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This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 29.

Please keep our 4,185 furloughed members and our 12 F/As serving full time in the military in your thoughts.

This week APFA and American Airlines agreed to extend the current Buy on Board commission program through January 2006. Based on feedback from our members, the commission structure will remain unchanged. To ensure that your commissions are promptly and properly paid, please be sure to complete the deposit envelope accurately and legibly. This commission program has been a great way for our members to put a bit of money back in their pockets and, at the same time, it brings additional revenue to the company. As sales increase so do commissions earned by our members.

Speaking of commissions, the duty free sales inventory form was updated recently and now includes an area where you can indicate the trading of selling responsibilities. This eliminates the need to fill out a separate Revenue Sharing Form and should simplify the commission process for duty free sales.

American announced this week that plans are in the works to begin the first nonstop service between JFK and Newcastle, U.K. Daily flights are scheduled to begin May 1, 2006, using a 757 with all-coach seating for 188 passengers. Tentatively, the flight is scheduled to depart JFK at 1945 and arrive at Newcastle at 0730. The return leg will leave Newcastle at 1100 and arrive at JFK at 1335.

In industry news this week, Northwest Airlines is asking unionized flight attendants to train their potential replacements should the union strike next month. The Professional Flight Attendants Association, which represents the Northwest attendants, has sued the company, attempting to block the training. The airline says the suit has no merit.

Despite objections by the airline industry, a measure extending Daylight Savings Time contained in the Energy Bill is likely to make it into law due to strong Congressional support, its sponsors said this week. Rep. Fed Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Edward Markey (R-Mass.) sponsored the measure extending DST by four weeks, beginning in March of 2007 or one year after the energy bill is enacted into law, whichever is later. Air Transport Association CEO James May is disappointed that Congress may go forward with the change, which he contends will cause problems for airline schedules and cost the industry money.

The Air Transportation Stabilization board has approved the merger of US Airways and America West. The board consolidated the airlines’ loan balances and created a new payment schedule for the merged company. The merger still needs the approval of a bankruptcy court, US Airways creditors, and America West shareholders. Executives say they expect to complete the merger by early October.

UAL Corp. reported a $1.43 billion second-quarter loss, but most of the deficit was due to $1.39 billion in one-time reorganization charges. Without the special charges and reorganization costs, United posted a more modest $26 million net loss that it blamed partly on the high cost of fuel.

Delta Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein wrote in a memo to employees this week that the airline must cut more costs to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection. Delta has not made enough progress in its plan to cut $5 billion in costs through next year, he said. According to the Wall Street Journal, Delta’s stock dropped 15% after the memo surfaced

Northwest Airlines posted a large second-quarter loss and warned it needs $1.1 billion in labor cost savings. Chief Executive Doug Steenland also said the company needs pension reform to avoid filing for bankruptcy. A Northwest spokesman said the cost of fuel increased 52% compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Increasing fuel prices also pushed second-quarter profits down at AirTran Airways. AirTran said it spent $108.3 million on jet fuel in the second quarter, up from $54.9 million a year earlier.

That’s it for this week. As always, thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.

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