The Allied Pilots Association and the US Airline Pilots Association issued a joint message from their presidents, APA's Keith Wilson and USAPA's Gary Hummel on Thursday morning.
Here is the full letter.
On the morning of April 15, 1926, a young aviator named Charles Lindbergh stowed a bag of mail in his DH-4 biplane and took off from Chicago for St. Louis. Later that day, he and two other pilots flew three additional loads of mail back to Chicago, and their small enterprise eventually became known as American Airlines. In 1937, a Stinson Reliant departed Pittsburgh and pioneered airmail pickup service, without landing, along the Ohio River Valley. The history of US Airways had just begun.
Today’s merger announcement for the New American Airlines is the evolution of that history. The world of aviation has changed much since the days of Lindbergh. There have been countless mergers, bankruptcies and new business plans, as well as tremendous changes in federal airline policy, most notably the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. For the past two decades and particularly post-9/11, our profession has been under attack. Airline managements have used pattern bankruptcies to dramatically lower the pay, benefits and retirement plans of professional pilots. That trend must change – not only for the sake of our careers, but for the sake of those who follow in our footsteps.
Long before this merger was announced, our two unions worked collaboratively, along with the UPS pilots of the IPA and the IBT local 1224, to speak on behalf of 22,000 airline pilots through our trade organization, the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA). Through CAPA, we made great strides in shaping an industry that is ultimately responsible for protecting the pilots we represent, the cabin safety professionals we depend upon, and the passengers we have been entrusted with. We will now turn our successful, cooperative effort toward the bargaining process. We will utilize the best people and resources from both unions to work toward an industry leading Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, and to rebuild an airline that we can all be proud of. We believe that our pilots deserve nothing less than our sincere commitment for a win-win conclusion to the entire merger integration process.
This is a new day and we need to look toward the future – not the past. Our union leaders are committed to this merger, but we cannot do this alone. We need your help. We also expect the New American Airlines to make the economic commitment necessary not only for the success of our new airline, but for you and your family’s future as well. Together, we can take our NEW airline and our profession to new heights.
Captain Keith Wilson
Captain Gary Hummel