AA’s Chief Pilot Hale Addresses Email 8.03.12
The following email was issued today, August 3, 2012, by AA’s Chief Pilot John Hale in an effort to address rumors contained in a line pilot’s email that went viral. The text of the pilot’s email will not be included here since its factual content cannot be verified.
Good morning, this is CA John Hale with the Flight Department Hotline for Friday, August 3.
I was planning to take this hotline and talk about something near and dear to every pilot’s heart, airplanes — some of the details on the incremental 777-300ER orders we confirmed today to demonstrate the growth that’s already taking place and an update on some of the milestones we’re seeing in our new Airbus fleet. However, it’s been brought to my attention that there is some misinformation out there about the TA and it would be a disservice to you if I didn’t take this time to address that instead.
Jim Ream and I have had a number of productive meetings and conversations with pilots around the system over the last few weeks. They’ve been candid and truthful, with the ultimate goal of helping pilots understand just what a critical decision we’re facing. However, it’s apparent from the report outs of some of those meetings that we weren’t successful in clearly communicating the next steps the company would pursue if the TA does not ratify.
There is no question that our goal is to achieve a consensual agreement with our pilots. It’s in the best interests of everyone, both the company and you all. And that’s why the company made the moves they did in the TA that’s in front of you — including the agreement to support an equity stake in the new American. We want to reach a consensual agreement without the judge’s ruling.
But let me be perfectly clear, contrary to what you may be reading or hearing, saying no to this TA means one thing — the company will ask for Judge Lane’s permission to abrogate the current pilot contract. That isn’t what we’d prefer, but it will be the only choice we have left. So there is no confusion, if the contract is abrogated, the company will immediately begin implementation of the April Term Sheet so that we can start realizing the savings necessary for a successful restructuring. A unilateral implementation of the April Term Sheet is not the outcome the company or I am hoping to achieve. But, if a consensual agreement is not reached, we will not wait any longer to implement the changes necessary for our company to successfully restructure and compete. We will of course continue to negotiate in good faith with APA in an attempt to achieve a new agreement consistent with our legal obligations. But, that will take time, and implementation of the April Term Sheet changes would begin and would remain in effect until a new contract is agreed upon and put in place. The April Term Sheet would also be the new starting point for those negotiations, not the terms of our tentative agreement.
A no vote can lead to only one thing — uncertainty and more pain. A failed TA and contract abrogation won’t bring an expedited, better deal, as some would have you believe. As I said at the beginning, this isn’t the message I wanted to focus on today, but given the stage we’re currently in, I could not in good conscience ignore some of the misinformation that’s circulating. This is your life, your future, and your decision. The TA before you includes substantial improvements over the April term Sheet, and represents the limits to which we can responsibly go to meet APA’s and the pilots’ concerns. A failed ratification will take us down the path I’ve just described.
Contrary to another misperception from the meeting, the company has made no decisions regarding consolidation at this time. As we have communicated previously, we are undertaking a thorough and objective evaluation of all alternatives and options regarding consolidation.
The facts are before you and I can’t stress enough how important it is you understand the paths in front of you.
Thanks for joining me today. We’ll talk again next week.