April 21, 2008
American Eagle Pilots Warn AMR of Risks to Outsourcing Regional Flying
EULESS, TX - The American Eagle pilots’ union, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l., said it is concerned about the possible loss of quality control if AMR Corporation (NYSE: AMR) allows further outsourcing of its regional airline service to non-owned regional airline contractors.
The concern comes over statements made by Trans States Airlines management about safety. The St. Louis-based commuter airline performs American Connection flying for American Airlines and has recently grounded 24 of its jets because it did not meet safety standards. Flights were still being canceled late last week as Trans States worked to complete inspections of its Embraer ERJ-145 airliners as a result of federally mandated inspections.
After an internal audit found certain electrical equipment that controls steering on the nose wheel of some planes did not meet specifications the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that a Trans States spokesperson stated, “The nosewheel is not used in flight. It’s used only for taxiing. This does not involve the safety of flights.”
While every airline is undergoing intense FAA scrutiny recently, American Eagle pilots are very concerned about Trans States management’s underlying attitude toward safety. “Eagle pilots are dumbfounded at such an attitude towards something as critical as a nose wheel steering system,” said Captain Herb Mark, of the American Eagle unit of Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). “Exactly how would a nose wheel steering failure at 100 knots during the takeoff or landing not involve the safety of the flight?”
ALPA contends that Trans States’ remarks demonstrate exactly why it is in AMR’s best interest to retain American Eagle as a wholly owned subsidiary. Safety and quality control is best maintained with an operator who is closely tied to the safety and quality standards of the mainline carrier over the long term.
“American Eagle has decades of experience in providing safe, reliable and professional service to American Airlines passengers connecting to the AA route network. It’s what we do best,” said Captain Mark.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 56,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. With more than 3,000 pilots, American Eagle is a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR (NYSE: AMR) and provides feed to American Airlines as well as point-to-point service in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Contacts: Captain Rich Krutenat (817) 685-7474; Captain James Magee, 972-679-9536.