PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone! This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

This week we are heavy on labor-related news and commentary. American Eagle and its pilots came to a tentative agreement not too long after we published last week; U.S. District Court judge Roslyn Silver finally ruled in the US Airline Pilots Association Addington case. She also ruled on whether or not former America West pilots are entitled to a seat at the table in the American Airlines’ pilot seniority discussions.

She also, in no uncertain terms, made her displeasure at the antics of USAPA’s attorneys quite clear. We have a link to her complete ruling in this week’s issue.

Meanwhile, as part of her ruling, Judge Silver advised that USAPA had to remove itself from any seniority discussions as soon as the group is no longer the bargaining agent for the airline.

In a related move,  the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines held their board meeting this week and filed a request for single carrier status with the NMB.

Then there is that lovely dysfunctional bunch up in Chicago. No, this time I’m not talking about management at United Airlines. I’m talking about the Association of Flight Attendants, the union that represents the flight attendants at the airline.

This week United announced that it would be forced to furlough hundreds of s-United flight attendants, as voluntary efforts to bring down the airline’s FA headcount had not succeeded in generating enough response. The United operation is still overstaffed on the FA side.

The company was forced to make this decision to go with involuntary furloughs, which it did not want to do, only after AFA essentially refused the company’s fourth offer to provide for a “crossover” that would allow s-United flight attendants to move to the Continental Airlines side of the operation.

Well, actually they didn’t refuse outright. They just insisted on onerous conditions such that the airline couldn’t agree to a crossover.

United has actually asked AFA to do this four times now. FOUR. AFA allowed it to happen once. And by all accounts, those who made the move are happy they did so.

We give you our take on why we think it is that AFA labor leaders at United don’t want more crossovers.

A hint: the union is hurting its own members in an attempt to keep its political turf intact.

In other news, Brett Snyder, PlaneBusiness contributing editor, is back this week with another Cranky Analysis column. This week he digs into the data to see just how bad a holiday season Southwest Airlines experienced. The results? It was bad. The airline suffered serious operational issues systemwide. We give you the data. And then some.

Lots of news this week concerning American Airlines and US Airways. They will begin phasing in codesharing next week, and the airlines announced which routes the two are cutting, as a requirement of the DOJ slot divestitures at DCA and LGA. We like the decisions they made.

Oh, and then we had a Southwest Airlines plane land at the wrong airport. But you already know all about that.

It was a good week for the airline sector last week, and analysts continued to fine tune 4Q13 estimates this week as earnings will start rolling out next week.

We also have the November DOT Air Consumer Travel Report numbers. They look very much like the October numbers. We’ll tell you who was naughty and who was nice.

All this and much, much, more, including a ton of letters, in this week’s PlaneBusiness Banter.