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US AIRWAYS IN MERGER TALKS WITH AMERICA WEST

US Airways Group Inc. and America West are in advanced discussions to merge, creating a national low-cost airline that would better compete with discount rivals and complement each other geographically, US Airways' chairman said.

Bankrupt US Airways has discussed a merger with several rival carriers, but negotiations with America West have progressed the farthest, Chairman David Bronner said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday.

Talks "probably started in earnest a few months ago," but no deal is imminent, said Bronner, who also serves as CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which invested $240 million in the company.