American Airlines will recall 211 flight attendants who are on furlough to begin flying in mid-November, the carrier said on Wednesday
The flight attendants being recalled are likely to be based in New York, Washington D.C., Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami. They are the last group of flight attendants that are still on the furlough list, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said.
"We regularly evaluate our staffing needs, and because we anticipate a large number of flight attendants will elect to participate in the Voluntary Early Out Program, we are taking this proactive step to ensure we remain adequately staffed throughout this process," said American spokesman Bruce Hicks.
As part of its newly-ratified contract, the company agreed it will not limit the number of flight attendants who can accept the early out program.
The APFA said the recall is due partly to high sick list numbers and to fill international slots that may be open as flight attendants opt to retire early.
"We welcome our flight attendants back to service and recognize they play an integral role in providing an outstanding onboard experience for our customers," Hicks said.
Keep reading for the full message from the APFA and the statement from American.
American spokesman Bruce Hicks
“American is pleased that we are able to recall the remaining 211 flight attendants currently on furlough. We regularly evaluate our staffing needs, and because we anticipate a large number of flight attendants will elect to participate in the Voluntary Early Out Program, we are taking this proactive step to ensure we remain adequately staffed throughout this process.
“As we agreed with APFA, the company will not limit the number of flight attendants who can accept the Early Out option, and this recall is important to ensure proper staffing as we determine how many flight attendants will accept the offer, as well as the impact of our restructuring changes.
“We welcome our flight attendants back to service and recognize they play an integral role in providing an outstanding onboard experience for our customers.”
APFA is pleased to announce that the remaining 211 flight attendants on furlough are being recalled to active status effective November 16, 2012. AA will be sending the recall notices on Thursday, August 30th and those being recalled will have until Monday, September 10, 2012, to respond. Recall training will be six weeks during October and November and bases will be assigned in November. AA anticipates the recalls will be based at LGA, DCA, DFW and MIA.
To provide some background behind these recalls and what has motivated the company to proceed in this manner we can tell you that there are four primary factors involved:
1. The extraordinary response to the VEOP;
2. The newly-ratified agreement providing for less of a headcount reduction than the Term Sheet;
3. The high sick list numbers that have not subsided over the past several months;
4. The significant amount of training not only as a result of the potential combined int'l and dom operations but also to backfill the Int'l slots that will be left from those opting for the VEOP or TSP; and
5. The deferred implementation of some of the new contractual items that will eventually result in staffing efficiencies.
We will upload the Q&As and other pertinent information to the Recall Page on apfa.org for our remaining furloughed FAs as soon as they are finalized. Congratulations to the 211 remaining AA flight attendants on this opportunity to rejoin your coworkers on the line.