The Latest On American Airlines
After its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection last November American Airlines has had a contentious year, but just recently announced that it will hire 2500 pilots over the next five years. This comes on the heels of the recent battle with the pilots’ union over its attempts to cut labor costs. In a recent letter to its employees, Tom Horton, the CEO of American Airlines reported that approximately 1500 of the new hires would replace those who are retiring and that they would be assigned to fly both domestic and international routes. Others hired would be available to take those positions becoming available as current workers age and retire; via attrition.
Currently, American Airlines has approximately 8000 pilots who are active. The additional 2500 would bring that number to 10,500. American Airlines revamped would also add more international flight to its schedules as it has high hopes for more corporate business travelers. Having more international flights available is something that the CEO reports would provide greater career opportunities and better pay for all of its workers. Union members are skeptical because at one point there were upwards of 14,000 active pilots. Overall, the airline has lost more staff that it plans to hire in the foreseeable future.
Just this past Wednesday a spokesperson for American Airlines reported that new flights would also be added from Dallas/Fort Worth to Seoul, South Korea and Lima, Peru; from Chicago to Dusseldorf, Germany; and from JFK airport in New York to Dublin, Ireland. Domestic flights from its hubs in Chicago and Dallas would also be increased. Yet, a spokesperson from the Allied Pilots Association stated that unless the claims being made are included in a union contract they hold no credibility with the union.
Earlier this year, approximately 2200 American Airline flight attendants took a $40,000 early out package. At that time, American had announced that it would hire more flight attendants to replace them later this year, something that now seems to be on hold.
Credit: Chris Isidore & David Koenig