Pilots approve contract with American Eagle

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Pilots for American Eagle have approved a new labor contract with the company, which provides regional flights for American Airlines.

Pilots for American have resumed negotiations with their company, which is trying to reduce labor costs through the bankruptcy-protection process.

Eagle and American Airlines are owned by AMR Corp. All three filed for bankruptcy protection in November. AMR had wanted to sell or spin off Eagle, but those plans were put on hold with the Chapter 11 filing. The Fort Worth, Texas, parent company expects to get the bulk of bankruptcy-related cost-cutting by reworking labor contracts and aircraft leases for American Airlines. Eagle will provide only a small part of the company's savings.

The Air Line Pilots Association said Monday that 75 percent of Eagle pilots who voted favored ratification. Turnout was 85 percent of eligible pilots.

Tony Gutierrez, chairman of the governing council at Eagle's branch of the nationwide union, said the vote would let pilots concentrate on ensuring pilot jobs well into the future.

"Although none of us wanted to navigate the bankruptcy process during our career, we are pleased that this difficult chapter is now behind us," Gutierrez said in a message to pilots.