Pinnacle Airlines has resumed talks with its employee groups over contract concessions, following a recalculation of the cost savings it says it needs to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to Pinnacle, it now needs to shed $76 million to return to viability due in large part to Delta Air Lines’ plans to shed more than 200 fifty-seat regional jets from the Delta Connection system. It originally asked for $43 million in concessions.
Among the AMR Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection documents filed last fall were FAA proofs of claim against the company for 89 alleged safety violations that occurred between January 2007 and November 2011.
Cincinnati-based Comair will close its doors at the end September, and nearly 2,000 people will lose their jobs as a result. Granted, the reasons for the airline’s demise might not matter much to them, but perhaps an examination of the forces that led to Delta’s decision to shutter its subsidiary will prepare others for a similar fate.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest expects to ground 66 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJs and add 34 more dual-class Bombardier jets ranging in seating capacity from 65 to 76 seats under a memorandum of understanding signed with code-share partner Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest regional airline announced today.
Bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines suspended negotiations over pay concessions with its unions while it “reformulates” its business plan in an effort to issue a more competitive contract offer to mainline partner Delta Air Lines, according to a June 22 letter sent by CEO John Spanjers to all employees.
Made public in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the letter said that Delta told Pinnacle management that its competitors had submitted bids for Bombardier CRJ900 flying that undercut Pinnacle’s current rates by a “significant” margin.
The first airline in the Western Hemisphere to fly the current generation of 50-seat regional jets will cease all operations by the end of September. Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair, a Bombardier CRJ operator since 1993, will fly its last passenger on September 29, marking the end of a 35-year run as one of the most recognizable names in the U.S. regional airline business.
A Skywest pilot on administrative leave took his own life after stealing a company Bombardier CRJ200 at Saint George Municipal Airport (SGU), Utah, on July 17. He was wanted by police in connection with the death of his girlfriend in Colorado Springs
Last week’s vote by Delta Air Lines pilots to accept a contract proposal forged between their Air Line Pilots Association unit and airline management could carry implications for a vital subset of the industry.
Scope clause revisions at Delta Air Lines and elsewhere in the U.S. could spell relief for regional jet manufacturers such as Bombardier and Embraer, both of whose commercial aircraft businesses have suffered through a long period of sluggish sales in North America and now face the likely prospect of an extended slump in recession-plagued Europe.