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SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Airlines Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The pilots union for American Airlines says it and the company have reached an agreement in principle for a new contract.

The agreement means pilots could vote to ratify the contract within three weeks. If approved, the contract would help pave the way for the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline to exit bankruptcy. AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, filed for Chapter 11 protection last November. It has reached labor agreements with all of its unions except for the pilots.

The pilots rejected a prior contract proposal this summer designed to save American more than $300 million a year. American then won permission from the bankruptcy court in September to impose new pay, benefit and work rules on pilots. The airline has about 7,500 active pilots.

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