American Airlines Cancels April Pilot Furloughs

American Airlines has told its pilots that it won’t have to furlough any pilots April 1 as feared.


American

The airline in January warned that it would need to furlough up to 175 pilots in 2010. It laid off 78 on Feb. 28, and expected to send more out the door on April 1. However, the plans have changed.

Chief pilot Mark Hettermann, vice president of flight operations, sent this to pilots Friday morning:

“I’m happy to announce that the pilot furloughs scheduled for April 1 are cancelled. Your Chiefs are currently in the process of getting in touch with those pilots that were to be furloughed and sharing the good news.

“I know that the possibility of a furlough causes significant uncertainty for those directly impacted. Because of that, furloughing pilots is always a last resort which we avoid if at all possible. I’m sorry for the stress resulting from our earlier announcement, but I’m extremely pleased that we were able to avoid additional furloughs at this time.”

The Allied Pilots Association shared the word with members in a Friday hotline:

“Management informed Negotiating Committee Chairman First Officer Neil Roghair this morning that they have decided to cancel the furloughs that had been scheduled for April 1. First Officer Roghair reports that the reasons management gave for rethinking the April 1 furloughs are ‘an uptick in interest in retirements and the level of interest in the February 28 furlough mitigation.’ “