American Pilots Blame Airline’s Management for Flight Cancellations
By James Shillinglaw
September 20, 2012 11:30 AM
The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents American Airlines’ 10,000 pilots, is blaming the airline’s management for flight cancellations and the decline in operational performance. “APA members are experienced professionals who conduct themselves as professionals under whatever circumstances they encounter,” said the APA. “Any negative impact on our airline’s operational integrity is of management’s own making.
APA said 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,” APA said. “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.”
The pilots’ union also said it has seen an increase in flights being delayed by mechanical issues, which it said 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,” APA said. “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.”
APA blamed American’s management rejecting the APA-American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the union said served as an operating manual for American’s 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 said. “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.”