US Airways has taken a big step in its plan to merge with bankrupt American Airlines, it announced today by filing a form with the SEC. A letter to US Airways employees from the CEO explains that to win a merger the company still needs the OK of American-parent AMR's creditors, management, and board of directors, but that US Air has reached agreements with the three unions representing almost all American employees, all of which now support a merger. "This is obviously an important first step," writes Doug Parker, "and we are hopeful we can all work together to make this happen."
American has expressed a wish to remain a standalone carrier after emerging from bankruptcy, CBS notes. But the unions do not support American's plan to cut 13,000 jobs in an effort to become profitable again, the AP adds. Parker believes a merger would save 6,200 of those jobs. If the merger goes through, CBS explains what that will mean for travelers: probably higher ticket prices, but not necessarily fewer routes. (Read more US Airways stories.)