American Airlines Avoids Flight Attendant Layoffs

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News has confirmed that 2,205 American Airlines flight attendants applied for the carrier’s early-out incentive. That response, the company said, means that it will not need to furlough any flight attendants.

“In October, our flight attendants who signed up for the voluntary exit will be able to request a desired month of departure,” said American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks, “and we will then stagger departures over the next year, based on seniority and operational needs.”

The carrier will actually start recruiting new flight attendants later this year.

However, travel troubles still continue for American Airlines. More cancellations are scheduled for Friday, as AMR’s bankruptcy drama spills over to its passengers. American Airlines has already scrubbed 300 flights scheduled for the end of the week.

The carrier has blamed the cancellations on a sharp increase in pilots calling in sick. “Our sick leave is up,” explained Hicks. “It’s up over 20 percent year-over-year comparisons, and has been throughout the year, significantly higher than prior years.”

However, the Allied Pilots Association claims that the problem is actually old planes and few mechanics. The airline fired back, saying that pilots are reporting more maintenance issues right before planes are scheduled to depart. “It shows you’ve got a lot of sick airplanes out there, not sick pilots,” said Capt. Tom Hoban with the Allied Pilots Association.

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