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America West, US Airways Pilots Move To Secure 190 Flying

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Well-known member
Aug 9, 2003
America West, US Airways Pilots Move To Secure 190 Flying
09/20/2005 09:33:23 AM
By Lori Ranson

Pilots at America West and US Airways are close to finalizing a deal to ensure any Embraer 190s the merged carrier opts to buy will be part of a mainline fleet, which ensures that flying won't be contracted out to Express carriers partnering with the new airline.

Terms and pay rates for the 190 flying are outlined in a transition agreement that pilots of both airlines reached with their respective managements. Flying of the 94-to-106-seat aircraft will only be done by US Airways, America West or both carriers while the airlines work to combine their flights under one operating certificate. Pilots at US Airways have to approve the Embraer 190 portion of the agreement, and ALPA's US Airways Master Executive Council sent out the terms for an expedited vote with its "strong endorsement."

Ratification of terms for 190 flying essentially means that current US Airways Express partner Chautauqua Airlines won't be flying those planes for the merged carrier. Earlier this month, the regional carrier's pilots approved changes in its Jets-For-Jobs agreement that boost the number of planes it flies for US Airways from 32 to 80, with the possibility of 25 of those planes being 190s (DAILY, Sept. 6).

If the 190s become a staple in the merged airline's fleet, pilot groups at other mainline airlines are likely to craft deals to make sure they can reserve the right to fly the planes. Last summer, Northwest pilots rejected a proposal by management to outsource 72 70-seat planes (DAILY, July 30, 2004).

In terms of pay for the 190 flying, the hourly rate listed in the agreement for a 12-year pilot flying a 190 for America West or US Airways is $98.58 per hour for a captain. First officers at the 12-year level will make $61.11. Those pilots will make more than their JetBlue peers, according to AIR, Inc. The Atlanta-based company estimates 12-year JetBlue captains on the Embraer 190 will make $89 an hour, while first officers will log about $53 an hour. Clearly, no pilot at JetBlue has logged 12 years of service but five-year rates for JetBlue's 190 captains are $77 an hour, while first officers will make $46 an hour.

Although the capacity of the 190 brushes up against the smallest member of the Airbus A320 family, pay rates are generally established by aircraft weight. The maximum takeoff weight of the 190 is 105,358 pounds for the standard version versus about 149,000 pounds for the A318. At US Airways, AIR Inc. lists 12-year captains for the A320 family making $124.88 an hour, while first officers earn $85.29 an hour. America West has a flat rate for its 1,900 pilots. Twelve-year captains earn $133.67 an hour while first officers are paid $88.22.

There are proposals in the letter of agreement to change collective bargaining agreements at America West and US Airways to allow for a maximum of 93 88-seat planes with a cap on maximum takeoff weight of 90,000 pounds. Currently, the only carrier flying planes with similar stats is America West partner Mesa Air, which flies 37 86-seat CRJ-900s.
Smart move.............considering the fuel situation.

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