DALLAS – American Airlines says it is agreeing with creditors to consider potential mergers while it is still under bankruptcy protection.

American parent AMR Corp. said the company and its bankruptcy creditors agreed to develop “potential consolidation scenarios,” but that didn’t mean it would pursue a deal with any particular party.

Still, Friday’s announcement suggested that events could be moving faster than AMR had expected since US Airways turned up the pressure for merger talks.

AMR CEO Thomas Horton has said for months that he wanted American, the nation’s third-biggest airline, to emerge from bankruptcy protection as an independent company. A bankruptcy judge granted AMR the exclusive right through late September to present a reorganization plan to the court.

None of that deterred US Airways, a smaller competitor — but a profitable one. US Airways has lobbied AMR’s creditors and lined up support from American’s three unions for a takeover.

On Friday, hundreds of pilots and other employees marched into AMR headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and in New York to deliver a message of “no confidence” in AMR management.