Tag Archives: pilot seniority

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. This week we wrap up our Q2 earnings coverage with a look at Air Canada and WestJet. Bottomline? WestJet turned in a terrific performance. For Air Canada, the airline has made good progress wading through the swamps of its myriad of labor contracts that came up this year, but the airline was close-mouthed about its efforts at pension restructuring it is trying to incorporate in the new contracts.

Meanwhile, RASM performance at Air Canada lagged, the airline still has that large overhang of debt, and oh yeah, there are those pension obligations.

Meanwhile, the airline still sounds as though it intends to go through with its idea for a new low cost carrier.

I still say that is a mistake.

In other news, we look at the DOT Air Travel Consumer Report for July. Yes, the rather obvious decline in the on-time stats of US Airways continued in July, as did the abysmal showing for American Eagle in three out of four categories.

Lots of labor follow-up this week including; Southwest pilots; AirTran pilots, United baggage handlers, mechanics at American Airlines; and Delta Air Lines‘ pilots.

How about this effort on the part of a group of Delta Air Lines‘ pilots to start their own independent union? They claim they have more than 3300 pilot members and their hot-button issue is …scope.

Meanwhile, we’ll update you on the latest in the AirTran/Southwest pilot contract activity. Last week some Southwest Airlines‘ pilots were upset after SWAPA sent out a letter detailing some of the terms of the proposed deal. Meanwhile, AIrTran pilots have yet to see anything, as their MEC still hasn’t decided if they are even going to a copy of the deal.

[Insert the voice of the old commercial for that silly game “Operation!” Only insert “Arbitration!” instead.]

And — then there was the ALPA representational election at JetBlue. JetBlue pilots voted no.

American put out more details about how it plans to “spin-off” Eagle last week. Apparently there are no third parties involved at this point in time.

Oh, we talk about crack spreads this week, Ryanair buying airport buildings, Tiger Airways taking to the skies again, Gol’s abysmal second quarter earnings, why Spirit Airlines is sizzling hot, and more.

Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

Is Southwest Airlines/AirTran Pilot Seniority Deal in Trouble?


No surprise that last week Southwest Airlines touted the fact that its pilots and the pilots at AirTran had already negotiated a seniority agreement as part of the airline’s merger process during its quarterly earnings call.

Given the dysfunctional situation that continues with the pilot group at US Airways, after America West acquired US Airways, and the ongoing difficult talks going on with the pilot groups of both United and Continental as they try and hash out a contract and seniority agreement, the airline had a reason to be happy.

And, as best as we could tell, after a bit of initial squawking, it did appear that the pilot group at Southwest was probably onboard with the deal, as we talked about last week in PlaneBusiness Banter.

The problem is — the AIrTran ALPA MEC was supposed to meet and give its “thumbs-up” to the deal and then push it out to members for a vote. Two weeks ago. Then it was last week. Then it was supposed to be this week.

No meeting.

Today, the AirTran MEC notified their counterparts in Dallas that the meeting of the MEC to discuss the deal has been postponed “INDEFINITELY.”

The official SWAPA correspondence is included here.

Update from your Executive Team

Two weeks ago, your board of directors reviewed the contents of Side Letter 9 and voted unanimously to send it to the membership for ratification. Since that time we have been waiting for the AirTran MEC to administer their meeting and decide if their membership will be voting with ours on the agreement. Meetings on their end, which were originally to coincide with ours, have been pushed back multiple times. They were scheduled to meet this week, Wednesday through Friday, to finally make a decision at their board level on the merits of this agreement. This afternoon, however, SWAPA was notified by ATN-ALPA via email that they have postponed their scheduled meeting indefinitely.

We have given you outlines of what this deal entails for you with the final language. A much broader education plan is in the works, if this deal is approved by their MEC. We know many of you are waiting (with continued patience) for further explanation and data, but we must still hold off until a decision on their end is made. In the meantime, SWAPA will continue preparations for arbitration.

We will update you as often and as thoroughly as possible as things progress. These delays don’t help either pilot group or the Company. “