DALLAS (AP) -- American Airlines pilots say their CEO is making his case for remaining an independent company, but the union still wants a merger with US Airways (NYSE:LCC).

The union says its board will meet with US Airways' top two executives next week.

CEO Thomas Horton met for three hours on Thursday with directors of the Allied Pilots Association.

Union spokesman Dennis Tajer says Horton detailed his plan for American's parent company, AMR (NASDAQOTH:AAMRQ), to emerge from bankruptcy protection on its own.

Tajer says the union board considered Horton's comments but still thinks a merger is better for pilots and the company.

American is the nation's third-biggest airline and US Airways is fifth-biggest. Combined they would be about the same size as industry leader United Airlines.

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