Thursday, January 29, 2009

AA Union says no flights attendant layoffs at American

American Airlines won't need to furlough flight attendants despite a reduction in flights because enough employees took leaves of absence or other voluntary steps, the attendants' union said Wednesday.

The union had said earlier this month that it expected there would be 200 to 400 extra flight attendants because American is cutting capacity.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Wednesday that American's vice president of onboard services, Lauri Curtis, told employees the company fell slightly short of its goal for voluntary departures. But, the union said, Curtis said the company would offer more leave and vacation slots to make up the difference.

Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for the airline, a unit of AMR Corp., said it is "unfortunate to ever be faced with a possible furlough situation, so this is great news that so many flight attendants were in a position to take advantage of these voluntary options."

American announced last week it plans to cut capacity more than 6.5 percent this year. Airlines are dealing with a downturn in travel demand because of the recession.

The union said Fort Worth-based American has 17,100 active U.S.-based flight attendants and 1,180 on furlough and awaiting recall.