American Air Pilot Union Denies Job Action

September 20, 2012

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The union representing pilots at American Airlines said it has called no job action at the bankrupt carrier, which this week cancelled hundreds of flights citing increased pilot maintenance reports and sick leave usage.

American began implementing cost cuts for its pilots this month after a US bankruptcy judge ruled the airline could abandon its collective bargaining agreement with the pilots' union.

The airline said on Wednesday it cancelled about 300 flights for this week out of nearly 24,000 departures planned across its network, including the American Eagle regional division.

American cited factors including "an increase in maintenance reports filed by pilots, as well as levels of sick leave usage that have been running higher than historical norms."

The Allied Pilots Association said in a statement that pilot sick rates and crew cancellations remain at normal rates, based on its tracking. The union said it had noted a rise in mechanical delays.

"There is no job action of any sort that is organised, supported or sanctioned by the Allied Pilots Association," the union's statement on Thursday.

The pilots are the only major work group at American that have not agreed on contract concessions since the airline filed for bankruptcy in November. The union voted down a final offer from the carrier in August.

Between Monday and Wednesday of this week, American and American Eagle had cancelled more than 250 flights, according to FlightAware. FlightAware said cancellations at American have been well above the rest of the industry for the past two weeks.

American said it was reducing its flight schedule by percent until the end of October.