Since the start of the year, US Airways (Fortune 500) shares have been on a tear as the airline pursues a merger with AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines and American Eagle, which filed for , Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2011.
US Airways, the nation's fifth-largest carrier, first acknowledged the possibility of a merger in January, when it disclosed that it had hired advisers to explore a possible deal. Speculation continued to build throughout the year. In December, American confirmed that it has shared confidential financial information with US Airways management as part of discussions for a possible deal, which the industry's major unions support.
US Airways mostly operates domestically and faces stiff competition from low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines (Fortune 500). But analysts say a merger with American would make it a much bigger player internationally. ,
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