American Quietly and Successfully Integrates Pilot Operations

By Paul Riegler on 3 October 2016
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American Airlines continues to make significant progress on post-merger activities that will allow it to operate fully as a single airline.

On October 1, the carrier moved to a single Flight Operating System, the platform that manages pilot scheduling and operations, without any reported glitches.

The move was, however, fraught with peril and similar integrations at other airlines have brought operations to a standstill. In an e-mail to employees on Friday, the airline said that hundreds of people would be staffing “command centers” during and following the cutover in case any issues were to arise.

In September, a panel of three arbitrators handed down a decision giving the airline a combined seniority list for its pilots, a step necessary for American, which merged with US Airways in 2013, to operate as a single airline.

The carrier has more such work ahead of it, however. In August, the Fort Worth-based airline delayed one of the last major steps in merging its operations with what was US Airways, namely the integration of operations for flight attendants. The most recent target date had been the spring of 2017 but the airline said it doesn’t have a new target date in place yet.

Despite the integration of pilot operations, American, the world’s largest airline, cannot reap all of the potential benefits and cost savings from the merger until all flight systems are fully integrated.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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