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PilotAction US Airways & American Airlines Trial & Other News Update

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...or, the judge may just tell the DOJ they have no case, nor basis for an injunction whether it is heard in November, or March.

Reality Check, please!
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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines: August 28, 2013

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U.S. government, two airlines say open to settling merger fight

American Airlines, US Airways, and the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday they were open to settling a court fight over whether the two companies should be allowed to merge, but there was no sign of an imminent agreement. The two airlines said in the joint filing with the district court in Washington, D.C., that they had tried to settle the case before the complaint was filed "and continue to believe there ought to be a realistic possibility of settlement."

See Story: http://finance.yahoo...-225308660.html

Both sides in antitrust lawsuit tell judge they are open to a settlement, but haven’t gotten anything from the other side

A couple of readers had seen those statements, and were encouraged that a settlement might be in the works. That’s not how I read it. I think each side is telling the judge that they’re trying but it’s not their fault that there’s no settlement.

See Story: http://aviationblog....ther-side.html/

The Deal: AMR Resists Pondering Life Without US Air

See Story: http://www.thestreet...oo&cm_ven=YAHOO

American Airlines and US Airways: A March 2014 trial date is ‘entirely unreasonable’

See Story: http://aviationblog....easonable.html/

AMR Says March Trial Could Put US Airways Merger at Risk

See Story: http://www.bloomberg...html?cmpid=yhoo

A 2014 trial date endangers the US Airways-American Airlines merger, the airlines say

See Story: http://aviationblog....lines-say.html/

Airlines to antitrust judge: A Nov. 12 trial date is perfectly reasonable and plenty of time to prepare


Reply in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Set Trial Date

See Story: http://blogs.star-te...-doj-filing.pdf

American, US Airways reiterate request for November anti-trust trial date

FORT WORTH (Star-Telegram) - American Airlines and US Airways reiterated their request to a federal judge for a November anti-trust trial date.
In a filing made on Wednesday, the two carriers said the U.S. Department of Justice's suggestion of a March 2014 trial date puts its merger in jeopardy.

"Whether plaintiffs just don’t understand the industry or choose to misleadingly focus on the trees instead of the forest, the fact is that American today continues to be fully subject to the ebbs and flows of the airline industry, and is even more vulnerable until it can emerge from bankruptcy," the filing said.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled a conference between the airlines and government attorneys for Friday where she may decide on when the anti-trust trial will occur.

Also in the filing, American and US Airways refuted the DOJ's assertions on why it needed 180 days before going to trial.

• “Six months to a full trial on the merits is in keeping with timetables in comparable merger cases.” (Opp’n at 8.) As the table below demonstrates, of the 23 cases cited by the parties, only 3 had trial schedules as long as plaintiffs’ request, whereas 14 had schedules that were actually shorter than what defendants propose. Moreover, not a single case cited by plaintiffs or defendants in which the schedule went longer than 110 days actually made it to a final adjudication after a trial on the merits. That is exactly what drives the Airlines’ concern here: that a trial delayed according to the plaintiffs’ schedule would knock the bottom out of this merger.

• “nterested parties knew what should have been clear: that a merger of two large firms competing in already highly concentrated markets might draw an antitrust challenge.” (Opp’n at 3.) In fact, the DOJ approved three large airline mergers in the last five years using criteria that, if applied here, would demonstrate that US Airways/American Airlines is even more pro-competitive than the others.

• “American reported record profits in the second quarter of this year.” (Opp’n at 3.) In fact, prior to its restructuring, American lost $10 billion in the last decade.
• “American’s restructuring efforts have been extraordinarily successful and have positioned the company to compete as a strong and vibrant standalone firm.” (Opp’n at 3.) Although American has made progress in restructuring, it has not yet presented an alternative plan to the bankruptcy court.

• The harm of delay is merely costs that American “may incur” and “some uncertainty” that “employees will face.” (Opp’n at 5.) This is a significant understatement of the harm attendant to a delayed trial. The Airlines conservatively estimate that this merger will result in net direct consumer benefits of conservatively $500 million annually. The pay raises and benefits improvements that have been promised to both airlines’ employees are put on hold―amounting to $400 million annually. That translates to nearly $2.5 million permanently lost for every day of delay. And American’s employees, entitled to an equity stake worth about $2 billion (at today’s valuations) when the merger is closed, would have to stand by and watch as the value of that equity is buffeted by the market.

Motion of Official Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC) For Leave to File Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Set Trial Date: August 28, 2013

The (UCC) Statutory Committee has consulted with the DOJ, Plaintiff States and Defendants regarding the filing of the amicus brief. The DOJ and Defendants have consented to this filing, and the Plaintiff States have no objection to the filing.

See Story: http://blogs.star-te...deral-court.pdf

Unsecured creditors committee says DOJ is “completely wrong” to think American can survive on its own

In a filing made on Wednesday, the UCC characterized the government's anti-trust arguments as "completely wrong," "fanciful," and "factually unsubstantiated."

"The government is completely wrong to suggest that exacerbating the uncertainty regarding AMR's future is of no moment because AMR has a standalone plan of reorganization. On the contrary, AMR's current plan of reorganization, which is based on the Merger Agreement, is the only plan proposed to and voted on by creditors and stakeholders that is before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York ("the Bankruptcy Court") presiding over AMR's pending Chapter 11 cases; there is no "Plan B" with regard to reorganization," the filing said.

