American Airlines pilots await layoffs after judge's ruling

Bankruptcy judge threw out pilots' union contracts

MIAMI - American Airlines pilots awaited news of layoffs after a bankruptcy judge threw out the union contract as part of the company's restructuring.

"In the short-term, pilots are going to be flying more and earning less. They're going to take a hit on their pensions they've anticipated their whole careers," said Seth Kaplan with Airline Weekly.

"Moral is down. It's been down since 2003 when we took cuts," said Captain Scott Iovine, a member of the pilot's union.

Some even felt it may be the only way the company can compete in today's market. American was the last major U.S. airline to file for bankruptcy.

"Labor costs, and especially the pilot cost, were a big part of the reason American is in bankruptcy, not the only reason, but a big part of that reason," said Kaplan.

Kaplan and all the other union representatives Local 10's Sasha Andrade spoke with said layoffs are most likely inevitable for pilots, flight attendants, and ground workers. 

The only way that could possibly change is if American decides to merge with US Airways. Right now, both companies are looking into the possibility. It would, at the very least, turn the struggling airline into the largest airline in the world.

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