July 30, 2008

American Airlines to Avoid Furloughs of Flight Attendants

By Terry Maxon, The Dallas Morning News

Jul. 29--American Airlines Inc. apparently will not need to furlough any flight attendants this fall, as it attracted enough regular retirements, volunteers for early retirement and leaves of absence to eliminate 900 jobs.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants today announced the results of offers to flight attendants aimed at avoiding any involuntary layoffs.

"This is great news for all APFA members," the union said on its hotline.

"We're pleased that there will be no flight attendant furloughs as part of the previously announced reduction in capacity," American spokeswoman Tami McLallen said later.

American in early July warned its 900 most-junior flight attendants that they might be furloughed as early as Aug. 31, part of the airline's plans to reduce its flying capacity.

However, it and the union worked together to put together a package to attract flight attendants who might want to leave permanently or take a temporary leave of absence.

Last week, the airline and the union said 368 flight attendants applied for a "voluntary bridge to retirement," special incentives to leave early that were available to employees age 50 or older with at least 15 years' seniority. Of those, 307 were active flight attendants.

Ms. McLallen said the remainder of the 900 positions came from flight attendants who were granted leaves of absences ranging from a few months to a full year. The union said at Dallas/Fort Worth, more than 100 flight attendants were granted leaves ranging from three months to a year.

In addition, American did not accept any offers from flight attendants who wanted to work part time and share his or her job with another attendant.


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