- Dec 21, 2001
- Total Time
These ASM limits and Block Hour limits are simply mutual assured destruction.American Eagle to cut back 500
Pilot job losses at larger sister company trigger furloughs
By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
Commuter carrier American Eagle Airlines Inc. in early April will furlough 500 employees, who are losing their jobs because some American Airlines Inc. pilots have lost theirs, officials said Friday.
The cutbacks come as many U.S. airlines are using their lower-cost commuter affiliates to help them recover traffic lost after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
American Eagle is barred from adding capacity if sister company American has pilots on furlough. With 595 American pilots off the job, Eagle is limited to the capacity it had when the furloughs began.
As part of the cutbacks, American Eagle will close its stations in Beaumont-Port Arthur and Lafayette, La., and halt its daily service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
In addition, American Eagle is leaving five other routes in its system on April 7 and reducing flights on other routes. And it will remove a row of seats from turboprop airplanes to cut capacity.
The capacity limit is part of American's contract with its pilots' union, the Allied Pilots Association, which has vigorously fought efforts to expand flying by non-American Airlines pilots. In the contract, a "scope clause" limits all flying done on behalf of American to American pilots.
American asked the union to waive the rule.
In response, union negotiators proposed that American's pilots fly the regional jets. American rejected that proposal as too costly.
American Eagle pilot James Magee, spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Eagle pilots, said his pilots are caught in the middle.
"Anything that's going to take jobs away from American Eagle pilots, we're going to oppose," he said. "The job losses they propose are artificial and they're not necessary."