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UAL says it's postponing decision on any acquisition of USAir Group


UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, said yesterday that it is postponing its decision on whether to pursue an acquisition of USAir Group Inc.

The Chicago-based airline had been expected to reach a decision by early November after a monthlong study of USAir's finances and its operating structure. A preliminary recommendation was expected to be made today to the airline's board of directors.

But a spokesman for the company said yesterday that a number of complex issues prompted the company to delay its decision until mid-November.

One of the toughest problems in merging the nation's largest and sixth-biggest airlines would be merging the two work forces. Gerald Greenwald, chairman of the employee-owned United, recently met with labor representatives for USAir, telling them they might expect pay cuts.

In addition, United is said to be concerned about integrating the fleets of the two carriers since they fly different types of aircraft. In order to keep maintenance and labor costs down, the planes ideally should be similar.

A takeover of the Arlington, Va., carrier by United would face financial and legal hurdles.

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