The count from the Allied Pilots Association is that 129 American Airlines pilots turned in their retirement papers on Friday.

That’s on top of the 111 American pilots who retired a month earlier.

As you’ll remember, the APA said the average in 2010 was 11 pilots per month, with a high of 24 retirements in August 2010.

Here are what is being said, first from Susan Gordon, American Airlines spokeswoman:

“While more of our pilots than might normally be expected made the decision to retire in on October 1, we expect to operate our schedule with minimal customer inconvenience.

“In preparation for a higher than usual number of retirements, we’ve taken a number of steps to minimize any customer inconvenience.

“We have made a proposal to the APA that would mitigate near-term staffing shortages that is good for both the airline and our pilots.

“Recent schedule reductions also have allowed us to absorb a higher retirement number than our historic rate for our current schedule.”

Next, from APA spokesman Gregg Overman, on the APA hotline:

“Management informed APA late this afternoon that 129 American Airlines pilots have opted to retire as of Oct. 1.

“To mitigate the impact on the airline’s schedule of the higher-than-normal number of Sept. 1 and Oct. 1 pilot retirements, management has presented APA with a relief proposal. The APA leadership is evaluating management’s proposal and we will let you know once we have determined what our response will be.

“Based on the large volume of SoundOff messages we have received from members recently on this topic, it’s clear that many of you are opposed to granting relief in the present circumstances. We appreciate the feedback and encourage you to continue using SoundOff to express your views to your elected representatives.”

A note: I heard from someone at American that only 111 of the 129 were on active duty. The others had other status, such as medical leaves of absence.

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