Mesaba, Comair head back to court

 - September 15, 2006, 7:37 AM

Mesaba Airlines last month filed a new bankruptcy court petition to void its contracts with its pilots, mechanics and flight attendants, only three weeks after Judge Gregory Kishel ruled that the airline did not meet all the conditions needed to unilaterally impose a 19.4-percent cut in payroll costs. The judge set a new hearing date of June 26, at which time Mesaba will likely argue that it has satisfied Judge Kishel’s conditions related to financial and workforce attrition models since the original May 18 ruling. At press time each side continued to accuse the other of failing to bargain in good faith.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati-based Comair reported progress in talks with its 970 flight attendants, more than a month-and-a-half after the judge overseeing its bankruptcy case refused to allow the airline to impose $8.9 million worth of salary and benefits cuts. However, at press time it had planned to follow Mesaba’s lead and ask the bankrupcy judge hearing its case to throw out the current contract. The judge said “he would expedite a second filing if we were unable to reach an agreement,” Comair president Don Bornhorst told employees.