Despite Federal Help, Carty Says American's Future In Doubt
By AviationNow.com Staff
24-Sep-2001 3:38 PM U.S. EDT
American Airlines' future remains in doubt despite last week's federal aid package aimed at helping U.S. airlines out, says CEO Don Carty, and the airline is seeking voluntary salary reductions from employees to help see it through until passenger demand returns.
"The aid package that passed into law with President Bush's signature will help us get through the next several months," Carty said Monday in a message distributed to all American employees. "The bad news is that we still have tremendously difficult challenges ahead of us."
American, like most carriers, announced huge layoffs and schedule reductions following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in which two American jets were hijacked and crashed, killing everyone on board. But the reluctance of passengers to return to the skies is putting the carrier's future in doubt, Carty said.
"Despite the fact that we reduced our schedule by 20%, our load factors are still very, very low," he said. "And the absence of customers means that, even with some help from the government, the survival of our company and our industry is still in jeopardy."
Carty said he would not take any compensation -- including salary -- for the rest of 2001 to help American cut costs.
"I realize this step by itself will have relatively little impact on our company's overall financial health, but my hope is that it will underscore the depth of my commitment to this great airline, and my willingness as its leader to share in the sacrifices necessary to get us back on our feet," he said.
Carty asked other employees to take voluntary pay cuts. For every dollar surrendered, he pledged, American will put 20 cents into a fund aimed at helping the families of American employees who died in the Sept. 11 attacks and addressing "unique hardship cases that arise as a result of the job reductions."