Unable to convince the Air Line Pilots Association to accept further regional-airline scope-clause concessions, US Airways has converted its firm order for 25 Bombardier CRJ705s to positions for 70-seat CRJ700s and assigned the airplanes to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group.
Air Line Pilots Association, International
In a move widely expected to portend an industry trend in years to come, Continental Airlines last month confirmed its intention to sell 20 percent of its now wholly owned Continental Express subsidiary on September 1, laying the foundation for an eventual full spin-off of the Houston-based regional airline.
An unsettling air of ambivalence descended on Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport last month as Comair pilots ended an 89-day strike that cost Delta Air Lines at least $200 million and an untold number of non-striking employees their jobs.
The pilot leadership of United Express affiliate Air Wisconsin last month rejected a proffer of arbitration by the National Mediation Board, triggering the mandatory 30-day countdown to a potential strike at 12:01 a.m. on August 12. In June 96.6 percent of Air Wisconsin’s pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, authorized union leadership to call a strike if necessary.
Scope-clause negotiations between US Airways and the Air Line Pilots Association reached an impasse just days after the beleaguered airline early last month recruited former Continental Express president David Siegel to replace Stephen Wolf as CEO. The talks broke down soon after the sides reported significant progress toward a settlement, the outcome of which could determine the airline’s direction for years to come.
AMR’s long-anticipated plan to shed its San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Executive Airlines division appeared all but secured after American Eagle signed a letter of intent last month to sell the airline to Puerto Rican hotelier and founder of Executive Air Charter Joaquin Bolivar.
A pair of long-awaited pilot contracts finally reached the ratification stage when Appleton, Wis.-based United Express affiliate Air Wisconsin and Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air each closed collective-bargaining negotiations with their respective pilot unions.
Mesa Air Group’s designs for a new non-union subsidiary to fly its planned fleet of 64- and 84-seat jets continues to face stiff resistance from the powers that be within the Air Line Pilots Association, starting with none other than ALPA president Duane Woerth.
A festering animosity between regional airline pilot groups and the Air Line Pilots Association showed no sign of subsiding last month, as nearly 300 Comair pilots asked to join a pending lawsuit against the union while pilots from US Airways subsidiary Allegheny Airlines picketed outside ALPA’s Washington headquarters.
US Airways informed Mesa Air Group that it will end its code-share relationship with Mesa subsidiary CCAir on November 4, and re-assign the last remaining routes flown by the Charlotte, N.C.-based regional to wholly owned US Airways subsidiary Piedmont Airlines. The decision will effectively close CCAir in its entirety, unless Mesa can negotiate a new “cost plus” contract to replace CCAir’s pro-rate agreement.