US Airways and American Airlines pilots met with US Airways executives Thursday, and said they hope the upcoming merger will give them the opportunity for a fresh start.
“The pilot representatives emphasized the need for a new culture that effectively engages employees and recognizes our pilots’ leadership role in the operation of the airline,” said a joint message sent to pilots by both company’s unions.
The U.S. Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways pilots, is based in Charlotte. With about 5,000 pilots, they’re the smaller pilot group, and one of the major challenges to the merger will be integrating them with the 10,000-plus pilots at American Airlines.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker will take the chief executive role at the merged airline. The unions said their closed meeting with Parker was a direct and “at times, pointed” exchange.
“The pilots...have made substantial individual and collective sacrifices to put both airlines in a position to execute this merger, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of working for the world’s premier airline,” said the message.