American's Pilot Union Said The Airline Needs Effective Leadership <


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American's Pilot Union Said The Airline Needs Effective Leadership

By Eddy Metcalf

May 20, 2010 — The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, cited “a leadership vacuum” as one of the principal problems facing the carrier.

“We have become increasingly concerned about the leadership—or lack thereof—at American Airlines,” said APA President Captain Lloyd Hill. “For many years American Airlines was the acknowledged industry leader, responsible for numerous innovations in marketing, technology and other key areas.

"By contrast, the carrier now no longer even appears able to execute the basics of the airline business to compete satisfactorily in the marketplace.

“American Airlines’ operational performance is consistently substandard relative to its competitors. Factor in the airline’s continued capacity reductions while others grow, the nearly 2,000 pilots still on furlough and dismal labor relations—including lengthy, as-yet unresolved negotiations with all of the union-represented employees—and it’s not a pretty picture.” Hill made his comments as American Airlines’ senior management was in New York, NY hosting the airline’s annual shareholder meeting.


“We believe it’s time for American Airlines’ owners to demand accountability from the airline’s executives,” he said. “We likewise believe that the shareholders’ predicament is similar to our own. As pilots, we are committed to American Airlines for the balance of our careers and have a strong vested interest in its future success.

“Unfortunately, our prospects do not appear to be especially promising given the leadership vacuum that exists. It’s therefore imperative that management steps up and remedies this situation promptly for the good of all concerned, including the employees, shareholders, customers and communities that depend on American Airlines.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, including 1,988 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces.

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