Thousands of American Airlines pilots face layoffs because of the recently announced addition of Qatar Airways in to the oneworld Alliance.
This according to the Allied Pilots Association (APA), an independent body representing around 11,500 American Airlines pilots, who staged a picket when the official announcement was made in New York.
‘The [oneworld] deal will allow the Doha-based airline, the Middle East’s second largest carrier, to coordinate routes with oneworld’s other major partners, which include American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Royal Jordanian and British Airways, and offer passengers a greater number of routes around the world.
“AA pilots have been witness to a decade of outsourcing to which point nearly 3,000 pilots were laid of and AA’s flying reduced by nearly 30 percent,” Thomas Hoban, APA communications chairman, said in a statement to Arabian Business.
“AA used to be the largest airline the world and now we’re currently a very distant third (and sometimes 4th) when compared to UAL [United Airlines] and DAL [Delta Air Lines]. Much of this is the result of codesharing, marketing alliance, and the expansion of oneworld at the expense of the AA pilots and our fellow employees.
“While no one ever expected AA to fly from any of our hubs to Doha, the concern is that our passengers that would normally have flown on AA from one of hubs to an international destination will instead be diverted to a codeshare or an alliance partner,” he added.’
American is currently negotiating a labour contract with the APA, but the union says it has called no work action at the carrier.