Business travel convention coming to Boston

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BOSTON (AP) — As his company aims to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the head of AMR Corp. and American Airlines Inc. will discuss the airline's restructuring and how it will affect business travel at a business travel industry convention.

Thomas Horton, the chairman, president and CEO of AMR Corp. and American Airlines is one of many industry leaders who will participate in the four-day Global Business Travel Association convention, beginning Sunday in Boston.

American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. Horton said this month that the company has upped revenue and reached deals with labor unions that will cut costs. In a letter to employees, he said the company will evaluate potential mergers to strengthen its operations.

The Global Business Travel Association will bring together thousands of travel industry leaders, suppliers and managers to discuss challenges, policy trends and potential profit areas during its annual convention.

The convention, which runs through Wednesday, will also feature keynote addresses from former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. "Saturday Night Live" comedian Seth Meyers is slated to speak Monday.

Rebecca Carriero, a spokeswoman for the association, said this marks the first year two former U.S. presidents will speak at the convention. It is unclear what Clinton and Bush will speak about during their addresses.

Clinton previously spoke at the convention in 2009. Michael W. McCormick, the association's executive director and chief operating officer, said the Democrat was asked back because of his "ability to distill global events, making even the most complex situation relatable."

In addition to keynote speeches, the convention will offer industry leader panels and more than 65 education sessions, as well as professional development opportunities before the convention begins.

During the event, thousands of employees from companies across the travel industry, including hotels, airlines and technology firms, will have the opportunity to share their experience and network. More than 400 companies will display their products and services on the convention's expo floor.

Registration for the convention costs upwards of $1,500 per person.

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