American Airlines is cancelling flights and rebooking customers to get through the next couple of months but the airline's pilots want everyone to know that, contrary to rumors and some press reports, it's not their fault.
The Allied Pilots Association, the union representing American's pilots, today issued the following statement about American's actions:
“First of all, 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. 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.
“One area of increased operational unreliability we have observed is in mechanical delays, which 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. 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.
“It’s also important to remember that management chose to reject the APA-American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement, which served as an operating manual for our 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 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.”