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Am West won't allow 190 regional flying

Victor Meldrew

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An expected plan by America West Airlines and US Airways to contract a regional operator to fly up to 25 Embraer 190s once the two airlines merge faces opposition from the low-cost carrier’s pilots union, which says it expects to “retain that flying” for mainline pilots.

The America West unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) tells ATI the union is maintaining that any Embraer aircraft in the “E-190 and above” size range and any Bombardier aircraft in the “CSeries and above” range (effectively between 90 and 130 seats) fall within current scope clauses, and should only be operated by mainline employees.

E-190 flying is not permitted under America West’s current pilot contract. In contrast, US Airways affiliate carriers can fly up to 25 E-190s “under certain provisions” contained in the latest collective bargaining agreement between the major and its pilots, a spokesman with the US Airways unit of ALPA says.

“This is where the language in both contracts” differ, he says, adding that the issue “will involve some working out”.

Transition plan talks between America West pilots and management are scheduled for August 9 and 15. At that time, negotiators for the low-cost carrier’s pilot group will make clear that E-190 flying is “a huge issue for us and I think that given the state of the industry and the number of furloughs, we want to protect those jobs”, says a spokesman with the America West unit of ALPA.

He notes that that the union is “willing to discuss competitive pay rates with the company” for E-190 flying.

“Our immediate concern is working on a transition plan that will solve these major issues to close the [merger] deal,” he adds.

ATI yesterday exclusively revealed that America West and US Airways are issuing a formal request for proposal (RFP) for a regional carrier to operate up to 25 E-190s for the carriers when they eventually merge.

An America West spokesman confirmed that an “early stage RFP” has been circulated to Air Wisconsin, Mesa Air Group, and Republic Airways Holdings.

It is understood that Republic has already asked its pilots’ union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 747, to quickly amend the current collective bargaining agreement to allow the regional airline group to operate the E-190 under the parameters of US Airways’ jets-for-jobs program.

Mesa currently operates Bombardier CRJ900s for America West. But America West ALPA says the CRJ900 flying “was negotiated to a certain limit and amount”, and that the union is not willing to make the same concessions for the E-190.

“We don’t want to see anything that violates [America West pilots’] contract,” says US Airways ALPA. “That is why we’re trying to work out some of these areas. We expect the new management to respect those differences and to work with those union groups.”
 

labbats

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This is the best news I've read in a while.

I hope that the 190 stays where it belongs... at mainline.
 

BoilerUP

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labbats said:
This is the best news I've read in a while.

I hope that the 190 stays where it belongs... at mainline.

I agree. Glad to see AmWest pilots fighting the good fight, keeping those jobs at mainline. Now I wonder what that payrate is gonna be...
 

kngarthur

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They can configure the 190 to 89 seats.
 

Capt.PoopyPants

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labbats said:
This is the best news I've read in a while.

I hope that the 190 stays where it belongs... at mainline.

To bad they didn't do the same with CRJ900's. It seems like it's a little late for this, but it's good to see.
 

miles otoole

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Where in the article does it say Am West won't allow 190 regional flying? If I am not mistaken as this merger is being pushed through, management holds most of the cost cutting cards. The Am West pilots union will have its hands full simply trying to avoid furloughs during the merger. I can see management telling them if you want the 190s, your junior pilots will be looking at JetBlue -20%.
 

CapnVegetto

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Because CRJ's are pieces of crap. :)

Seriously though, I really hope these planes stay mainline. At some point a line needs to be drawn in the sand. If not, then sooner or later regionals will have 737's, A-320's then 330's 787's, 757's, 767's.......

And the cycle goes on. It ends here.
 

General Lee

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Mike Oxlong said:
Why is a 90 seat CRJ different than a E190?

10 seats? OOOOOOOH SNAP. Mike, if you want to fly larger aircraft, you should go interview again. You almost sound like an RJDC memeber---looking for larger planes and hoping to get your weekends off and not having to interview again. Don't get lazy on us now, ya hear?


Bye Bye--General Lee
 

shroomwell

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Unfortunately these aircraft will end up at the regionals. Why would a company want to operate 170 under a regional and 190 under a mainline. The aircraft are practically identical. It makes no sense not to keep them on the same certificate, same training department, and same maintenance.

Think about it. Same thing with CRJ series aircraft.
 

labbats

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You just used common sense and training department in the same sentence. Kudos.
 

labbats

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They don't have EMB190s. They have CRJ900s.
 

Chicken Taco

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This is great news. Other than a few afflicted with "shiny plane" syndrome, most of us here at the 'Taco don't really want 190's here. I for one would much rather see them stay at the mainline where they belong.

To answer the difference between the 190 and the CRJ900: True stand-up cabin, overhead bins that hold rollaboards, jetway level-boarding as the "normal" means, adequate legroom, and you could actually stand up and walk off after a three-hour flight..

..CT
 

h25b

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The "Johny-come-lately's" of ALPA are here to the industry's rescue. Oh boy, I'll sleep better tonite...:rolleyes:
 
R

RoyalAviation2

I'm glad to see the mainline guys taking a stand. Those 190's belong at mainline. Not at the regionals!
 

bvt1151

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Chicken Taco said:
To answer the difference between the 190 and the CRJ900: True stand-up cabin, overhead bins that hold rollaboards, jetway level-boarding as the "normal" means, adequate legroom, and you could actually stand up and walk off after a three-hour flight..

