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Old Jul 25, 03, 7:08 pm
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America West Airlines Addresses Wall Street Journal Article

America West Airlines Addresses Wall Street Journal Article

America West Airlines' (NYSE: AWA - News) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker issued the following letter to all America West employees regarding an article in today's Wall Street Journal:

"There is an article in this morning's Wall Street Journal that mischaracterized our company's relationship with our pilots, and I want to be sure each of you understands the facts.

The article begins, 'Pilots are turning up the heat at America West Airlines, vowing to strictly enforce work rules that could cause operational slowdowns -- if management doesn't voluntarily restart contract talks after a scheduled meeting Monday.' Later in the article it states, 'Last week, gearing up for a showdown with the company, the leadership in a hotline message instructed its nearly 1,700 members to strictly abide by contract work rules, something that could prove disruptive by affecting on-time performance and canceled flights.'

First, it's an enormous stretch to suggest that the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) hotline instructed pilots to 'strictly abide by contract work rules.' The hotline simply ended with the message, 'Fly safe and follow the FOM.' FOM is an acronym for our Flight Operations Manual, which contains operating procedures for our pilots. It is maintained by the company and we agree that our pilots should always follow the FOM -- that's why it's there. The fact is ALPA hotlines have ended with this same message numerous times since the contract became amendable. Not once in that period have we seen our pilots do anything to disrupt our airline, nor do we expect them to do so now. Suggesting otherwise detracts from the tremendous professionalism of America West pilots, who have played an important role in the operational turnaround that has made us all so proud...

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