American Airlines, pilots to resume contract talks
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10/04/12 at 2:29 AM
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As its flight operations and on-time performance show steady improvement, bankrupt American Airlines and its Allied Pilots Association have agreed to resume contract negotiations later this week, company and union officials said Wednesday.
No dates or times have been scheduled for the resumption of negotiations, officials said, but the pilots are entering the talks with some extra leverage.
The APA's 10,000 members completed voting on a strike authorization ballot at noon Wednesday. APA's board of directors, however, declined to release the voting results.
In an email message to APA members, union spokesman Greg Overman said the board directed that Ballet Point, the firm that conducted the Internet voting, "is to refrain from releasing the results" of the strike authorization ballot and to await further instructions from the APA.
"Your APA leadership will decide when to announce the results of the strike balloting based on whether the resumption of talks results in meaningful progress," Overman said.
The APA board met throughout the day Wednesday and was expected to continue discussions on contract negotiations through noon Thursday, Overman said.
The APA Negotiating Committee met with their counterparts for the airline Wednesday to discuss plans for the bargaining sessions, officials said.
Meanwhile, American's epidemic of flight delays and cancellations during the last two weeks seems to be waning, with operations returning to more normal levels, company officials said.
On Wednesday, FlightStats.com, which tracks airline operations, reported that 76 percent of American's departures operated on time while 69 percent of arriving flights were on time.
American flights operated on time 69.7 percent on Tuesday, company officials said, and were on time 62.3 percent on Monday.
Between Oct. 1 and October 3, 2011, American flights operated on time 87.6 percent of the time, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics says.
Since early September, American's flight delays and cancellations rose as pilots reported equipment malfunctions and mechanical problems.
American executives said the increased number of mechanical write-ups were organized job actions in retaliation for American's parent, AMR Corp., nullifying the APA's collective bargaining agreement in bankruptcy court.
The pilots denied the allegation, claiming American's fleet is the oldest among major U.S. carriers and prone to breakdowns.
American Airlines on-time flights
Sunday: 57.5 percent
Monday: 62.3 percent
Tuesday: 69.7 percent
Wednesday: 80 percent
Oct. 1-Oct. 3, 2011: 87.6 percent
Sources: American Airlines
and Department of Transportation’s
Bureau of Transportation
Original Print Headline: AA, pilots to return to table
D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451
American Airlines' epidemic of flight delays and cancellations during the last two weeks seems to be waning, according to on-time statistics. Bloomberg file