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Pilots: American's Plane Grounding Will Affect TWA

By T. Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – American Airlines' decision this week to ground 42 planes has former TWA pilots worried.

Captain Jeffery Darnall, with the group TWA Pilots, Inc., says because American put a majority of TWA pilots and flight attendants at the bottom of the seniority list, they will be first in line to lose jobs.

He adds St. Louis-based pilots will feel the effects of the groundings, even if flight schedules at Lambert don't change. "It may not, indeed, affect the number of take offs and departures, especially in light of the direction that American Airlines is taking in bringing regional jets in to St. Louis to replace mainline flying," Darnall said.

He added the plane groundings could affect up more than 500 pilots and a thousand flight attendants because a number of crews work on each plane.

Those losses would be in addition to American's restructuring announced in August, which will affect more than 500 St. Louis-based pilots.

An American spokesperson, though, says it's too early to know how the groundings will affect former TWA employees. The company plans to store the planes until at least 2005.