Poll: Is American Airlines’ Denial Of Voluntary Early Outs To Pilots Near Retirement Age A Good Business Decision?

American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association worked to limit the number of planned furloughs in response to lower demand, but the union says the airline opted for short-term financial gain over saving even more jobs by rejecting early-retirement requests from more than 200 pilots.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said Aug. 25 that it must furlough 1,609 pilots among 19,000 employees that will be let go in the coming weeks. The airline’s original figure was around 2,300 pilots, but 700 opted into one of several volunteer programs to help reduce required furloughs.

But American opted not to grant any early retirements, even though 204 eligible pilots submitted requests as part of the agreed-upon voluntary early-out program. The decision means more pilots at the bottom of the seniority list are set to lose their jobs on or after Oct. 1.

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1 Comment
American's early actions with leave and early retirements earned the respect of the industry and their pilots. Whatever good will and respect earned has now been flushed. The future cost will be high.