FORT WORTH — AMR Corp. said its creditors and shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the Fort Worth-based carrier's restructuring plan, which includes merging with US Airways.In the vote results released Thursday morning, AMR said at least 88 percent of the creditor ballots in each creditor class received voted in favor of AMR's plan to exit bankruptcy. The parent company of American Airlines said more than 99 percent of the shares of AMR's stockholders voted to accept the plan as well. Final vote results will be filed with the court next week."This is another important milestone toward our launch of the new American. The overwhelming support for our Plan of Reorganization is a testament to the resilience and hard work of the entire American team," said AMR chief executive Tom Horton.The bankruptcy court is holding a hearing on August 15 to confirm or reject the restructuring plan. AMR said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the same time it closes its merger with US Airways.The merger is pending government approval and both carriers expect the deal to close in the third quarter. The European Union is expected to formally approve the merge on August 6 while the U.S. Department of Justice may issue a decision on the merger sometime this month.Separately on Thursday, Republic Airways began operating flights out of Chicago O'Hare Airport as American Eagle. The regional carrier is flying new 76-seat Embraer E-175 aircraft for American Airlines as part of its 12-year partnership with American.The new aircraft will initially fly from Chicago to Albuquerque, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. American plans to add more E-175s through Republic with 47 aircraft in service by the beginning of 2015. The E-175 aircraft will have 12 first class seats, 20 main cabin extra seats and 44 main cabin seats, the carrier said.Republic has previously flown regional flights for American out of Chicago under the American Connection brand.During its bankruptcy process, American has renegotiated its union contracts to enable it to hire more third-party regional carriers to fly short-haul flights under the American Eagle brand. The Fort Worth-based carrier plans to transition out of its older ATRs and E-135 aircraft that it currently uses for regional flying by the end of 2013.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk