Employees of American Airline's parent company AMR Corp. should expect some turbulent times ahead.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton wrote in a letter to employees Thursday that the company should expect less generous labor contracts and some pink slips, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.
We will have to make very tough and sometimes unpopular decisions that will impact people's lives, Horton wrote in his letter. And, regrettably, we will most certainly end the process with fewer people than we have today.
AMR has been hit hard over the last several years by high fuel prices, higher labor costs than rival airlines and loss of business travelers.
Horton also hinted that the company may be a target for takeover during the bankruptcy process.
And as we've seen before in this industry, there may be opportunists who wish to acquire our company while we are in this situation, he wrote.
Earlier Thursday, Reuters revealed the company owned an exquisite town house in the wealthy London district of Kensington. Property experts believe the house may be worth up to $30 million. American Airlines said the property is used for senior executives and for corporate functions from time to time.
One party livid over the deal was the Transport Workers Union of America, which represents many airline employees.
In the current economic downturn, many Americans have lost their houses, James Little, president of the union told Reuters. In this bankruptcy, AMR's executives should lose their house.
However, the typical pattern for this company is workers keep it afloat through concessions, bring in outside work and boost productivity while managers pocket hundreds of millions in bonuses and live posh lifestyles, added Little. This would have been Marie Antoinette's favorite airline.
Shares of AMR fell 8.18 percent Thursday to close at $0.63.