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Wed, Nov 30, 2011

Some Retired Pilots May Become Creditors In AA Chapter 11 Filing

About 15 Airplanes Expected To Be Parked Indefinitely

An e-mail forwarded to ANN Tuesday indicates that the 67 pilots who retired from American Airlines in November have suddenly become creditors in the airlines' Chapter 11 filing announced Tuesday morning.

In the internal communications between pilots, ANN has learned that new CEO Tom Horton contacted APA President Capt. David Bates (pictured below) to say the airline plans to park about 15 aircraft ... mostly B767-200s and 757s ... as the result of the filing. Capt. John Hale, VP for Flight Operations for AA, also called Capt. Bates to say base closings could be expected next year at Washington Regan National Airport, Boston's Logan International, Lambert Field in St. Louis, and San Francisco International.

The e-mail goes on to say that while the lump sum checks distributed to AA pilots who retired in October are "viable" under their defined benefit plan, the 67 pilots who retired in November have become creditors to the airline, and will have to get in line in bankruptcy court with other creditors to receive all, or some portion of the payments they were promised. Our source says that one of the reasons AMR filed on Tuesday was to "preempt any mass exodus in December."

Our source, an American pilot who has already retired, goes on to say that the conversation between Capt's Bates and Hale turned to what was described as, "threats against employees if any action was taken."

In a posting on the public portion of the Allied Pilots Association website, Capt. Bates said "While today’s (Tuesday's) news was not entirely unexpected, it is nevertheless disappointing that we find ourselves working for an airline that has lost its way. In 2003 American Airlines’ pilots provided management with significant cost savings that were characterized as essential to avoiding bankruptcy at that time. We agreed to sacrifice based on the expectation that our airline would regain its leadership position. What has transpired since has been nothing short of a “perfect storm.” During restructuring, we must bargain effectively under duress and implement a plan that highlights our pilots’ leadership and participation. Our goal must be to build working relationships with other creditors and investors to position our airline for a better future."

FMI: www.alliedpilots.org

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