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Allied Pilots Association Applauds Delay in Ruling on American Airlines’ Application for Antitrust Immunity

Dépèche transmise le 5 novembre 2009 par Business Wire

Allied Pilots Association Applauds Delay in Ruling on American Airlines’ Application for Antitrust Immunity

Allied Pilots Association Applauds Delay in Ruling on American Airlines’ Application for Antitrust Immunity

FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), voiced its support for the delay in the issuance of a final ruling by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding American Airlines’ application for worldwide antitrust immunity.

“The DOT no doubt had its reasons for choosing to waive its stated deadline of October 31 for issuing a final ruling in American Airlines’ application,” said APA President Captain Lloyd Hill. “We welcome the delay, which will afford airline industry regulators at home and abroad more time to scrutinize the airline’s claims. Policymakers must have a clear picture of the intended and unintended consequences of permitting ever more collusive behavior in the industry. We suspect that there is increasing concern about what could go wrong if American Airlines is permitted to proceed.”

American Airlines filed its application for worldwide antitrust immunity with other oneworld Alliance carriers nearly 15 months ago. Last month, the DOT’s European counterpart, the European Commission (EC), announced that American Airlines’ plans may violate rules governing restrictive business practices. The EC also announced that it has been investigating the oneworld Alliance and the Star Alliance for possible illegal conduct.

Since American Airlines first announced its plans, APA has been citing concerns about the negative impact on the airline’s workers, the inherently anti-competitive nature of antitrust immunity and the implications for national security. APA announced its unequivocal opposition to the deal last month based on American Airlines management’s refusal to provide basic, industry-standard job protections. At that time the union reiterated its concerns about the risks of good U.S. jobs being permanently outsourced as a result of the deal. APA also cited the EC’s stepped-up scrutiny as further evidence that regulators should refrain from authorizing what amounts to a cross-border virtual merger.

“We urge policymakers to be mindful about the damage that our nation’s airline industry could sustain as a result of American Airlines’ plans,” Hill said. “Their decision will help determine, for better or for worse, the future of this vital component of the United States’ transportation infrastructure.

“In addition, their decision could well have an impact on our nation’s economic future. With the high rate of unemployment widely acknowledged as an impediment to sustained economic recovery, policymakers must take care to safeguard existing U.S. jobs.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, including 1,889 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s second-largest passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.

Business Wire

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