American Airlines Pilots to Picket Deal With British Airways

By Scott Friedman
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 6:29 AM CDT
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American Airlines Pilots to Picket Deal With British Airways

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Pilots will demonstrate in Washington, D.C., in opposition of American Airlines' efforts to form a closer alliance with British Airways.

The union that represents pilots at American Airlines plans to hold a demonstration Wednesday outside the Department of Transportation Headquarters in Washington, D.C., opposing the airline's efforts to form a closer alliance with British Airways.

The announcement from Allied Pilots Association follows a breakdown in talks between the union and management about how the two airlines would share resources.

AA and BA are asking the U.S. government for antitrust immunity so they can work more closely on setting prices and schedules on trans-Atlantic routes, while also sharing more resources in hub cities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The pilot's union argues the arrangement would lead to more foreign control of U.S. airlines and a loss of pilot jobs in the United States.

A spokesman for American Airlines declined to comment Tuesday on the pilots' plans to picket.

But the company recently released a statement responding to the union's concerns saying, "It is unfortunate that the APA continually tries to undermine our Joint Business Agreement and our application for antitrust immunity, something that we strongly believe will generate growth and flying opportunities for our pilots."

The two airlines have previously said that they expect to win DOT approval of the deal sometime in the next month or so.

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