Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Report: American flight attendants to approve merger deal

According to a report out of Fort Worth, flight attendants at American Airlines are likely to soon approve an agreement outlining how a merger with US Airways would look.

The memorandum of understanding under discussion would govern how flight attendant work groups are integrated if the two airlines merge. Having such agreements in place is essential for creditors of American, which is in bankruptcy protection, to judge how much improvement a merger could offer over a standalone business plan.

From NBC-DFW"A merger is the best thing for the company, the unions and the passengers,” Association of Professional Flight Attendants president Laura Glading said late Tuesday. “It has to happen." Glading said she would probably recommend that her union approve a “memorandum of understanding” soon."

The move follows the Allied Pilots Association's approval of their own memorandum of understanding for American pilots on Saturday. The two US Airways unions involved in merger talks, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants, also have to approve any MOUs, as do management teams for both companies.

A message from the US Airways pilots union to pilots on Sunday said negotiations are ongoing: 

"Yesterday, the APA Board of Directors voted 11-5 to approve a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for consideration by AMR, AMR’s Unsecured Creditors Committee, and US Airways. Please understand the MOU they voted on contains the latest APA positions and IS NOT a final agreement. Your NAC continues to work with all parties involved to insure we have a complete document and the approval to present it from the other parties, prior to discussing it with the BPR.

As we mentioned in our update to you Friday, due to non-disclosure restrictions, we will be unable to discuss the details of this or any other MOU with you until certain legal steps are taken."

The board of AMR Corp., American's parent company, is reportedly scheduled to meet Wednesday, Jan. 9, to discuss the merger. An announcement could come then, although if MOUs and a complete merger proposal aren't ready for the board to consider, that could be delayed.

Any merger could have big implications for Charlotte, of course. US Airways is the largest provider of air service at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, responsible for almost 90 percent of daily flights. There are also more than 7,100 US Airways employees based in Charlotte.