US Airways has made no secret of its interest in a merger with American Airlines, and now it's gobbling up Internet domain names in case they do agree to combine.
A spokesman for US Airways Group Inc. confirmed Tuesday that the company registered several domain addresses that include the names of both airlines, including usairways-american.com and american-usairways.com.
The spokesman, Andrew Christie, said US Airways bought the domain names to prevent anyone else from buying them and using the names "in a way that might negatively impact our brand."
He declined to comment about a possible bid for American.
US Airways has publicly disclosed that it hired advisers to weigh a bid for AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November.
A spokesman for American Airlines, Bruce Hicks, said the airline knew nothing about the domain names.
Delta Air Lines Inc. reportedly also is mulling a bid for AMR. Delta President Ed Bastian was asked Tuesday whether his airline had followed US Airways' example and registered domain names linking Delta and American.
"Not that I'm aware of," Bastian said. "But I think it's cute."