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January 24, 2013

Eagle pilot union chairman frustrated with American's plan to use Republic, even though it was expected

In a note sent to members on Thursday, American Eagle pilot union chairman said pilots are frustrated with AMR Corp.'s plan to outsource more of its regional jet flying to other carriers.

"Although we continue to believe that increased reliance on third party feed contractors is an ill-advised business practice, this was expected," Eagle MEC chairman Tony Gutierrez wrote.

As American Eagle's parent company, AMR, has restructured in bankruptcy, the company has discussed its desire to outsource more of its regional flying to carriers other than American Eagle. In September, it signed an agreement with SkyWest to operate 23 regional jets for American at Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles airports.

"In light of American Eagle turning in the best performance in its history during 2012, and in light of recent agreements that provide eight years of labor stability, this RFP award is further evidence of the same management shortsightedness that led to AMR’s bankruptcy in the first place," Gutierrez said.

Keep reading for the full message from Gutierrez.

-Andrea Ahles

 

Fellow American Eagle pilots,

This morning, AMR announced that it has awarded a “large RJ” RFP to Republic Airways. It is our understanding that this RFP award consists of 53 EMB-175 aircraft that will enter service over a three year period. These aircraft will be largely deployed in Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

Although we continue to believe that increased reliance on third party feed contractors is an ill-advised business practice, this was expected.

At the outset of AMR’s bankruptcy, senior management was clear that their plan for successful emergence from bankruptcy called for increased regional feed capacity and that capacity increase would include diversification among feed operators. Part of AMR’s fleet plan called for large RJ feed to be contracted with third party feed providers prior to the arrival of large RJs at Eagle.

This RFP award is a piece of AMR’s plan of reorganization and does not impact the fleet plan for American Eagle. We have expressed to senior management numerous times over several months that it must communicate to Eagle pilots the fleet plan that they have shared with your MEC under non-disclosure agreements during the bankruptcy negotiations. Although management is in discussions with aircraft vendors regarding this fleet plan and has informed us that it cannot say anything publicly about Eagle’s fleet plan at this time, our hope is that management will be able to communicate this with you in the next one to two months.

We do not mean to diminish the emotion or frustration we all feel about today’s announcement. In light of American Eagle turning in the best performance in its history during 2012, and in light of recent agreements that provide eight years of labor stability, this RFP award is further evidence of the same management shortsightedness that led to AMR’s bankruptcy in the first place.

But we feel it is imperative that on this day, we reiterate what was explained at every road show and every teleconference surrounding our bankruptcy agreement: that is the expected regional growth in large RJs would include diversification in AMR’s feed providers.

Fraternally,

Captain Tony Gutierrez

MEC Chairman

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TiredOfPanderingANDREA

Don't worry people; the new uniforms will make everything better.

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