Wednesday Sep 19, 201208:34 AM GMT
American Airlines cancels dozens of flights amid labor strife
Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:33AM
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Cancellations of American Airlines flights have rocketed in recent days - it has scrapped nearly 250 flights so far this week, including 65 for Wednesday - as the airline spars with its pilots and plans to reduce the number of flights over the next few weeks.

 

Since Sunday, American has canceled 243 flights nationwide, triple the number of any other airline, according to FlightAware.com. Cancellations Tuesday included three flights at O'Hare International Airport, where only 65 percent of American's flights were on time, according to FlightStats.com.

 

The increase in cancellations and the reduction in flights are due to a number of factors, including more pilots calling in sick and more maintenance reports being filed by pilots, American spokesman Bruce Hicks said.

 

The airline will reduce its schedule for the rest of September and through October by 1 to 2 percent, Hicks said. Of the airline's 1,700 flights per day, that amounts to a reduction of 17 to 34 flights.

 

AMR, parent of American Airlines, is in bankruptcy protection and has not reached a deal on contract cuts with its pilots union, about 100 of whom are expected to picket at O'Hare on Thursday afternoon. Instead, the company recently has begun enforcing cuts in pay and benefits, along with new work rules and outsourcing more flying to regional jets.

 

The airline, which is seeking to save more than $1 billion a year in labor costs, has it said it has to bring down costs to better compete with other carriers that have restructured. Chicago Tribune

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

American Airlines is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees. The notices went out to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as American Airlines goes through a bankruptcy restructuring. Newser.com

 

Layoff notices went to nearly 3,000 workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where a maintenance facility will close, and nearly 3,000 more at a base in Tulsa, Okla. Also receiving notices were about 1,200 workers in Miami, 1,100 in New York and Newark, N.J, 900 in Chicago, and smaller numbers elsewhere. Huffington Post

 

FedEx Express, part of FedEx Corp., is a cargo airline based in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. It is the world's largest airline in terms of freight tons flown and the world's fourth largest in terms of fleet size. FedEx is seeing a drop in demand for more expensive priority services. As the global economy has slowed, FedEx customers have switched to cheaper deferred delivery services. FedEx hasn’t been able to cut costs fast enough to match the decline in demand. LA Times

 

FedEx cited "weakness in the global economy" as a drag on its FedEx Express division. Instead of shipping goods quickly via their jets, some customers have been taking cheaper and longer routes via sea, rail or truck. LA Times

 

AHT/ARA

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