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Comair, watch out!

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Well-known member
May 31, 2002
Just a heads up for our Comair brethren. Last night Delta management held a Furlough Outreach meeting at LAX. One of the questions directed toward the VP of Fleet Planning was why was Comair moving out of Florida and going to Dallas? His answer was I quote "simple economics" its cheaper to use Chautaqua than it was to use Comair. As far as Comair going to Dallas its strickly a defensive strategy to prevent further labor disruptions. There is no plan to grow Comair in Dallas but to be used as (his term) "bullpen" relievers if an ASA flight cancels or some other disruption occurs in addition to their normal routes. I'm not sure what he meant and he didn't elaborate but I think Delta's strategy is to overlap their commuter operations to prevent service interruptions like what happend during the Comair strike. Finally, Delta Mgmt is actively seeking a replacement aircraft for the 737-200. They are looking at a 90-100 seat plane, to be flown by mainline pilots, from either Airbus or Embraer. I hope you find this info helpful. Fly safe but most important have fun!
Last night Delta management held a Furlough Outreach meeting at LAX.

Come on look at the messenger. What do you expect them to tell a group of furloughed pilots, "you know, with Comair opening up a DFW base, we're gonna expand like crazy with them". It's typical management spin. I just don't buy that they are going to send Comair down there to warm the bullpen, and I hope you don't either.

I hope your're right regarding the 90-100 seat jets and it get's you guys back off the street.
I hear the whipsaw starting to spin!


and now Chautaqua

It is gonna get messy! Learn from the US Airways /Express/ Contract Carriers situation.. This one could actually be more messy. it already is if you ask me.. they are still laying off pilots at DAL!

Time to get everyone working on carefully worded scope clauses!
Thanks for the heads up, Daviator. Several days before your LAX meeting, there were meetings here in Cincinnati and in Orlando. Curiously, they seem to contradict what your VP of Fleet Planning said. Imagine that? In a memo dated June 10th, under Comair Growth Plans, President "Regional" Randy states that: "We are planning additional Comair flying from Dallas/Fort Worth." Not to be confused with Fort Woerth which as we all know is somewhere in Washington, DC!

But wait, there's more!

"This redeployment allows us to better support the Delta network as we leverage our industry-leading regional jet program to return the entire network to profitability. Re-establishing the health of the Delta mainline operation is important for all of us because a strong, healthy partner translates into a strong, healthy Comair."

Me thinks these guys speak with forked tongues.

Thanks again for your warm support.
For the benefit of the uneducated (namely myself), can someone explain why it is such a great deal that ComAir is going to allegedly expand DFW but pull out of MCO, how that benefits the ComAir folks?
I don't have a horse in this race, but it would seem to me that if ComAir/Delta was that interested in expanding they would do it with their own folks. Granted, there may be an equipment and personnel shortage (if they truly plan to expand at DFW) to grow but sounds like a smoke screen for ComAir/Delta to do a hose job at MCO.
Realize it is Delta's company to run but it will be interesting to see if DFW grows. And if it does grow will it be at the expense of DAL mainline and/or is it to keep ASA and ComAir in line? Apologize for the cynicism. I would rather be a wall flower than throw rocks at bee hives but reading some of the reasons/excuses for pulling out of MCO don't make sense (except the new provider at MCO is cheaper to operate, that is believable).
Perhaps someone in the know can logically explain how this will truly benefit the parties involved. Thanks.
Comair (mis)management gave two reasons:
1.) "Florida is a lower-yield market and has not recovered from the impact of 9/11. Chautauqua's small 37-seat jets provide a lower-cost option for matching the appropriate aircraft with the challenging market conditions in Florida."
2.)"The introduction of Chautauqua's jets will benefit customers because their cost structure allows more jets and more service."

Now here is the interesting part. It has been announced that the pilot and flight attendant bases are to be closed. What about the maintenance and station personnel?

"Work for maintenance employees is expected to remain at current levels. Comair's Maintenance department will have the ability to exercise the first right of refusal for any contract work that Chautauqua may require."

"Customer Service employees will continue with Comair. They will be handling Chautauqua, Comair, and other DCI carrier in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, and Miami."

Management makes the call which aircraft the company flies, if it was just the size of the aircraft involved, then they are the one's at fault for operating the wrong-sized aircraft. But as you can see, the only entity to be outsourced are the pilot and flight attendant positions in Orlando, every one else pretty much stays.
Don't worry about the bullpen thing. No Comair pilot will EVER fly any ASA struck work, if it ever comes to that. If you want to stop this sort of thing from happening, join the rjdc and fight along with us.
How will you be able to tell if you are flying the others "struck" work? It seems that yall are passing eachother on the same routes lately. Flight 1 from CVG to XYZ is flown by Comair, Flight 2 by ASA, flight 3 by Delta mainline, flight 4, 5 and 6 could be one of the contract carriers. So it would seem to me it is not so black and white, and more like shades of grey as they have you guys overlapping coverage. It also appears like they will be in great position for contract negotiations. If an apparent workstoppage seems emminant, one of the other 5 operators will get the call to add flights.. but I think Delta would be ok with a slowdown over a strike, b/c that is all a strike will feel like to Delta Management with all the different pilot groups they have still flying. (Seems like all for one and one for all should become your battle cry... very soon!)

One other thing, how can they explain to you Comair pilots about leaving the ground employees in FL while replacing you all... sounds like "the replacements" are coming in for the pilots and FA's. I hope this isn't a trend Comair is starting, but once CHQ moves in and if it works, watchout for your jobs! That would be interesting, Comair as an airline but employs no pilots, they have a bunch of subcontactor pilots, ground employees, and management.. just a thought. I hope this (MCO) is a wake up call. The hiring trend has been known to reverse itself as quickly as it started. I would hate to see that at such a quality airline as Comair!
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More Drama to Come

skydiverdriver said:
Don't worry about the bullpen thing. No Comair pilot will EVER fly any ASA struck work, if it ever comes to that. If you want to stop this sort of thing from happening, join the rjdc and fight along with us.

Oh it will come to that and more, it's just a question of when and what regional airline does it. The Comair strike will likely end up as a precursor of "the big one," at some other regional down the line. Sort of like Continental in '83 lit a fuse that blew up at United in '85.
I think Comair WAS the big one. I don't believe it will happen again. Pilots are too afraid to have their airline go away, and management doesn't want that either.

To answer the question about how we will know its' struck work, well, if ASA goes on strike, they will define it for us. Thanks for asking.

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