FORT WORTH, Texas--()--The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following prepared statement in response to recent reports alleging a decline in the airline’s operational performance:
“In addition, management halted the recalls of furloughed pilots late last year, which has resulted in an insufficient number of pilots to maintain the schedule properly.”
“First of all, there is no job action of any sort that is organized, supported or sanctioned by the Allied Pilots Association.
“APA independently tracks the airline’s operational performance. We have verified that pilot sick rates have not deviated from normal historical rates. We have likewise verified that crew cancellations remain at normal rates.
“One area of increased operational unreliability we have observed is in mechanical delays, which isn’t surprising. Although American Airlines operates the oldest fleet of any major U.S. carrier, management has decided to furlough a large number of mechanics and close one of its largest maintenance facilities. Management also decided some time ago to reduce its inventory of spare parts.
“In addition, management halted the recalls of furloughed pilots late last year, which has resulted in an insufficient number of pilots to maintain the schedule properly.
“It’s also important to remember that management chose to reject the APA-American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement, which served as an operating manual for our pilots. Management’s action has generated significant uncertainty for our pilots with respect to employment protections and operating rules, which are now under management’s unilateral control.
“APA members are experienced professionals who conduct themselves as professionals under whatever circumstances they encounter. Any negative impact on our airline’s operational integrity is of management’s own making.”
That is the full text of APA’s statement.
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the United States—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, including 649 pilots not yet offered recall from furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s largest international passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.