This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, September 16, 2005.
Please continue to keep our 4,126 members who are on furlough and our 12 co-workers who are serving full time in the military in your thoughts.
October bids will open tomorrow, September 17 and will close at 0001 local base time Wednesday, September 21. This is a change to the original schedule, so please take note.
On Wednesday, Delta and Northwest joined United and US Airways in seeking the protections of the bankruptcy process.
Although no one can predict what effect these filings will have on our company, the good news is that so far American Airlines is not in bankruptcy, which means we are still in control of our futures. AA senior management and the leaders of APFA, APA and TWU are intent on keeping this control in our hands. Of course, the cost of fuel plays a huge part in our recovery. AA would be profitable except for exorbitant fuel prices, and would have been able to begin paying down the huge debt that has accumulated since 9/11.
This coming week, for the third week in a row, the leadership of APFA, TWU, APA and AA will head to Washington, D.C., to continue efforts to protect our pension plans. So far, the Company is standing by its commitment to keep our pension fund intact but needs changes to the federal pension funding requirements to enable this to continue. Thursday, AA contributed an additional $74.4 million to our pension fund bringing the total year-to-date contribution to $287.8 million fulfilling funding obligations. The Company expects to make one more contribution to the plan in the fourth quarter.
This latest round of bankruptcy filings will likely deflect Congress’ focus on pension reform. We urge each of you, if you have not already done so, to write to every one of your elected U.S. representatives and ask them to support the pension reform measures that AA needs. A hand-written letter to the home offices of your representatives is the most effective way to communicate this message.
Also this week, an agreement was reached in bankruptcy court between US Airways’ creditors and America West’s shareholders for a merger between the two companies. This action will create the nation’s largest low-cost carrier and the sixth-largest airline in the U.S.
APFA’s part in the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina is ongoing including a collection at APFA headquarters of items to be dispensed by a group of APFA and Airline Ambassadors’ representatives. On Monday, September 19, volunteers will leave Dallas Ft. Worth for Corsicana, TX, with donated supplies for those who have been forced to leave their homes due to the Hurricane. Airline Ambassadors will be adopting the city of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and helping them rebuild their entire town in the next year. More information on how you can contribute to Airline Ambassadors and other relief agencies is available on the APFA website.
For those Flight Attendants who lost time mid-sequence due to the cancellation of flights into MSY, remember that your guarantee remains intact for mid-sequence cancellations. If you have questions about your particular schedule, please contact the Scheduling Desk at extension 8161. Also, don’t forget that Last Five (5) Days of the Month pay protection applies only to a sequence that originates in the last five days, cancels at origination and is your last trip of the month. To apply, no portion of the sequence can operate. Please refer to the On-Duty Contract Guide, page 23, for details of protecting the hours lost.
The Atlanta satellite base will open as a test beginning with the contractual month of October. ATL will be a satellite of the MIA domestic base. Approximately 24 bid positions will be included on the MIA domestic bidsheet. The trips will originate and terminate in ATL and will be designated by the letter “A” prior to the sequence number on the bidsheet. Transportation to and from ATL will not be provided if you are awarded or pick-up an ATL sequence. Please do not bid or pick-up an ATL sequence unless you plan to fly it. Please keep this in mind when bidding for the month of October. In addition when searching open time, we encourage the use of the N4D entry as it is the only entry which will identify the origination and termination airport if it is other than MIA. The full entry is N4D/base city//date. The Flight Attendants who live in ATL have put a tremendous amount of work into preparations to become a satellite test-base. We applaud their efforts and wish them much success.
American announced this week its plans to install winglets on 20 of our Boeing 757s and one 737 in an effort to cut fuel costs. AA estimates this could amount to four million gallons in jet fuel savings per year. The first airplanes equipped with winglets should be ready by early 2006 and all 20 are expected to be in service by early 2007. The 20 757s were chosen because they fly our longer-haul segments like Hawaii, Manchester, England, and Shannon, Ireland as these routes should generate the most savings.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, representing Texas’ 30th District, is a vocal supporter of keeping the Wright Amendment in effect and has stated publicly that if attempts are made to repeal the Wright Amendment, she will pursue closure of Love Field airport. As the only North Texas member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, and the U.S. Representative in whose district Love Field is located, her conclusions on the topic carry significant weight. This Saturday, September 17, AA employees can say “thanks” in person to Congresswoman Johnson for her support of the Wright Amendment by attending the 13th Annual Community Appreciation Day, “Valuing America’s Cultural Diversity.” Employees who are constituents in her district are especially encouraged to participate. The event will be held at the Baylor-Tom Landry Center at 411 N. Washington Street in Dallas from noon to 3pm.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.