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American Airlines resolves holiday pilot shortage

By Sam Howard
An American Airlines plane lands at O'Hare International Airport on November 5, 2014 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1aead25c59433a4fb19f01689acef236/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
An American Airlines plane lands at O'Hare International Airport on November 5, 2014 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- American Airlines announced it has resolved a technical glitch that left thousands of flights for later this month without scheduled pilots.

Earlier this week, the Allied Pilots Association, a union on behalf of the company's pilots, said a glitch in American Airlines' piloting schedule meant thousands of flights for the "upcoming critical holiday period" did not have pilots. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told Bloomberg his company was offering its aviators who volunteer to operate those flights with 150 percent of their hourly wage.

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Miller called the situation a "crisis." The company manages almost 6,700 flights on a daily basis.

But by Friday, both the union and American Airlines said they had resolved the problem.

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"The APA leadership met with American Airlines senior management today to discuss APA's grievance concerning restrictions on premium pay and trip trading for December flying," the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement. "APA and management have reached an agreement in principle addressing our respective needs, and we have withdrawn our grievance. With this agreement in principle, we anticipate that American Airlines will be able to maintain a full December schedule as planned for its passengers."

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The union did not disclose specific terms of negotiations, but said it would release more information soon.

American Airlines also put out a release Friday saying that the two groups worked together for a solution.

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"We are pleased to report that together, American and the Allied Pilots Association have put that worry to rest to make sure our flights will operate as scheduled," the company said.

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