America West Merger Committee Update November 21, 2014

on .

The America West Merger Committee (“AWMC”) recently began working internally, assisting our lawyers to prepare for the representation of your seniority interests. We are less than a month away from the first important step, the Preliminary Arbitration. A favorable result in this Preliminary Arbitration will validate our representation of the America West pilot’s interests in the McCaskill-Bond seniority integration process. In the following paragraphs, we will update you about where we stand with regard to both processes.


The scheduled Preliminary Arbitration is the mechanism agreed to by American Airlines, APA, and USAPA through which the AWMC may be recognized as a stand-alone, autonomous merger committee on behalf of America West pilots in the McCaskill-Bond seniority integration process. In other words, if we are successful in the Preliminary Arbitration, we would have the independent right to represent the seniority interests of the America West pilots without regard to USAPA's position on the issues.

The Preliminary Arbitration will consist of up to five hearing days, the first three of which are scheduled for December 15-17, 2014. If we are unable to conclude the case that week, the hearings will continue on January 22-23, 2015. If the hearings are completed in December, we would expect a decision by the end of January. If they are completed in January, we would expect a decision by the end of February. 

The parties to the Preliminary Arbitration include: the AWMC, APA, the APA Merger Committee, American Airlines, and USAPA. Each of the parties will submit a “Pre-Hearing Brief” to the arbitration panel on December 1. The Pre-Hearing Briefs will outline the dispute and explain each party's position. We will publish these briefs after they are submitted to the arbitration panel.

The hearings will be held in Washington D.C. and will be open to all pilots, subject to space constraints. We will also publish each day’s hearing transcripts for those unable to attend in person. The hearings will be held at the following location:

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
1625 I Street NW #10
Washington, D.C.

This location is easily accessible by DC Metro or taxi from DCA airport and both DCA layover hotels. We will publish more details about attending in person in a future update.


If we receive a favorable result in the Preliminary Arbitration, the AWMC will immediately shift gears into engaging in the McCaskill-Bond seniority integration process with the merger committees from APA and USAPA. We will begin by requesting a plethora of information to which we are entitled from the APA and USAPA merger committees and American Airlines. The AWMC will then be able to internally study the compiled information and craft our proposed seniority integration methodology. We will then attempt to seek agreement with the other merger committees regarding a number of issues, in order to minimize the number of issues that will ultimately be arbitrated.

Assuming the three merger committees cannot reach a full consensus about the final integrated seniority list for the New American Airlines, all outstanding issues will be decided in binding arbitration. Pursuant to the Protocol Agreement, the seniority arbitration will be held in up to twelve (12) hearing days, extendable to sixteen (16) if all parties agree or if the arbitrators so request. The parties will submit post-hearing briefs following the conclusion of those hearing, and the arbitration panel will be tasked with producing an integrated seniority list within six months following the first hearing date.

Although it is difficult to predict with any certainty, we anticipate the seniority integration hearings will take place in early to mid summer 2015, with a projected arbitration award no later than December 9, 2015.

The America West pilots still have a voice in this process because of the unified support you have provided the past 9 years. While we are still on our own for funding this process, we continue to ask all West Pilots for continued financial support. Leonidas LLC will continue to be the funding mechanism moving ahead and contributions may be made at the following link: 

There will be quite a bit of activity in the coming weeks, and we look forward to communicating with you regularly as events transpire. Thank you for your ongoing support. 


The America West Merger Committee 

David Braid        Mark Burman        Johan de Vicq 

Eric Ferguson       Jeff O'Connell       Russ Payne 

Jim Van Sickle      Mitch Vasin        Roger Velez