By Keith Laing
A union that represents flight attendants for American Airlines' regional routes is questioning a settlement that was reached between the airline and the Department of Justice about its proposed merger with US Airways this week.
The airlines' deal with the Justice Department will require the companies to give up 52 pairs of flights to Washington, D.C.'s Ronald Reagan National Airport and 17 pairs at New York's LaGuardia Airport
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said on Wednesday that flight attendants who work on American Eagle flights were concerns because many of the canceled flights could be shorter commuter routes that would affect them.
“Over the past year, as a result of American’s bankruptcy, American Eagle’s regional flying has been steadily outsourced," the Robert Barrow, AFA president at American Eagle, said in a statement.
American and US Air officials said after the settlement with the Justice Department was announced that it has not been decided which flights would be moved from the D.C. and New York airports.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker said on Tuesday that the combined company, which will be known as American, will consider moving flights that are currently offered from Reagan National to other airports.
"There may be cities that no longer have service from D.C., but there won't be any cities that have service today that won't have service from the new American," Parker said.
Parker said flights that the combined airline are no longer able to operate from D.C. would most likely be moved to Charlotte, N.C. or Philadelphia.
The AFA union's Barrow said on Wednesday that American Eagle flight attendants needed more definitive answers, however.
“The nearly 2,000 American Eagle Flight Attendants deserve to know what their role will be in the new combined carrier," Barrow said. "Since the merger was announced, AFA leaders have pressed US Airways management to divulge their plans and honor their promises of good jobs in exchange for the contributions of American Eagle Flight Attendants. Our past sacrifices add value and we must not be punished for our contributions to the new American."
A bankruptcy judge is expected to review the deal between the airlines and the Justice Department on Nov. 25.