When American Airlines and US Airways merged four and a half years ago many legacy American Airlines executives departed. Several management level staff that were holdovers from American before the merger left two years ago, presumably eligible for bonuses based on the length of time they had stayed on.
In any merger of this size there are initial promises of cost savings, and personnel is one area where those need to be delivered.
Last fall airline CFO Derek Kerr shared that they planned to “further eliminat[..] post-merger redundancies” and that we’d begin to see those in 2018.
Today American announced to its employees that those are coming at the Director level and above. Now that most (but not all) of the merger integration work is done they’re looking at their management staff count. Doug Parker’s letter to employees says that the airline “has more director and above leaders than we require for the long term.”
Over the next few weeks each ‘director and above’ employee will learn their fate as some face “involuntary exits” and those being let go who have two or more years with the company are offered the chance to leave voluntarily with severance. We can also expect some other management positions to be eliminated as well.
Here’s the letter that was shared with American employees today:
None of this is surprising. If I were placing a bet I’d expect more legacy American Airlines employees to be let go than US Airways management veterans, however we’ll have to see in the comings weeks what happens.