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Merger questioned by American Eagle flight attendants

Union-represented flight attendants from US carrier American Airlines´ (OTC: AAMRQ) American Eagle regional unit said they are increasingly concerned about their future in the pending merger of American with US Airways (NYSE: LCC).

The flight attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

According to the union, the airlines´ executives promise growth, but a steady stream of outsourcing appears to be the plan for their work. The 1,800 American Eagle Flight Attendants are seriously questioning the benefits of a merger where wholly owned carriers of the proposed new airline are already being pitted against each other.

As part of American Airlines´ bankruptcy process, American Eagle Flight Attendants ratified substantial concessions in July 2012 with the promise that doing so would retain as much of American´s regional flying as possible and position American Eagle for future growth. Since that time, the new American merger partners are calling many of the shots in how the merger, if consummated, will play out.

All the while, American Eagle´s regional flying erodes steadily through outsourcing, the union said. Examples include the November 15, 2012 closure by American of the American Eagle base in Los Angeles and outsources the existing flying to non-owned, SkyWest Airlines (NASDAQ: SKYW) and the announcement in January 2013 that American Airlines´ parent AMR would begin outsourcing American Airlines regional flying to a non-AMR-owned carrier, Republic Airlines (NASDAQ: RJET).

According to the union, the outsourced flying means that Republic will be flying 47 Embraer (NYSE: ERJ) 175s which represents a significant portion of American Eagle´s current route structure in its Chicago hub.

The Association of Flight Attendants represents nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 19 airlines, including 1800 at American Eagle.

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