Regionals Update: Piedmont, Allegheny pilots agree on US Airways restructuring
After months of heated debate over future regional jet jobs at US Airways, the pilots of wholly owned subsidiaries Piedmont and Allegheny Airlines ratified new concessionary labor agreements with their bankrupt employers, bringing the Arlington, Va.-based airline a step closer to meeting the conditions of a $900 million federal loan guarantee. The 375 Allegheny pilots, some of whom in August picketed the Washington offices of the Air Line Pilots Association in protest of the union’s support of US Airways’ “jets for jobs” program, approved the new deal by a vote of 183 to 135. Meanwhile, Piedmont’s 412 pilots approved their ALPA-brokered tentative agreement by an 86-percent margin. That deal took the form of a letter of agreement that extended the current contract by five years and added provisions related to regional jet assignments. The pilots of US Airways’ Dayton, Ohio-based subsidiary, PSA Airlines, ratified their own contract over the summer.
Under the agreements, US Airways can implement its controversial jets for jobs program at all its wholly owned subsidiaries. Under the program, negotiated as part of a concessionary contract signed by US Airways pilots on August 8, furloughed mainline pilots reserve the right to fly all regional jets with MidAtlantic Airways, the new Pittsburgh-based regional subsidiary now scheduled to start service in the spring. It also grants US Airways pilots the right to staff half of all RJ slots created at the wholly owned subsidiaries and participating affiliate airlines.