flying.
The pilots — along with American's union flight attendants and ground workers — support a merger and already have conditional labor deals with US Airways.
Dennis Tajer, a union spokesman, said the Uzzi letter was a commitment from "a significant creditor group" to help select the right leadership and strategy for American Airlines.