See Story: http://blogs.star-te...m.com/sky_talk/

American Airlines, US Airways warn that a long delay in antitrust trial could kill merger

See Story: http://www.dallasnew...kill-merger.ece

AA maintenance workers to protest Justice officials in Tulsa Thursday

See Story: http://www.menafn.co...ursday?src=main

Tulsa Union Asks Government To Drop American-US Airways Merger Lawsuit

See Story: http://www.newson6.c...-merger-lawsuit

TWU members to deliver petition with 8,000 signatures to DOJ offices in Tulsa on Thursday

See Story: http://blogs.star-te...n-thursday.html

Speak Up for the New American Airlines!

The new American is about growth, improved service, a broader network and giving consumers another global choice. Tell government and elected officials to let American Airlines and US Airways compete together.

Below is a template letter that you can use as a base for your own letter to your government and elected officials. The letter can be personalized with your own message by updating the entry box.

See Story: http://newamericanar...g.com/speak-up/

Cooper: ‘False Promises’ Prompted Airline Merger Challenge

Tennessee Attorney General Robert Copper said the state joined the U.S. Justice Department and five other states in opposing the proposed $11 billion merger of U.S.Airways and American Airlines, because of the state’s experience with past airline mergers. The effect would be “another blow to Memphis air traffic,” said Cooper, adding that past mergers also have had a negative impact on Tennessee’s three other major airports.

See Story: http://www.memphisda...rger-challenge/

APFA Hotline (Special Merger Update): August 28, 2013

As the directly elected representative of flight attendants throughout the American Airlines system, I answer to more than 16,000 members and, by extension, their families. The job became significantly more complicated and demanding when American filed for Ch. 11 in late November 2011. Although this bankruptcy was more or less a foregone conclusion given the way American had been run for the ten plus years leading up to the filing, the subsequent wild ride APFA and the other unions on the property have taken has been completely unpredictable.

As a member of the bankruptcy’s unsecured creditors’ committee, I’ve been in the room since day one - on behalf of APFA and all AA employees - and the most vocal and unwavering supporter of the US Airways merger since its inception.

It’s not enough to say you’re in favor of something as big as this merger, however. You’ve got to do the work. And the work is not yet finished. While it has required an enormous amount of time, conviction and energy, I am confident that it will soon pay off.

I receive numerous questions on my flights, in operations, via social media and through calls and emails from many of you. So I sat down with APFA Communications to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Question: Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the merger. Is the merger still going to happen?

LG: Yes. Short answer – yes. I’m still very confident that the merger will happen. The antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and a few attorneys general is an inconvenience and it will certainly postpone the merger, which is frustrating, but it won’t kill it. The DOJ got it wrong, plain and simple. Now it’s up to the companies – which are both totally committed to the merger – to prove it. Fortunately, most of the hard work is already done: over the past year and a half we’ve built a strong case for this merger. Everyone – Wall Street, American’s creditors, Congress, American management, and the flying public – everyone agrees that the merger is necessary. Now we just have to convince the judge hearing the antitrust case. It’s a challenge but by no means the biggest one we’ve faced in this bankruptcy. We’ll get past it.

Question: What can I do to help fight the DOJ?

LG: We all need to keep up the vocal public support of the merger. The DOJ and the attorneys general from Texas, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, DC, Arizona, and – I’m missing one – Tennessee, that’s it, they need to know that they have got this wrong. Consumers are going to benefit from the merger because a competitive American Airlines gives them a third viable option. The industry will benefit because there will no longer be the Delta/United duopoly controlling everything. Last but not least, 100,000 employees stand to gain job security and decent wages when the merger goes through. We’ve been waiting a long time for American to be competitive again. The merger needs to be approved because American needs to be allowed to compete.

We’ll be calling Flight Attendants to action soon. We want to make sure these attorneys general and Congress know what a mistake the government is making. Flight Attendants will be asked to write and call these people in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime,there’s a petition on the White House websitethat people can sign. If we get to 100,000 signatures we will get an official response from the Oval Office.

Question: When will we get rid of the LBFO and get a new contract?

LG: Immediately upon emerging from bankruptcy our LBFO will go away and the Bridge Agreement or Conditional Labor Agreement (CLA) will take its place. We thought that would be in early September but the DOJ’s case has thrown a wrench into that. Soon after the antitrust case is resolved, though, we’ll be emerging from bankruptcy and working under the CLA. Then the CLA will stay in effect until we can negotiate a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) which is what we’re calling the long-term contract for the combined Flight Attendant group at the new American.

Although the CLA is a big improvement over the LBFO but it’s not the contract that we have been waiting so long for and that we deserve – not by a long shot. That’s why APFA agreed to binding arbitration following the merger. If we can’t get a contract during expedited negotiations, a panel of arbitrators will determine the fair value of a contract for Flight Attendants with the largest air line in the industry. No other labor group has ever come out of bankruptcy with a path to an industry contract. I think we’re all looking forward to tearing up the bankruptcy contracts.

Question: What’s the baseline for negotiations after the merger?

LG: Great question and one there’s been a lot of bad information out there about. We’re going to do a page-turn before going into negotiations and start with the best from both our contract and the contract US Airways’ Flight Attendants just ratified. In the aggregate, our contract is of course more valuable, but there’s language in both agreements that we’d like to keep. If we can't reach an agreement in expedited bargaining, the arbitrators will look at our proposal and consider how Flight Attendants at Delta and United are compensated, and determine what’s fair.

