Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
In a letter to employees, American Airlines CEO Tom Horton acknowledged the company's recent problems with delays and cancellations. He also said that much of the work to restructure the airline is complete and said he is optimistic the company can reach an agreement with its pilots.
The Allied Pilots Association said it would resume negotiations with American Airlines on Wednesday.
The union is in the process of counting results of a strike vote.
After the voting deadline passes at noon on Wednesday, the union may use the results as a negotiating card in talks with the airline, Tom Hoban, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association.
On Tuesday, it said strike vote results would be counted but not announced as it would be counterproductive to do so with negotiations.
"I think first and foremost our pilots want to be recognized for the value they bring to this corporation and for the sacrifices they have made in the last decade. It pretty much runs the gamut from job security, retirement, pay commensurate with our industry peers and other assorted benefits," APA spokesman Tom Hoban said.
American Airlines said in a statement that it was committed to working with the APA and was pleased to have jointly agreed to resume negotiations this week.
"We will work collaboratively and creatively with the APA to find a solution that works for the pilots and allows for a successful restructuring of the airline, creating security and opportunity for pilots and all of the people of American," AA spokesman Bruce Hicks said.
In a letter Tuesday to American Airlines employees, CEO Tom Horton said he was pleased that the APA had agreed to immediately resume negotiations.
"I remain optimistic that we can work collaboratively toward reaching our goal of a consensual and constructive agreement," he said. "It is time to put this chapter behind us and move American forward. We need to get back on track quickly and return to the reliability and first-rate service our customers expect from us."
The decision to return to contract negotiations comes after a tense week of finger-pointing and letters exchanged between the bankrupt airline and its pilots' union.
A Tense Week
The APA agreed to return to the bargaining table last Wednesday but reneged when American sent a threatening letter hours later.
In the letter, the airline threatened legal and disciplinary action if flight delays and cancellations that plagued the airline continued. The airline blamed pilots for unnecessary pilot maintenance requests. The APA blamed an aging fleet and said the write-ups were done out of caution.