updated 5/15/2005 8:04:33 PM ET 2005-05-16T00:04:33

As they discuss a possible merger, US Airways and America West are near a deal for a $250 million loan from Airbus as part of a 20-jet order for the aircraft maker’s new A350 model, according to a newspaper report.

The loan would be part of a financing package the carriers are working to arrange with private investors for as much as $400 million, including $100 million to $150 million from ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., the parent of Air Canada, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday on its Web site, citing people close to the situation.

Bankrupt US Airways Group Inc. and America West Holdings Corp. acknowledged last month that they are in merger talks. Reports have said a deal could be announced as soon as this week.

The companies want to raise $500 million in new equity, with $375 million to $400 million from investment and the rest from proceeds from a rights offering that would be underwritten by a major financial institution, the newspaper’s sources said. The financing includes $125 million from Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp., which was announced in February.

A spokesman for America West, based in Tempe, Ariz., declined to comment Sunday on the report.

“We’ll be happy to go into details when we’re able to confirm that we’re either planning to move forward or if something has fallen through. Until that resolution happens, we’re not able to officially comment,” America West spokesman Carlo Bertolini said.

US Airways did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

A spokeswoman for Montreal-based Air Canada, which left bankruptcy court protection itself last year, told the newspaper the company doesn’t comment on rumors.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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