Question: United is still in negotiations. What if they get a new contract right after we do?

LG: Another good question and a situation we have considered. If the United contract isn’t finished until after ours, we will get an adjustment to reflect a change in the industry. If United gets an increase, our contract will be modified to reflect an increase in the aggregate cost of the contract.

Question: How long will it take to get a new contract? How long will we be in negotiations following the merger?

LG: We will get a new contract very quickly after the merger is completed. Past mergers have taught us that it can take a long, long time to integrate a workforce under one fair contract. Look at US Airways: Flight Attendants worked under two separate agreements for 8 years. Like I said, Continental and United are STILL in negotiations. Look, in this industry, contract negotiations take a long time. We know it firsthand. Management has the ability to slow-walk negotiations and it always – ALWAYS – works to their benefit. That’s the beauty of our process. Our CLA calls for expedited negotiations and, if necessary, binding arbitration. Binding arbitration will force a new contract and take away the company’s ability to draw-out negotiations for years and years.

Question: How will the seniority lists be integrated?

LG: Our seniority lists will be integrated based on date of occupational seniority (which is called "date of hire" at US Airways). The only adjustment will be to ensure that American Flight Attendants get credit for initial training – as US Airways Flight Attendants do. APFA has done an enormous amount of research to determine the average number of days American Airlines Flight Attendants spent in training. We will be coming up with a number of days to adjust the seniority of American Flight Attendants to put them on an even footing with US Airways Flight Attendants. No changes will be made to APFA members’ seniority in relation to each other - what is referred to as 'relative seniority.'

Question: What about representation?

LG: APFA and AFA-CWA are working on an agreement that will put Flight Attendants first. We’re fully committed to an arrangement that will strengthen our strategic partnership, make the transition smooth for US Airways Flight Attendants, and maintain APFA’s independence.

Question: When will we be flying with mixed crews? When will our workgroups be completely merged?

LG: Only after the FAA issues a single operating certificate to the new American will our workgroups be totally integrated. This could take as long as 18 months after American emerges from bankruptcy. Until then, we will continue to operate as separate carriers.

If you have a question you would like to see addressed here, please emailpresident@apfa.org.

AmericanAirlines + US Airways
"On Our Way"

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

APA Negotiating Committee Update: August 28, 2013

Your Negotiating Committee continues to work with AA on contract implementation. With the contractual month of September, there will be changes with the procedures for month-to-month pick-up, rapid reaccrual, the IMAX and negative CPA banks.

Pick-up (Make-up) Month-to-Month Procedures

The 2012 CBA's scheduling system was designed to accomplish a number of things. A few of those were:

Move away from a hard number for a monthly maximum to an average monthly maximum (IMAX) over a rolling 12-month period. The IMAX rolling average concept eliminates the perishability of available pick-up hours for a pilot at the end of the month — the "use it or lose it" issue. Hours not picked up in a given month may now be picked up in a subsequent month.

Eliminate, to the greatest degree possible, any distinction from one month to the next (month/month overlap).

Reduce the percentage of pilots on reserve.

Consistent with the above, and as part of the 2012 CBA implementation process, effective with the contractual month of September, the rules for pick-up (old make-up) of fly-through sequences will be treated the same as the middle of the month. That is: A pilot will not be able to pick up a sequence in the current month that conflicts with a sequence in the next month.

Note: Crew Schedule can, at their discretion, authorize a pick-up with conflict transaction. When this occurs, the conflicted sequence is removed unpaid/uncredited with no sequence protection obligation.

This procedure is part of the new Filling of Open Time process (section 15.L.4.c).

Rapid Reaccrual

With the 2012 CBA, the provisions for rapid reaccrual of sick time changed. In the old contract, rapid reaccrual continued until the pilot's sick bank balance reached the number of hours accrued before the sick leave charge began. In the 2012 CBA, rapid reaccrual will continue until the pilot has accrued the number of sick hours he/she used in connection with the qualifying absence(s) triggering eligibility for rapid reaccrual. Based on the new provisions, AA has completed its analysis to determine which pilots should still be on rapid reaccrual and which pilots should not.

Pilots who should no longer be on rapid reaccrual will be reset to normal accrual; any sick bank hours accrued incorrectly at the rapid rate since Jan. 1 will be deducted from the pilot's YTD sick accrual. If it is determined a pilot was incorrectly on rapid reaccrual in any month in 2013, that pilot will have 2.5 hours deducted from his/her YTD sick accrual for each month in error. This adjustment will take place during the contractual month of September.


In the old contract, any month you did not completely fill up was a missed opportunity. With the 2012 CBA, in any given month, extra time not picked up is no longer perishable. The pilot's ability to pick up time is no longer based on a monthly maximum but on an averaged individual maximum (IMAX). This IMAX is based on a rolling average of a pilot's PROJ. The pilot is able to average 90 hours PROJ over the course of a year. Hence, time not picked up in one month may be picked up in a following month(s) as long as FAR flight time limits are still honored. As of today, 182 pilots are effectively exceeding their IMAX limit.

Beginning with the contractual month of October, AA will apply the IMAX principle. Automated FOS programming for IMAX is still TBD; however, a process will be implemented in the upcoming contractual month of October to effectively accomplish the purpose of the IMAX. Additional details will be forthcoming.

