American Airlines said it has reached a tentative agreement with its pilots union to extend the current contract past August 2001, a move the airline had sought in order to patch up rocky labor relations. Extending the pilots' contract would help protect the airline from labor disputes with its pilots while it pursues widely reported acquisition talks with Northwest Airlines Corp. American, the No. 2 U.S. airlines, and the Allied Pilots Assn. declined to release any details of the deal that still must be ratified by APA's 10,500 members. "We do have an agreement with the APA on a contract extension," said Karen Watson, spokeswoman for American, a unit of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp. The airline spokeswoman would say only that the deal would be made public later this week.