ALPA considering countering American Eagle E-175 offer

Washington DC
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The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is considering presenting a counter proposal to American Eagle Airlines, after the carrier offered its pilots 60 new aircraft in exchange for a new contract.

“We may be passing a counter offer to the company tomorrow,” says William Sprague, chairman of the ALPA American Eagle master executive committee. “We need a larger commitment of aircraft than what the company is offering in order to move in the direction they have demanded.”

The American Airlines Group regional subsidiary offered its pilots at least 60 Embraer 175 aircraft in a proposal submitted to the pilots union in December, according to an employee newsletter from the regional carrier’s chief executive Pedro Fabregas on 1 January.

He says that American Eagle will seek other “cost competitive” placement options for the 60 aircraft if it does not reach a tentative agreement with the union by 10 January.

“Our idea of ‘cost competitiveness’ differs significantly from what the company is demanding in concessions,” says Sprague. “They refuse to provide financial data to support their position.”

American Eagle declines to comment on the negotiations.

In September 2013, ALPA rejected an offer from American Eagle management to operate at least 30 76-seat regional aircraft due to its inclusion of a new B pay scale with different pay and benefits for new hires. Sprague called the proposal “untenable” at the time.

Pilots at PSA Airlines, also a subsidiary of American via its merger with US Airways on 9 December, agreed to an amendment to their contract and will operate the aircraft, which are Bombardier CRJ900s, when deliveries begin in the second quarter of 2014.

American ordered the 60 E-175s and 30 CRJ900s in December, as part of a regional refleeting deal that had been in the works for nearly a year. Deliveries of the 76-seat E-175s will begin in the first quarter of 2015.

The airline has options for another 40 CRJ900s and 60 E-175s.