United States

American Airlines Pilot Union Raises Safety Concerns Amid Industry Scrutiny

The Allied Pilots Association, representing American Airlines pilots, raised alarming safety concerns amid industry scrutiny, citing incidents like tools left in wheel wells and ground collisions. This comes amidst heightened attention on commercial flight safety, following recent incidents and increased regulatory focus.

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American Airlines safety concerns Photo: Getty Images
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The pilot union for American Airlines notes a "significant spike" in safety concerns during flights. The Allied Pilots Association is alerting its members to concerning patterns, such as instances of tools being left in aircraft wheel wells, ground collisions involving towed planes, and the “pressure to return aircraft to line service to maintain on-time performance.”

The new message coincides with increased scrutiny on commercial flights both in the United States and internationally, sparked by the January 5 door plug blowout incident involving an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9. A CNN analysis revealed approximately a dozen incidents on United Airlines flights just last month, prompting CEO Scott Kirby to issue a safety message to customers.

The message from the union's safety committee emphasized that “while United Airlines is currently under public and government scrutiny, it could just as easily be American Airlines.” The committee urged members to report any issues and to stand firm against feeling pressured or intimidated.

“As the last link in the safety chain, our passengers and crew depend on us to be the strongest link in that chain,” the message stated.

In a statement, American Airlines emphasized that safety remains its utmost priority, highlighting that “our robust safety program is guided by our industry-leading safety management system.”

The company added, “it includes a multitude of collaborative programs — and regular touchpoints — with the FAA and all our unions, including APA, to further bolster our strong safety record and enhance our ever-evolving safety culture."

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