Negative CPA Bank Balances

The 2012 CBA transitions us to an environment without CPA. As a part of that transition, pilots with negative CPA balances will begin to have those balances transitioned to zero. The agreed-on methodology is to begin a recoupment of the negative balances beginning with the contractual month of September (Oct. 25 paycheck). The rate of recoupment will be four (4) hours per month (or fewer if appropriate) until such pilot's negative CPA balance is recovered. Affected pilots will see a remark added at the bottom of their previous month's activity record (HI-2), showing that month's recoupment, a few days after the month has concluded.

USAPA’s What’s Up on the Line?: August 28, 2013

Q – I heard that the Addington II hearing, originally set for September 24 before Judge Silver in Phoenix, has been rescheduled to October 22-23.

A – That's correct, on August 26, Judge Silver issued an order rescheduling the hearing from September 24 to October 22-23 because of “a conflict in the Court’s calendar.” That order was posted and a corresponding email was sent on August 26 to the Legal Postings distribution list.

Note - If you want to receive future legal posting notices, sign up for the Email Subscription "Legal Postings". (To sign up, go to the MEMBERS Tab>Email Subscriptions, Legal Postings, and click Yes.)

Q – [i]How can I find a Member's telephone number?

A – On the USAPA Web site's home page, there is a MEMBER SEARCH box on the right hand side. If that member has opted-in to allow their contact information to be visible (MEMBERS Tab>Account Settings), simply type in that member's last name or full first name. Additionally, if that member is on a USAPA committee, see the CONTACT Tab>USAPA Directory, and look under the specific committee, or search on the last name.
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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #1: August 29, 2013

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There are two positive developments in American Airlines & US Airways’ desire to complete their corporate combination. Dallas News reporter Terry Maxon just tweeted from the bankruptcy court that Judge Lane finds the case compelling to approve, but he postponed POR confirmation until September 12, 2013 or earlier in a written order.

Earlier today Judge Kollar-Kotelly issued a Scheduling Conference Pre-order, which is favorable to the two companies. It was previously reported the parties had a discovery dispute. In particular, “the DOJ wants to take depositions from up to 50 people and the airlines want to limit it to 10.” In addition, the “DOJ wants to be able to take two-day depositions from up to two executives from each airline. The airlines want to limit any one person’s deposition to a maximum of seven hours.”

Kollar-Kotelly ordered that written discovery begin immediately and that the DOJ shall be permitted up to 10 interrogatories (including subparts) to each Defendant. The companies shall be permitted up to 10 interrogatories (including subparts) to the DOJ collectively.

In my opinion, Judge Kollar-Kotelly is placing the antitrust lawsuit on the fast track after reading initial briefs, whe could rule in favor of the airline’s November 12th trial date, and both courts are providing leg room for a settlement.

See Story: http://www.apfa.org/...nference-082913

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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #2: August 29, 2013

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AMR bankruptcy judge leaning toward approving reorganization plan

See Story: http://finance.yahoo...-163224578.html

AMR Judge Says Arguments for Plan Approval `Persuasive'

See Story: http://www.bloomberg...html?cmpid=yhoo

Judge indicates he’s leaning toward confirming the American Airlines bankruptcy plan

See Story: http://aviationblog....ptcy-plan.html/

The Argument for and Against AMR-US Airways Merger
Judge likely to approve AMR bankruptcy exit

Bankruptcy judge says he is leaning toward approving American Airlines' restructuring plan

See Story: http://finance.yahoo...-163239175.html

Bankruptcy judge delays ruling on confirming AMR restructuring plan to Sept. 12

FORTH WORTH (Star-Telegram) - U.S. bankruptcy judge Sean Lane said he plans to rule on whether or not to confirm AMR's restructuring plan on September 12.

It appears that Lane is leaning towards confirming the plan which includes a merger with US Airways.

"I’m finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive," Lane said from the bench, according to an Associated Press report.

Lane heard oral arguments from airline attorneys and other interested parties at a hearing in New York on Thursday. Written arguments were submitted to Lane last week on the restructuring plan.

"We are pleased the judge found our arguments in favor of confirmation persuasive. While we await the Court’s decision on our Plan of Reorganization, we are focused on the need for a mid-November trial and challenging the DOJ’s position so we can complete our planned merger with US Airways," said American spokesman Mike Trevino in a statement.

American Airlines' attorneys have argued that the judge can confirm the plan even though the Department of Justice has filed an anti-trust suit to stop the merger. There is a hearing scheduled inWashington D.C. to determine when the anti-trust trial will be scheduled.

The Argument For and Against AMR-US Airways merger

See Story: http://www.bloomberg...html?cmpid=yhoo

Analyst: We don’ t see much chance for a settlement in the American Airlines-US Airways antitrust lawsuit

See Story: http://aviationblog....t-lawsuit.html/

Will the judge decide anything, any time soon?

See Story: http://aviationblog....time-soon.html/

Why Doug Parker's Legacy Hangs on a US Airways/American Merger

See Story: http://www.thestreet...oo&cm_ven=YAHOO

US Airways’ Washington Airport Prize Hobbles AMR Merger

See Story: http://www.bloomberg...html?cmpid=yhoo

U.S. District Court Scheduling Order: August 29, 2013

See Story: http://www.apfa.org/...nference-082913

Oil retreats from 2-year high, falls below $110 per barrel

See Story: http://www.star-tele...-year-high.html

APFA Merger Update (Bankruptcy Judge Postpones POR Approval): August 29, 2013

Judge Sean Lane postponed his approval of the Plan of Reorganization ("POR") in bankruptcy court this morning. He has called the parties back to court on September 12th.

