Friday 15 November 2019

Hard landing at American Airlines as 4,400 face the axe

American Airline planes parked on the tarmac at the Miami International Airport, Florida. Nearly 10 months after the airline filed for bankruptcy protection, the company is restructuring and downsizing. Photo: Getty Images
American Airline planes parked on the tarmac at the Miami International Airport, Florida. Nearly 10 months after the airline filed for bankruptcy protection, the company is restructuring and downsizing. Photo: Getty Images

David Koenig

American Airlines is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees although a spokesman says the company expects job losses to be closer to 4,400.

The notices went out to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as the company goes through a bankruptcy restructuring.

American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said less than 40pc of those getting notices would lose their jobs.

Mr Hicks said federal law requires the company to notify anyone whose position could change.

American Airlines said in February that it planned to cut 14,000 jobs, including 13,000 held by union workers. But if Mr Hicks is right, the final job losses will be about a third of that.

Over the summer American accepted slightly smaller cost-cutting measures as it negotiated new labour contracts, and it agreed to give bonuses to flight attendants and ground workers who quit.

So far 1,800 flight attendants and 800 ground workers have applied to take the money and leave.

"As bad as this is . . . we've been able to lessen the pain," said Jamie Horwitz, a spokesman for the Transport Workers' Union.

Separately the leader of the pilots' union blasted the company, saying it was "paying lip service" to negotiating a contract while using the bankruptcy process to wring punitive cost-cutting concessions from pilots. (AP)

David Koenig

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