American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AAMRQ) began a process to review merger offers yesterday by sending potential suitor US Airways Group Inc. an agreement to allow an exchange of confidential financial information.

American developed the non-disclosure agreement along with the unsecured creditors committee in its bankruptcy, the airline told managers in a memo yesterday. The airline declined to name others that will receive the agreement, said Andy Backover, a spokesman for Fort Worth, Texas-based American.

The document was created “to govern a fair and objective process of comparing all strategic alternatives” to American’s own plan to emerge from bankruptcy on a stand-alone basis, according to the memo.

US Airways, which first expressed interest in merging with American during its restructuring in January, declined to comment beyond confirming it had received the agreement.

American Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton said July 10 the company was ready to consider alternatives after determining expected future revenue and costs under its plan to remain independent.

US Airways hasn’t made a formal merger offer because American holds the exclusive right to propose a restructuring plan to the bankruptcy court through the end of this year.