Union of American Airlines pilots sues carrier over request for training

An American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arrives in Miami, Florida, landing at Miami International Airport on December 10, 2021.

Joe Riddle | Getty Images

The American Airlines pilots’ union filed a lawsuit against the carrier in federal court on Thursday, a program that encourages pilots to assist in simulator training, adding staff and launching a career race to meet strong travel needs.

Fort Worth, Texas-based airline pilots are asked to come over the weekend to oversee pilot simulator sessions at one of the American training centers, usually conducted by specially trained Czech pilots. A Czech airman will still conduct the assessment.

In a note addressed to pilots, Lyle Hogg, vice president of flight operations training, said: “As demand continues to grow and we continue to recruit, we need to expand our pilot training capabilities to historically unprecedented levels.”

But the Allied Pilots Association argued in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that it would constitute a change in the rules of work, which would require negotiations with the union.

Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union representing the pilots of about 14,000 American Airlines, said, “Management is making rules now as they go along.” “They are in crisis to get pilots through training. They are trying to get pilots as much as possible.”

The case comes at a time when Americans and other carriers are pushing for as many pilots as possible to get as many passengers back in groups as possible.

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