Pilots Acquiesce on MidAtlantic, Express Crews OK Merger

 - March 28, 2007, 6:22 AM

US Airways can no longer point to the lack of a pilot deal for any further delays in the launch of MidAtlantic Airways, as members of the Air Line Pilots Association dropped a grievance over Embraer 170 payscales. Under the settlement, the pilots accepted pay on par with that of American Eagle CRJ700 pilots, and dropped their demands
for allowances to reflect the eight extra seats carried by the Embraer 170. The settlement provisions included immediate health insurance coverage and matching 401(k) contributions. US Airways also agreed to defer any discussion of pay rates for Embraer 175 pilots until the company places a firm order.

Meanwhile, the pilots of regional subsidiaries Allegheny and Piedmont agreed on terms for a merged roster. Under pressure from ALPA’s national office, the Allegheny pilots accepted the merger in spite of stiff resistance from much of the rank and file. Many pilots maintain that management reneged on a promise to assign regional jets to Allegheny in exchange for pay concessions accepted in 2002. Instead, US Airways now plans to transfer the airline’s 41 de Havilland Dash 8-100s to Piedmont’s certificate by March 31, and eventually shrink the consolidated turboprop operation in favor of RJs at MidAtlantic and Vandalia, Ohio-based PSA. Talk of an eventual sale of Piedmont continues as US Airways looks to shed assets to meet federal loan-guarantee covenants.