American announces 13,000 job cuts

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 1:52 PM

FORT WORTH – American Airlines' parent company proposed reducing its workforce by 13,000 employees affecting pilots, flight attendants, ground workers, mechanics and management as the company cuts costs in bankruptcy.

AMR Corp. said the approximate numbers of layoffs will include 400 pilots, 2,300 flight attendants, 1,400 management and support staff positions and 8,800 ground workers and mechanics.

The company said "agents, reps and planners" will also face job cuts though it didn't immediately pinpoint a number.

Currently, AMR employs almost 87,000 people worldwide at American Airlines and American Eagle.

“There is no avoiding the fact that the cost reductions will be deep,” Tom Horton, AMR CEO, told employees in a letter Wednesday morning. “And there is no sugarcoating the effect on our people.”

“It looks really bad,” said Darrin Pierce, a TWU local president, who attended Wednesday’s meeting with airline management.

Pierce said the company will meet with union representing pilots, flight attendants and ground workers individually at 2 p.m. to further outline what the 20 percent across the board cuts will entail.

American said it also planned to save money by restructuring debt and leases, grounding older planes and improving supplier contracts. At least, $1.25 billion in savings will be in employee-related costs, the company said.

But even as it makes cuts, American said it also planned to spend money by investing $2 billion annually in aircraft to create the nation’s youngest fleet by 2017.

In addition, American plans to increase departures across in its five cornerstone cities – Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and New York – by 20 percent over the next five years.

“You will hear more detail later today as we share it with our union work groups, and we will have more information for our non-union groups in weeks to come as we address feedback from them,” read Horton’s letter. “While we are now firmly on a path to a successful growing future, we must acknowledge the near-term pain these changes will require. That’s especially true because we will end this journey with many fewer people.”

Union leaders said the FAA is watching the situation to make sure emotions of the day do not affect the quality of work performed.

American Airlines' parent company says it lost $904 million in December which is more than in the first nine months of 2011 combined.

AMR Corp. also listed $4 billion in cash and short-term investments. That's down from $4.3 billion at the end of September.

The company disclosed the numbers in a filing Tuesday with a federal bankruptcy court in New York.

AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29 after losing $884 million in the first nine months of 2011 and about $11 billion since 2001.

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

WFAA's Casey Norton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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