American Airlines pilots today issued a symbolic vote of “no confidence” in CEO Doug Parker, due to “questionable economic and strategic decisions” and the fact that he skipped the meeting of airline executives with Donald Trump last week. Parker missed that meeting due to a leadership conference that was already scheduled. APA President Dan Carey had this to say:
“We’ve watched Mr. Parker and his team being out-managed by our competitors’ executives and have lost trust in their ability to lead and protect the interests of American Airlines employees and shareholders. His decision to disrespectfully not accept an invitation to meet with the President of the United States has left the APA leadership and many of our pilots amazed at the lack of judgment and leadership exhibited.”
The APA told Reuters that they are fine with Parker sticking around, there just needs to be change.
“We want a change. If it’s Doug Parker changing the way he’s (running) the airline and operating it, so be it. The end state has to be an airline that is running better, that is providing better service to our customers and better service to our employees.”
The top complaint is lower pay and less profit sharing when compared to Delta, though AA notes that they’ve increased wages and benefits by $3.5B since the US Airways merger.
Separately, in an article by DallasNews, Parker says he’s struggling to change the culture at AA, leading to a decrease in the value of the airline. He notes that culture change has propelled Delta to success and that he even sees United making strides under new CEO Munoz.
“I wish we were further along, but we’re also realistic about what we’re trying to do here,” Parker said in an interview. “It’s an enormous effort at a really big airline with a history so different than what we’re trying to build.”
The article has some great pilot and APA quotes (and even one prank) on why they are so frustrated and how they feel Parker has completely fumbled his opportunity to build the best and strongest airline and instead created a very toxic work environment. Check out the full read here.
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