Tomorrow morning APFA is hopeful that Judge Kollar-Kotelly, the judge assigned to the Antitrust litigation filed by the DOJ, will set an early trial date in November rather than wait until March 2014 as the DOJ requested earlier this week. We will update this hotline as events warrant.

AmericanAirlines + US Airways
"On Our Way"
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What is your lack of self worth that only a merger can provide?
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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #3: August 29, 2013

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Antitrust judge gives DOJ, American Airlines and US Airways homework before Friday’s hearing

See Story: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/08/antitrust-judge-gives-doj-american-airlines-and-us-airways-homework-before-fridays-hearing.html/

Judge likely to approve AMR bankruptcy exit

See Story: http://finance.yahoo...-163239175.html

Will US Airways See a Rise from a Potential Deal?

See Story: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/will-us-airways-see-a-rise-from-a-potential-deal.html/?ref=YF

Don't Count on Lower Airfares if the American-US Airways Merger Tanks

See Story: http://www.bloomberg...rger-tanks.html

USAPA Governmental Affairs Committee Update: August 29, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, USAPA Governmental Affairs and Communications Committee members, along with other Labor Coalition members from American Airlines and US Airways, participated in a Conference Call with Management dealing with merger-related events being planned in Washington, DC.

Here's a summary:
  • A “Fly-In and Lobby Day” is being planned for Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18. This will educate and solicit support from key Congressional delegations regarding the merger. Along with the Allied Pilots Association, our GAC members are available to organize and lead the scores of meetings on Capitol Hill that are being planned.
  • AMR will likely fly aircraft to Washington, DC with DFW employees for this event. US Airways employees are invited to join them.
  • USAPA DCA Representatives have been contacted by their local APA Counterparts asking for support. They are developing plans to work together for the “Fly-In and Lobby Day” event.
  • The event will also include a mid-day media and employee rally at the Capitol, along with the disbursement of dozens of delegations to visit Congressional Offices.
  • The Company is also developing several other ways for employees to support the merger. Details will be announced in the next few days.
  • The theme of these activities will be “Let Us Compete Together” and will be echoed in media outreach and op-ed pieces.
We will keep you updated as we learn more. This is a critical moment in our history – and we welcome your participation.

USAPA Government Affairs Committee

PilotAction American Airlines & US Airways Proposed Merger Miscellaneous Key Comments of the Day: August 29, 2013
  • The DOJ said it would be open to allowing the merger to go through if the airlines make antitrust concessions
  • See Story: http://wallstcheatsh...html/?ref=YFThe Department of Justice was particularly concerned that the newly-combined airline would have 69 percent of the takeoff and landings at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It also — for the first time — looked beyond non-stop routes, saying connecting flights between 1,043 city pairs would no longer have an acceptable level of competition. Some of those routes see very few passengers. For instance, there are five people, on average, each day flying between Little Rock, Ark. and Harrisburg, Pa., and another five flying in the other direction, according to government data.
  • See Story: http://finance.yahoo...3239175.htmlS Capital IQ raised its rating on US Airways to "strong buy" from "buy", citing reports the two carriers and the Justice Department were open to settling the government complaint seeking to block the merger. "We think the merger should not have been blocked, and believe it is feasible that the divestiture of slots at Reagan National will help reach a settlement," equity analyst Jim Corridore said in a note to clients.
  • http://finance.yahoo...-163224578.html
Petition Support

Speak Up for the New American Airlines!

The new American is about growth, improved service, a broader network and giving consumers another global choice. Tell government and elected officials to let American Airlines and US Airways compete together.

Below is a template letter that you can use as a base for your own letter to your government and elected officials. The letter can be personalized with your own message by updating the entry box.

See Story: http://newamericanarriving.com/speak-up/

White Petition to Withdraw the Lawsuit: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/withdraw-department-justices-suit-block-planned-merger-between-american-airlines-and-us-airways/hqZ3gs9v

APA Merger Talking Points: https://public.alliedpilots.org/APA/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Bc8gPYJlF_Q%3d&tabid=1042&mid=2085
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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #5: August 29, 2013

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Judge to Consider Date for Airline-Antitrust Trial - AMR's Stay in Bankruptcy Is Tied to Trial's Outcome

CHICAGO (WSJ.com) - A federal judge will consider on Friday one of the most contentious issues so far in the Justice Department's challenge to the merger between American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. the antitrust trial's start date.

The parties have asked U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to set the timing during a scheduling conference, a decision that is under exceptional scrutiny because AMR's stay in bankruptcy is tied to the trial's outcome.

If Judge Kollar-Kotelly begins the trial around Nov. 12, as the airlines have requested, they will almost certainly face off against the government in court. But if the judge sides with the government, which has requested the trial start March 3, AMR will have to decide whether to stay mired in bankruptcy for several more months with no guarantee the deal will succeed, or to pursue a stand-alone plan. A delay to next year would also mean the airlines no longer would be bound by hefty breakup fees in their merger agreement that expire in December.

On Thursday, the judge overseeing AMR's bankruptcy again delayed a ruling on its reorganization plan to merge with US Airways. The judge said he is leaning toward confirming the plan but wanted to hear more from AMR and its creditors on how the Justice Department's suit affects the bankruptcy. He scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 12.