..CT

And more expensive, and higher operating costs.

aaahhhh, there's the tradeoff.
 

shroomwell

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Chicken Taco said:
This is great news. Other than a few afflicted with "shiny plane" syndrome, most of us here at the 'Taco don't really want 190's here. I for one would much rather see them stay at the mainline where they belong.

To answer the difference between the 190 and the CRJ900: True stand-up cabin, overhead bins that hold rollaboards, jetway level-boarding as the "normal" means, adequate legroom, and you could actually stand up and walk off after a three-hour flight..

..CT

While you say that, the reason that the 190 will go to the regional is because you already fly the 170. Thanks Chickentaco.
 

michael707767

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shroomwell said:
Unfortunately these aircraft will end up at the regionals. Why would a company want to operate 170 under a regional and 190 under a mainline. The aircraft are practically identical. It makes no sense not to keep them on the same certificate, same training department, and same maintenance.
.


which is exactly why Embraer built an aircraft family that starts at the 70 seat level. They were hoping to get sales by first selling the 70/75 seaters to the regionals and then doing an end run around the scope at the major airlines.
 

General Lee

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michael707767 said:
which is exactly why Embraer built an aircraft family that starts at the 70 seat level. They were hoping to get sales by first selling the 70/75 seaters to the regionals and then doing an end run around the scope at the major airlines.

The regionals don't have to be the only ones flying the 70-100 seat range. Look at Air Canada, fresh out of bankruptcy. They were forced to SPLIT the 70-100 range flying, with JAZZ flying the CR9s, and Air Canada Mainline flying the new Emb175s. There could be deals like that made, to soften the blow for ALPA. Heck, ALPA negotiated that deal with Air Canada. The rates would be lower, but mainline jobs are worth the preservation, before they are gone. I would fly the E175 from the left seat, as long as I could have Fins or Surplus1 as my FO. First and 4th beers are on me. (you get 2nd and 3rd)


Bye Bye--General Lee


And looky here, AC will spin off JAZZ:


UPDATE 4-ACE Aviation soars to profit, plans Jazz spinoff
Thu Aug 4, 2005 03:00 PM ET
(Adds details, updates stock price)


By Robert Melnbardis

MONTREAL, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Air Canada parent ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (ACErv.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) soared to a second-quarter profit on a rebound in air travel, despite a 36 percent rise in fuel costs, the company said on Thursday.

ACE also said it plans to spin off its regional carrier Jazz in the third quarter, a move that follows the spinoff of its customer loyalty program, Aeroplan (AER_u.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , into an income trust in June.

The Jazz spinoff, which analysts have been expecting, would come in the form of an initial public offering of trust units, ACE said. It would keep an interest in Jazz after the spinoff.

Income trusts, which have a favorable tax status, are popular with investors because they pay the bulk of their cash earnings to unit holders.

ACE class B share surged C$2.23, or 6 percent, to C$39.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.

For the second quarter, ACE said it earned C$168 million ($139 million), or C$1.49 a share, a big turnaround from a loss of C$510 million, or C$4.24 a share, a year earlier.

Net income included a dilution gain of C$190 million and a tax provision of C$28 million related to the spinoff of part of Aeroplan, and charges of C$29 million.

Operating income, before items, surged to C$177 million from C$22 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 11 percent to C$2.46 billion from C$2.22 billion.

"We feel we're hitting on everything, revenue-wise, cost-line wise. The issue is obviously fuel," ACE Chief Executive Robert Milton said on a conference call.

ACE's results came a week after Air Canada's main rival, WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , posted a 70 percent drop in profit, largely because of seat sales and record fuel costs.

"We believe these are generally positive numbers, and should relieve some of the anxiety that followed the weaker than expected WestJet second-quarter results last week," Desjardins Securities Nadi Tadros said in a research note.

The year earlier quarter included restructuring charges of C$426 million, when the airline was under court protection from creditors. Air Canada emerged from 18 months of bankruptcy protection at the end of September.

Domestic passenger traffic accelerated, and international traffic was strong in the latest quarter, ACE said. Yield, measured as passenger revenue for each revenue passenger mile, rose to 17.4 Canadian cents from 17 Canadian cents.

The company had a record load factor, or the percentage of seats filled, of 83.6 percent. That compared with a load factor of 80.4 percent in July 2004.

ACE released its results on the same day that Air Canada unveiled its new 73-seat Embraer (EMBR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) 175 airliner, which it plans to use on key Canada-U.S. transborder routes.

Air Canada is expected to take delivery of 15 Embraer 175 jets by December. In addition, It will also begin adding 45 93-seat Embraer 190 jets to its fleet in November.

Embraer is the main rival of Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc. (BBDsvb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , which has supplied regional jets to Air Canada for a number of years.

ACE said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft (EBITDAR) of C$594 million in the first half of the year had slightly exceeded its expectations. Second-quarter EBITDAR was C$394 million, before items.

ACE previously forecast EBITDAR of C$1.6 billion for the full year 2005, but some analysts have said the record high fuel prices could make it difficult to achieve that target.

During the conference call, Milton refused to be pinned down on the C$1.6 billion estimate, saying volatile fuel prices made it difficult to precisely predict the figure.

($1=$1.21 Canadian)
 
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