Eagle Airline Lays Off 50 Pilots, Grounds 9 Planes

AP

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, plans to lay off 50 pilots as it grounds nine turboprop planes.

Eagle's most junior pilots will be furloughed on April 5 with recall rights if the airline hires pilots in the future.

Eagle plans to return nine ATR turboprop planes based in Miami to the leasing company.

In a message to employees Thursday, Eagle CEO Daniel Garton notified pilots of the furloughs and said the company was still determining how the return of the planes would affect other workers.

"In order to lower our costs and ensure Eagle is in line with the rest of the regional industry, we must carefully manage staffing levels to support the amount of flying we are asked to provide," Garton said.

Parent company AMR Corp. planned to sell or spin off Eagle as a separate company, but that move was put on hold Nov. 29 when AMR, American and Eagle filed for bankruptcy protection. Eagle is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

American has announced it plans to eliminate 13,000 jobs, including 400 pilots, and reduce pay and benefits to save $2 billion per year.

Eagle has not detailed its reorganization plan, but Garton told employees, "There will no doubt be difficult changes ahead – for all of us."

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