AMR and US Airways have stood by the deal, but in a court filing this week they said that starting the antitrust trial in 2014 would jeopardize the merger by casting months of uncertainty over it. The airlines said that, for example, the delay would impede their negotiations for important corporate contracts and limit AMR's ability to finance new aircraft. And an extended wait could also be costly: AMR said that if the case wasn't tried until April or May, it would incur an additional $65 million to $75 million in bankruptcy-related fees.

The government's proposed start date "presents a significant risk that the schedule rather than the merits will determine the future of the planned transaction," they said. "Two independent companies can be asked to stay in limbo for only so long before they need to make independent plans."

An AMR spokesman said that if the trial is scheduled for 2014, the airlines would still plan to defend the merger in court, but the uncertainty could allow an outside event, such as a spike in oil prices, to cause the airlines to later abandon the deal.

AMR's creditors also said in a court filing that the delay would threaten the merger. The deal is predicated on complex intercreditor agreements and "prolonged uncertainty…could undermine these compromises and instead precipitate factiousness and infighting," they said.

The Justice Department says it needs time to prepare its case arguing that the merger would hurt airline competition and "likely result in hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to consumers annually." The government said there should be no urgency to start the trial because AMR and US Airways are doing well financially. AMR reported that it earned $292 million in July.

The airlines, which say the merger would benefit consumers, said the government has had more than 16 months to investigate the deal. The government said that time wasn't used to prepare for trial.

The parties said this week that they remain open to a settlement. However, the government said it had not yet received a proposal "that addresses the competitive harms posed by the merger," while the airlines said that they have already tried to settle and that "there ought to be a realistic possibility of a settlement."

The merger deal requires AMR to pay $135 million if it leaves the deal before a deadline in mid-December. It says US Airways would have to pay a breakup fee of $55 million. Each also faces a $195 million fee if they knowingly breach the merger terms. To extend the merger agreement past that deadline, both airlines must agree.

The Deal: Deal: Airline Merger Judge Wants Details

In an order issued Thursday, Kollar-Kotelly appeared to be favoring a trial date on the earlier side. She called on the parties to "immediately begin serving written discovery to the extent possible."

See Story: http://www.thestreet.com/story/12022...o&cm_ven=YAHOO

US Airways-American Merger Not Dead

See Story: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/u...p.html/?ref=YF

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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #1: August 30, 2013

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APFA Update: August 29, 2013

Meeting with Washington, D.C. Attorney General

A meeting has been scheduled for union representatives to discuss the antitrust case with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, September 3.

Help us show the DC AG that his actions may hurt local families. Sign the following letter by emailing your name and base information to legislation@apfa.org. As we finalize appointments with the remaining Attorneys General, member participation will continue to be at the forefront of APFA's plan of action.

Dear Attorney General Irvin Nathan,

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose livelihoods depend on the success of American Airlines and US Airways, we the undersigned respectfully request that you withdraw the antitrust suit intended to block the merger of those two companies.

We know firsthand that, contrary to the complaint you filed in federal court last month, our companies are not capable of competing in the current market on their own. The recent dramatic increase to the size and scale of Delta and United has put our carriers at an insurmountable competitive disadvantage. As you know, the dominance of Delta and United is the result of recent megamergers.

Thousands of DC-area workers, including the undersigned, depend on the stability and competitiveness of American and US Airways to make ends meet. You lawsuit stands between these workers and dependable jobs with decent wages. Please do not continue down this destructive path. Withdraw your suit and the new American Airlines to compete.




Petitions Delivered in New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Tulsa, and Los Angeles

The 8,000 TWU members who signed our DOJ petition had their voices heard loud and clear today. TWU Locals across the nation are delivering petitions to DOJ offices, telling Attorney General Holder to stop attempting to block the American Airlines-US Airways merger.

Following up on our petitions, local presidents have been contacting the Obama Administration’s Labor Liaison, seeking a meeting with Attorney General Holder and urging an end to the government intervention.

American Airlines, US Airways and the DOJ will be in court on Friday, to discuss the schedule for a trial.

APFA Hotline Update (APFA President Laura Glading on Bloomberg and CNN): August 29, 2013

Tune in to Bloomberg TV "Market Matters" on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern where Laura Glading will be the appearing Live guest in the New York studio along with Neil Roghair, APA Vice President, via satellite.

On Labor Day, Monday, September 2, barring any unforeseen events that may impact the interview schedule, Laura is set to appear Live on CNN at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on "The Lead" with Jake Tapper.

To view the latest news and court filings on the AA-US Airways merger click here.

To receive the most up-to-date information about the AA Bankruptcy, US Airways/AA Merger, and DOJ Anti-trust Lawsuit, subscribe to our list.

AmericanAirlines + US Airways
"On Our Way"

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

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PilotAction Merger News for US Airways & American Airlines #2: August 30, 2013

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Nov. 25 trial set for American Airlines-US Airways merger

Judge sides largely with American Airlines and US Airways in scheduling the 10-day trial

See Story: http://www.usatoday....rtment/2742397/

American, US Airways lawyers get what they want in court — an early trial date; now for the hard part, winning (Interview with American and US Airways' attorneys)

“What the government needs to do here is show that the merger is going to be anti-competitive. Whether or not American can stand on its own with or without a merger is not the issue here,” said John Majoras, counsel for American Airlines.

The companies said they expect to call about six witnesses — including executives from their companies and at least one executive at a business that is a potential customer of the American, should the merger go through. It also has hired two antitrust economists who have been working for months on the case, and who will testify before Kollar-Kotelly.

