By an overwhelming 74 percent margin, American Airlines pilots have voted to ratify the tentative contract hammered out with the bankrupt carrier. Voting ended Friday at noon.
The Allied Pilots Association’s Gregg Overman says turnout was high, more than 96 percent.
"Well, make no mistake, this is a bankruptcy contract. It does contain a variety of concessions, but also it does have some items that represent significant value for our pilots. For example, the APA will receive an ownership stake of 13.5 percent in the new airline and we will use that stake to help influence important decisions in the coming months such as a new board of directors."
And eventually, Overman says, the APA will sell that stake, using it to pay pilots for the losses they agreed to in this contract. He called the deal a mixed bag. They get raises, but pilot retiree medical care is eliminated. Premiums and medical co-pays for active pilots will rise.
American Airlines says it’s pleased pilots backed the deal, because it provides the certainty needed to successfully restructure.