FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- The CEO of American Airlines parent AMR (UNKNOWN:AAMRQ.DL) says the company could decide "within a matter of weeks" whether to merge with US Airways (UNKNOWN:LCC.DL).

AMR is studying whether to exit bankruptcy protection on its own or merge while still in Chapter 11 with its smaller rival.

In a letter to employees Thursday, CEO Thomas Horton didn't shed any new light on which way the company will go but promised a decision soon. Representatives of the two airlines and some of their unions have been holding confidential talks on a potential merger.

AMR's board is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss a merger.

Separately, the union representing American's flight attendants said it agreed to an outline for combining the two airlines' workforces if there is a merger. The union for American's pilots did the same thing last week. Both unions support a merger.

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