The Air Line Pilots Association said yesterday that a majority of USAir's 5,400 pilots have approved discussions with management to recall furloughed colleagues.
If the discussions are successful, approximately 300 laid-off pilots, some of them based at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, could return to work this year.
The ALPA polled the USAir pilots to see if they were willing to reduce the number of hours they fly -- effectively cutting their pay -- to make work available for their furloughed members, some of whom have been grounded since 1990.
Robert P. Gaudioso, vice chairman of USAir's Master Executive Council of the ALPA, said 58.4 percent of the pilots polled approved authorizing discussions with the Arlington, Va.-based carrier.
Mr. Gaudioso, a captain based at BWI, said the union hopes to have a plan ready for USAir within a few months. He expressed confidence that an agreement could be reached and that the laid-off pilots could be back in the air this year.
Any agreement reached between the union and the company would be presented to the pilots for their approval, Mr. Gaudioso said.
USAir spokesman David Shipley said it is up to the union to work out the details of a plan to recall the pilots. He added that the carrier would be receptive to any plan the union comes up with "as long as it is cost-neutral for USAir."
USAir is the dominant carrier at BWI, and Mr. Gaudioso estimated that 20 percent of the furloughed pilots are based here.