See Story: http://aviationblog....t-winning.html/

Timing of antitrust trial to favor airlines, but U.S. may come prepared

The merger is American’s plan to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Judge Sean Lane indicated Thursday that he’s inclined to approve it on Sept. 12, but he wants to hear more about the airlines’ response to the government’s case.

"She will encourage them to try to settle it, if possible," said Carl Tobias a law professor at the University of Richmond.

See Story: http://www.kansascit...al-appears.html

Judge: Airline-merger trial to start in November

A bankruptcy judge in New York signaled Thursday that he’s leaning toward approving American’s emergence from bankruptcy protection but wanted more time to reflect. Judge Sean H. Lane could sign off on the restructuring plan at the next hearing on Sept. 12 or in a written decision earlier.

See Story: http://www.boston.co....SRL/story.html

Countdown begins to U.S. airline merger trial in November

It was surprising that the Justice Department wanted a lengthy period before trial, because its suit implied it had a slam-dunk case, George Hamlin, president of Hamlin Transportation Consulting, in Fairfax, Virginia. "They had the element of surprise. The airlines weren't expecting this. Why wouldn't you want to do it sooner rather than later?"

See Story: http://www.reuters.c....N0GV0Q20130830

AMR, US Airways Win Fast-Track Date in U.S. Antitrust Trial

Rich Parker, the US Airways lawyer, said today that the airlines are still interested in having settlement talks with the Justice Department.

“We put something on that table before we got sued and the government responded with a complaint not with a counteroffer,” he said.

See Story: http://www.businessw....ntitrust-trial

Bankruptcy judge puts off decision on AMR reorganization plan

Bond analyst Vicki Bryan of Gimme Credit said she believes that a settlement may occur before a trial and would likely include the divestiture of certain routes and landing slots to appease government concerns.

“Despite all the grandstanding, we remain skeptical that Justice actually can win its case in court with persuasive evidence that the merger is anticompetitive and harmful to consumers,” Bryan wrote in a research note issued Thursday.

“This would explain Justice’s stall tactics now and set the stage for it to snag a huge political ‘win’ with an out-of-court settlement later by claiming success in bringing the greedy airlines into tow via tough negotiations to get concessions it most likely could have achieved already some months ago with logical additions and subtractions to the proposed combined network and services.”

See Story: http://www.star-tele....-decision.html

American, US Airways offered to cede slots in Washington before DOJ filed lawsuit

See Story: http://www.star-tele....ffered-to.html

Why American and US Airways Need a November Trial Date

See Story: http://www.thestreet....rial-date.html

Analysts say November trial date a "win" for the airlines

FORTH WORTH (Star-Telegram) - A couple of industry analysts have called the November 25 anti-trust trial date for American Airlines and US Airways a "win" for the carriers.

Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay said he believes there is a 75 percent likelihood that the merger between the two airlines will occur as the Department of Justice's anti-trust complaint is "weak."

"We also think DOJ relies too heavily on anecdotal and vignette-driven arguments, as was the case in Oracle/PeopleSoft, which DOJ lost in embarrassing fashion," Keay wrote in a research report sent to investors on Friday.

Bond analyst Vicki Bryan at Gimme Credit applauded the federal judge's decision to set a November trial date instead of agreeing with the government's request for a March trial.

"Kudos to the judge -- this whole thing has dragged out more than long enough," Bryan said in a research note. "The trial is expected to last 10 days, which could mean a decision by yearend."

AA CEO Tom Horton and US Airways CEO Doug Parker Joint Message to Employees: August 30, 2013

Dear Fellow Employees:

We just heard that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia set a trial date of Nov. 25, 2013, in connection with the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

We are pleased the Court has set a schedule that will enable us to resolve this litigation in a reasonable timeframe. Given the significant benefits this merger will deliver to consumers, employees and other stakeholders, and that the creation of the new American Airlines will provide much-needed competition, our duty remains clear: We are more committed than ever to bringing our airlines together and look forward to making our case for the new American in court.

The people of American Airlines and US Airways simply want the opportunity to compete together for customers and to enhance competition with the largest airlines in the U.S. – United, Delta and Southwest – and a number of fast-growing low-cost carriers.

We continue to be invigorated by the outpouring of support we have received from all of you in the past few weeks. It’s clear that you share our conviction that the new American is about growth and bringing new choices to the customers we serve. We will have more information soon about ways that all of you can participate in actively showing your support for the merger. In the meantime, let’s continue to do what we do best: running great airlines and providing the outstanding service our customers have come to expect from us.

Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication and all that you will be doing this weekend to keep our operations running smoothly over a busy holiday. We look forward to the day when we will stand together as one airline to deliver the compelling benefits of the new American.

USAPA President's Message: August 30, 2013

Fellow Pilots,

We received good news today about the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines.

At a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly set a November 25 trial date for the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the merger. The Judge rejected the DOJ’s request to delay the trial until next year. We expect the trial to last for approximately 10 days.

I was at the hearing today with USAPA’s General Counsel, Brian O’Dwyer. We met with APA and APA’s General Counsel to make sure our two unions continue to work together during this period, keeping the momentum going for merging our two pilot groups. We will also continue meeting with the Company, ironing out details of the post-POR transitions to the New American. Those discussions will be operating under the assumption this merger will come to fruition by year's end.

We will keep you updated on further developments on this matter as they occur.

