Sky Talk

Arbitration date for American, pilots set for March

American Airlines and its pilots union could start arbitration hearings in March if the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on a new contract.

In a hotline message sent to pilots on Tuesday, Allied Pilots Association president Keith Wilson said arbitration hearings are currently set for March 9 although American management wants the process to start earlier.

“Management has indicated they would prefer to begin the arbitration sooner, but thus far availability of the arbitrators has precluded an earlier start date,” the hotline message said.

The APA’s board is meeting this week to discuss the progress of contract talks with American which has focused on pay raises and scope rules in a new contract that will cover pilots at both American and US Airways.

Wilson also briefed the board on the arbitration hearings related to the seniority integration process. Those hearings began this week in Washington D.C. and will determine whether US Airways pilots have both East and West committees as part of the seniority integration discussions. When US Airways merged with America West, the two pilot groups never fully integrated because of legal disagreements related to seniority and have remained separate at the carrier.