Two Rounds Of Pilot Layoffs At American Airlines





Two Rounds Of Pilot Layoffs At American Airlines

By Mike Mitchell

January 23, 2010 - American Airlines has reported today that up to 175 pilots will be laid off. On Friday American sent out notices to 80 pilots informing them that they will lose their jobs at the end of February and the remainder sometime in middle spring 2010. Officials said there could be a second round of furloughs in the spring.

The carrier further stated the impact of the economy and reduction in capacity over the last 18 months, coupled with lower than expected pilot attrition, and has resulted in a pilot surplus. This was a painful but necessary decision, as this staffing adjustment will better align the size of our pilot organization with the size of our current operation.

AMR reported Net Loss of $1.5 billion for 2009, compared to a Loss of $2.1 billion for 2008. AMR reported fourth quarter consolidated revenues of approximately $5.1 billion, a decrease of 7.4 percent year over year, largely driven by reduced capacity and the reduced demand for air travel and cargo resulting from the global economic downturn. While the revenue and demand environment has remained challenging, the Company's year-over-year declines in consolidated revenue, cargo revenue and mainline passenger unit revenue have narrowed sequentially in the third and fourth quarters.

Other revenues, from sources such as confirmed flight changes, purchased upgrades, Buy-on-Board food services, and baggage service charges, grew 6.8 percent to $582 million in the fourth quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Even with the drop off in demand and traffic throughout the year, for all of 2009 other revenue increased 5.4 percent to $2.3 billion compared to 2008. The Company's cargo revenue declined by 16.4 percent to $164 million in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2008. American's mainline passenger revenue per available seat mile (unit revenue) declined by 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. 

Allied Pilots Association has stated the union leadership and Negotiating Committee are discussing a variety of potential furlough mitigation tools, such as voluntary leaves-of-absence and furloughs-in-stead. APA is hoping to compel management to institute early retirement incentives and other such mechanisms to minimize, if not outright eliminate, the need to furlough. Talks with management concerning these issues will continue. Initial furlough notifications have begun and we estimate that approximately two-thirds of the furloughs will be effective at the end of February. The remaining furloughs will likely take effect at the end of March. Sobering news like this is never easy to pass on. Let it serve as a reminder of the continuing sacrifices we make at this airline particularly the sacrifices made by those pilots now facing another furlough and the 1,887 who remain on furlough.


American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a major airline of the United States. It is the world's second largest airline in passenger miles transported, passenger fleet size and in operating revenues; third largest, in aircraft operated. A subsidiary of the AMR Corporation, the airline is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. American operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, and flights to Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, the People's Republic of China, and India. The Chairman, President, and CEO of AA is Gerard Arpey. In 2005, the airline flew more than 138 billion revenue passenger miles (RPM). 

American has four hubs: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK). Dallas Fort Worth is the airline's largest hub, with AA operating 85 percent of flights at the airport and traveling to more destinations than from its other hubs. Los Angeles (LAX), St. Louis (STL), San Juan (SJU), and Boston (BOS) serve as focus cities and international gateways. American currently operates maintenance bases at Tulsa (TUL), Kansas City (MCI), and Fort Worth Alliance (AFW), but American has announced that the Kansas City base will close in September 2010.  

American Airlines has two regional affiliates: 

? American Eagle Airlines, with hubs in Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Ft Worth, New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Miami and San Juan providing regional feed to American throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico. 

? Chautauqua Airlines, operating as AmericanConnection, feeding American's flights from its St. Louis hub. 

On July 2, 2008, American announced furloughs of up to 950 flight attendants, via Texas' Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act system. This furlough is in addition to the furlough of 20 MD-80 aircraft.[25] American's hub at San Juan, Puerto Rico's Luiz Mu?oz Marin International Airport, will be truncated from 38 to 18 daily inbound flights, but the carrier will retain service in a diminished capacity. 

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