APA Update: August 30, 2013

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington heard from both sides today on their discovery and trial needs in the DOJ antitrust lawsuit. After careful consideration, she has scheduled the trial to begin Nov. 25 and continue to conclusion every weekday except Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving. This early trial date will allow for an expeditious decision as to whether the merger can clear the final hurdle and the corporation can exit bankruptcy without further delay.

Counsel for the carriers and DOJ estimate the trial will take 10–12 court days. While APA is not directly involved in the trial preparation, as a "friend of the court" and supporter of the merger, we are confident the merits of the case will be resolved in our favor and the merger between the two carriers will be allowed to move forward.

As communicated in yesterday's News Digest, bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane heard oral arguments from those in favor of prompt confirmation of the Plan of Reorganization and from one private class-action lawyer wanting a delay in the approval of the merger. Judge Lane took the matter under advisement and has scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 12. Judge Lane also said on the record that he found the arguments in favor "persuasive." In that regard, we remain hopeful he will issue his order confirming the plan to exit bankruptcy sometime in September.

We encourage all pilots to join the whitehouse.gov petition and our email campaign in those states whose attorneys general are involved in the DOJ's litigation. And whether you’re spending the day in the cockpit or with family and friends, please accept my sincere wishes for a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Transport Workers Union Air Transport Division Director Gary Drummond: August 30, 2013

Members and leaders of the Transport Workers Union employed at both American Airlines and US Airways are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly has decided to hear arguments in the American Airlines/US Airways merger suit on November 25, 2013.

A new American Airlines composed of US Airways and the current American will provide greater competition with Delta and United as well as with foreign airlines. The new American will certainly offer travelers more options and better service.

TWU members are concerned about job security and the future of the new American Airlines that has been jeopardized as a result of the Department of Justice’s interference in the merger process. We just need a fair chance to compete.

We thank Judge Kollar-Kotelly for speeding this process along.

Association of Flight Attendants President Roger Homlin: August 30, 2013

“US Airways Flight Attendants are ready to make the most out of the opportunities available through the creation of the world’s largest airline, which will provide real competition for Delta and United and a positive outlook for workers. Our union supported the motion for a November trial date because both US Airways and American Airlines front line workers deserve to know what our future holds
“We applaud today’s court decision for a November 25 trial start date and we are optimistic that the judge will agree that the benefits of this merger, for both workers and consumers alike, will help to create a stronger aviation system.”

APFA Hotline (DOJ Lawsuit): August 30, 2013

A-US Airways Antitrust Lawsuit Court Date Set for November 25, 2013

APFA is happy to report that the judge assigned to the DOJ vs AA-US Airways merger lawsuit, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, set a trial date for November 25, 2013. Read the text of Judge Kollar-Kotelly's order here.

Meanwhile in bankruptcy court, APFA is hopeful that Judge Sean Lane will confirm the AA Plan of Reorganization ("POR") on the next scheduled trial date in his court set for September 12th.

APFA is pleased with the progress related to the AA-US lawsuit preparation and scheduling. The antitrust trial will be completed in mid-December. It is possible that a decision will be rendered by the judge prior to the end of the year or soon thereafter.

We will continue to keep the membership apprised of all events surrounding the merger as they occur. For up-to-date merger/DOJ lawsuit information add your name to our mailing list here.

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APFA Labor Day Capwiz Action - Contact Congress In Support of the AA/US Merger - August 31, 2013

Labor Day marks an important day for all hard-working Americans. And for those in the aviation industry, every day is Labor Day.

As airline employees, we have suffered through years of turbulence: bankruptcies, layoffs, and significant cuts in salaries and benefits. Our sacrifices have been tremendous over the past decade. No one wants the success of American Airlines and US Airways more than the employees. We want our companies to be able to compete for the flying public’s business, but they cannot do that individually. In fact, employees, financial analysts, management, the American Airlines creditors, and shareholders from both companies all agree that a merger is the only path to success.

Now, the Department of Justice and attorneys general from six states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit to try to stop the merger and what is good for both workers and passengers. Tell them they got it wrong by contacting your representatives in Washington. Ask them to support the merger through APFA's online CapWiz tool.

Every letter that is sent via this platform is logged into the Senators' or Congressperson's database. The more messages we generate, the more notice your Representatives will take.

After you have completed this action, please spread the word via the "share option" contained within the Capwiz platform.

Thank you for your participation,

APFA Communications

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Well, you can all write your Congressman all you want, but then ask yourself...how much money have the individual flight attendants donated to their Congressmen's re-election campaigns? My guess is practically nothing. Practically nothing gets practically zero attention from a member of Congress. SHOW HIM/HER THE MONEY. That and only that gets their attention.
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Well, you can all write your Congressman all you want, but then ask yourself...how much money have the individual flight attendants donated to their Congressmen's re-election campaigns? My guess is practically nothing. Practically nothing gets practically zero attention from a member of Congress. SHOW HIM/HER THE MONEY. That and only that gets their attention.

Writing Congress over the merger is simply a huge waste of time, paper and/or bandwidth. The DOJ does not answer to Congress. In other times, maybe the DOJ might actually be influenced by Congressional consensus, but this Congress is way too divided to be effective in that regard. Even if, in our wildest dreams, both houses passed a bill to specifically authorize this merger, Obama would simply veto it.

Pressure on the White House MIGHT have some effect, but Obama has already distanced himself from this issue (even though he is ultimately responsible for his DOJ and its actions.)
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