Manhattan airport officials monitoring potential changes to American Eagle Airlines

(KSNT file photo)

Manhattan Regional Airport officials are keeping an eye on a contract dispute between some commercial pilots and American Eagle Airlines.

“We’re going to pay attention to what disagreements are occurring,” says airport director Peter Van Kuren.

Some pilots with American Eagle Airlines, soon to be named Envoy, Inc. rejected a contract that would have frozen salaries, while allowing them to fly larger, newer aircraft.

Van Kuren says the airline currently operates two flights to Chicago and three to Dallas Fort Worth per day, using the Embraer 140 and 145.

“As I understand it, American Airlines has made the comment that they want to start phasing out those smaller aircraft,” he adds.

Replacing them with the larger, newer, Embraer 175.

An American Airlines spokesperson says American Eagle aircraft are operated by a number of different regional airlines, so if these pilots reject the contract, that flying will be shifted over to another carrier.

“We just hope that we’re going to continue to have service provided to us by American Airlines,” Van Kuren says, “By either American Eagle or one of their regional partners.”

For now, it’s business as usual.

“We’re going to continue to have the service that’s being provided to us today, and until i hear something further from the airline, that’s the way we’re going to look at it,” Van Kuren says.

The president of American Eagle Airlines said in a statement, “The opportunity for us to fly these aircraft has passed and we need to focus on doing our best with the aircraft we have.”

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