AMR CEO Tom Horton in an American Airlines Boeing 777 at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
When he finally clicked on the attachment, Horton's amusement dissolved into deep distress. Horton had long feared that the crafty Parker would raid American once it filed for bankruptcy, which it had done the previous November. But this merger proposal was more audacious than anything he'd envisioned. The three-page letter began: "I am now more than ever certain that, by virtue of the significant synergies created by a combination of AMR and US Airways, a combination transaction can in fact expedite rather than delay AMR's emergence from Chapter 11 and preserve 6,200 jobs otherwise at risk." As Horton read on, he found the terms of the proposed union astounding. US Airways, a scrappy carrier about half the size of American, would take a controlling 50.1% stake in the newly formed carrier -- which strongly suggested that Parker was anointing himself, not Horton, to run what would become the world's largest airline.
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