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August 19, 2014

Envoy reopens contract negotiations with pilots union

The Air Line Pilots Association presented a new proposal to the regional carrier last week.

Union leaders for pilots at Envoy Air met Tuesday to discuss the progress of contract talks with the regional carrier owned by American Airlines Group.

The Air Line Pilots Association’s master executive council for Irving-based Envoy met for a status update after the union and the carrier restarted contract discussions in the past few weeks.

In March, Envoy’s 2,700 pilots overwhelmingly rejected a 10-year contract with the regional carrier that would have frozen pay scales in exchange for providing larger regional aircraft to Envoy. The proposal also provided for pilots to be hired at American Airlines’ mainline operations over the course of the contract.

In a note sent to pilots, Bill Sprague, who chairs the master executive council, said that Envoy approached the union this summer to discuss a new contract and that the union’s negotiating committee had presented a proposal to the carrier last Tuesday.

“Core issues still requiring favorable solutions for our pilots include the fleet plan, the nature of any longevity pay step caps, and the bankruptcy amendment round credit,” Sprague said.

After the union voted against the proposal in March, Fort Worth-based American contracted with Compass Airlines to fly 20 of its new 76-seat Embraer E175 regional jets. American has 60 E175s on order.

The new aircraft are being flown under the American Eagle livery. Ten other regional carriers, including its wholly owned subsidiaries Envoy, PSA and Piedmont, fly under the American Eagle brand.

American spokesman Casey Norton said Envoy continues as a significant provider of regional flights. The company has not disclosed which carrier will operate the other 40 E175s.

“American would like to place some of its large regional aircraft with Envoy, but the economics of Envoy’s current contract are not competitive,” Norton said.

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