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AMR wants more time to file bankruptcy plan

David Koenig, AP Airlines Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and its creditors want more time to complete a bankruptcy-restructuring plan.

AMR and a committee representing unsecured creditors filed a motion Friday to extend the company's exclusive right to file a reorganization plan by six weeks, to March 11 from Jan. 28.

Separately, AMR said Friday that it lost $164 million in October on revenue of $1.96 billion. Excluding restructuring expenses such as fees for lawyers and consultants, the loss would have been $92 million. The company didn't give figures for the same month in 2011.

Added to losses in 2012 and December 2011, AMR has lost $3.2 billion since filing for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29, 2011.

AMR spokesman Sean Collins said that Hurricane Sandy, which forced American and its Eagle affiliate to cancel more than 2,000 flights, cost $40 million in lost revenue. Lingering effects of widespread delays and cancelations in September reduced October revenue by $45 million, he added.

Delays and cancelations spiked after American imposed pay cuts on pilots in early September. The airline accused pilots of conducting an illegal work slowdown. Pilots are now voting on a contract that includes pay raises and a share of ownership after AMR emerges from bankruptcy.

AMR said it needed more time to file a reorganization plan because of the size and complexity of the task, and because it spent so much time this year reworking labor deals with unions.

A hearing on the request was scheduled for Dec. 19 in federal bankruptcy court in New York.

It would be the fourth extension of exclusive rights for AMR. The other requests were approved without opposition.

The move could buy AMR more time to talk with US Airways Group Inc. about a potential merger. A confidentiality agreement covering private talks was to expire Friday but was expected to be extended.

Despite those talks, there is no guarantee that the two will agree to merge without pressure from AMR's creditors. AMR and US Airways have been talking about topics including the ownership share for AMR creditors in a combined airline, but sticky issues remain such as who would run the company.