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State and Nation Business

Pilots approve new contract with American Airlines

DALLAS – Pilots at American Airlines are approving a new labor contract, which could clear the way for consideration of a merger with US Airways.

The pilots' union announced the results Friday. Pilots rejected a similar offer in August, but union leaders lobbied hard for passage the second time around.

Under the contract, pilots will get pay raises and own 13.5 percent of American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. after it emerges from bankruptcy protection.

Union officials and analysts say the vote gives AMR creditors certainty about the company's labor costs, making it easier for them to weigh which gives them more money — American on its own, or getting bigger through a merger with US Airways.

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