The agreement allows US Airways Group to review confidential AA information with the intention of helping US Airways put together a competitive bid for a merger, which would help AA get out of bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.
American Airlines did not name the other carriers with which it had signed non-disclosure agreements, but it has been reported that International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, is researching AA information to assemble a bid for the airline.
"We have no idea what a merger will look like at this point, so it's impossible to say who will be in charge and what will happen," said Brett Snyder, an industry critic who writes the Cranky Flier, an online posting.
AMR Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton has said he is cautious about a merger, although his caution appears to have softened lately.
"I think it would be tremendously unwise to get distracted with talk of combination inside a restructuring," Horton said in March.
In July, however, he said AMR had "greater clarity on our revenue outlook and cost structure," indicating he was ready to review options for moving forward, including mergers.