Pilots at American Airlines are attempting to determine if mainline pilot ranks have fallen below levels stipulated in their current contract to open discussions about the “commuter exception” covering American Eagle Airlines.
The carrier’s pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), and management are currently engaged in contract negotiations.
© American Eagle
APA argues that mainline pilot ranks are lower than 7,300, which triggers a 90-day discussion of the commuter exception in the current contract that essentially allows for the operation of American Eagle, a union spokesman explains. Pilots that have joined American as a result of mergers do not apply to that minimum total.
If APA is eventually successful in proving that ranks have fallen to levels to reverse the commuter exception in the contract, “it potentially means American Eagle could go away”, says a union spokesman. The regional carrier is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMR.
The union spokesman stresses that at the opening of contract discussions APA did “call for one airline”.
APA has received the latest pilot seniority list from American management, yet says the company has not supplied the number of pilots that apply to the commuter exception portion of the contract.
But based on the information it has received the union claims pilot ranks excluding those added through mergers has fallen below the 7,300 threshold.
Not surprisingly, American is disputing those claims. “We do not share APA’s view,” says an American spokeswoman. “We believe we are significantly above the floor.”
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news