Reno not affected by airline slowdown |

Reno not affected by airline slowdown

A pilot dispute with American Airlines has not caused flight cancellations at Reno-Tahoe International Airport, nor is it expected to, according to airport and airline officials.

An apparent work slowdown by American Airline pilots that began over the weekend, continued Monday, apparently in reaction to sluggish negotiations on a work agreement with pilots of recently acquired Reno Air.

Adam Mayberry, public relations manager at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, confirmed that no Reno Air or American Airlines flights had been canceled due to the slowdown.

“It didn’t have any impact (at the airport) over the weekend,” he said.

American Airlines provides only two flights a day between Reno and Dallas, Mayberry said. On the other hand, Reno Air, which has had its hub in Reno, has 33 flights per day to nine cities.

“(The dispute) is not affecting Reno Air’s operations,” said Reno Air spokeswoman Nancy Raymond, referring to all the airline’s scheduled flights. “We are operating normally. The only delays we may have (in Reno) are due to the weather.”

American Airline officials were not available for comment but referred inquiries to recorded statements.

American Airlines canceled about 10 percent of its scheduled flights Sunday after a high number of unexpected pilot absences, airline spokesman Tim Smith said in a recorded message. The cancellation of about 240 of its 2,250 flights on Sunday followed the loss of 90 flights on Saturday. In the statement, Smith said that 360 flight cancellations were expected on Monday.

”We have been making efforts to reaccommodate passengers who have been affected by this,” Smith said.

Pilots contend that AMR Corp., parent of American, has disregarded the contract since purchasing Reno Air six weeks ago for $124 million. American must pay lower-paid Reno pilots at American Airlines’ rates, the pilots say.

Although federal law bars a strike over such an issue, pilots can refuse to volunteer for overtime, which can cause flight delays and cancellations.

“The labor dispute will most likely work itself out,” Mayberry said.

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