There could be progress in breaking the standoff between American Airlines and its pilots after the airline invited the pilots' union back to the negotiating table, but the blame game over cancellations and delays continues.
American has been plagued by cancellations and delays since a federal bankruptcy judge let the airline throw out the pilots' old contract earlier this month.
The airline blames those delays and cancellations on trivial write-ups.
On Tuesday, Allied Pilots Association spokesman Tom Hoban said that a major reason for the write-ups is caution. He said since pilots do not have a contract right now, they are being more cautious.
"You got to realize without the safety net of a contract guys are going to engage in some cautious operational decision-making. This corporation can come in at any time and terminate anyone for cause," said Hoban.
An airline spokesman said maintenance write-ups are up by 34 percent. Some are safety-related, others are issues like broken coffeepot, or burned out light bulb.
The company said precautionary checks are up 97 percent compared to September of last year.
Spokesman Bruce Hicks said many checks result in no issues found. He gave examples of a tire looking flat, or some noise coming from a nose gear.
Hoban said a pilot feels he " no longer has the protection or safety net the contract represents, he's essentially at mercy of the corporation."
He said that results in the write-ups.
"We are going to do our job to get customers from point A to point B as quickly and safely as possible," Hoban said.
On Monday the airline invited the pilots' union back to the negotiating table to work out a new labor contract.
The APA union board will meet Wednesday, but there's no timetable yet for resuming contract talks.