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Comair, watch out!

daviator

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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!
 

54fighting

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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.
 

canadflyau

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I hear the whipsaw starting to spin!

Delta
Comair
ASA

and...
Skywest
ACA
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!
 

FlyComAirJets

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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.
 

SDF2BUF2MCO

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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.
 

FlyComAirJets

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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.
 

skydiverdriver

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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.
 

canadflyau

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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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Marko Ramius

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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.
 

skydiverdriver

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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.
 

surplus1

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canadflyau said:

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!

"They" don't have to explain anything. Comair pilots have a contract with a phantom airline and are completely unprotected against this sort of thing. That is also the case with every other regional airline. Comair doesn't decide anything, doesn't do anything and can't say anything. The Company is Delta Air Lines. Comair is nothing more that a name on a piece of paper and a memory of what once was. Comair pilots have no reason to be upset with Comair, this is the work of Delta.

The bidding wars for the flying have begun and will continue. The major pilot groups will suffer the most, the regional flying will just get cheaper and cheaper (in terms of pilot compensation packages) and before too long the big regionals will be biddng against the majors for the narrow-body flying.

There will always be someone out there with lots of pilots willing to fly for less. The unions gave management the opportunity to do this on a silver platter. Expect them to take full advantage of it.
 

Marko Ramius

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It's Possible?

skydiverdriver said:
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.

SDD,

Maybe, maybe not. I still tend to think that the "mother of all regional airline strikes," will occur sometime down the line-not in the near future though. Most of the labor issues of the 1980's were unprecedented, and I'm sure none of those employees saw the hammer coming or knew how they would react to it. The confusion over at CO in 1983, is a testament to that. I doubt anybody back then thought that the pilots of United would take such a dramatic stand in 1985. I know Dick Ferris didn't!! As outsourcing continues, the dream of many of moving on to a major dimishes and the resolve to make the current employer a better place to work increases. We all know alot of people who have plans to work at XYZ regional for a few years and go to major. When those people realize that the mainline majors(outside of WN) have shrunken to the point where all of the domestic flying is done by regionals, some will become disenchanted over working conditions and the seeds of a labor movement will begin. At the regional carriers that aren't wholly owned, one more facet will be added to the mix: regional management greed. Some of these carriers, like ACA or Mesa will be in control of so much domestic feed in 10 years or so, they will likely attempt to extort their partners for more money. At least one of them will be like Icarus and get too close to the sun. Also, you have a backdrop where regional carriers are attempting to change the balance of power in ALPA in their favor. While this likely will cause some carriers to defect, it will also bolster the bargaining position of regional pilots down the line, adding to the "brew." Again this is all conjecture and far down the line, but if you shift the focus from the majors over to the regionals, the fires that currently occur at the majors will occur at the regionals. It goes unsaid, but all of this is a big reason many regionals are afraid to hire major airline furloughees. Why risk strengthening those carriers with pilots who have seen all of management's shennagins before at another airline(s)?
 

BigFlyr

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Call it a simpleton's point of view but but you have to admit that were it not for the advent of so called "regional jet" and their low cost operators none of these issues would exist. I wonder why the majors don't just buy and operate their own RJs with their own mainline pilots... like the way Midway Airlines did (ok they screwed it all up). Anyway,... pay RJ drivers less just as they would, a 737 pilot versus a 767 pilot, but not at the current poverty levels of the regionals. The efficiency of the RJ will make up the difference. What's the big deal?
 

Boeingman

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surplus1 said:


There will always be someone out there with lots of pilots willing to fly for less. The unions gave management the opportunity to do this on a silver platter. Expect them to take full advantage of it.

Bingo. Well close anyway. The unions are not the sole problem.
The main problem is there are pilots who will whore themselves out to fly. Period. In this job market, with thousands of guys unemployed and/or underemployed, it is even more prevelant.

We are just seeing the first round by managments industry wide to decimate the earning potential and careers of mainline carrier pilots.

I predict the next teir of attacks will be on the higher paid "regional" airlines by using cheap labor in RJ's i.e. kids with stars in their eyes about flying jets with alter ego companies.

In retrospect, I think that has even started.
 

surplus1

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BigFlyr said:
I wonder why the majors don't just buy and operate their own RJs with their own mainline pilots... like the way Midway Airlines did (ok they screwed it all up).

I don't mean to pick on you, but could you please tell me how you managed to classify Midway Airlines as a "major" airline in your mind?

If anything defines Midway (at its best) it was definitely a "regional" and not even a successful or a large one.

Nothing against Midway people, but a major? Somebody has a vivid imagination.
 

Clownpilot

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LOL

surplus1 said:


The bidding wars for the flying have begun and will continue. The major pilot groups will suffer the most, the regional flying will just get cheaper and cheaper (in terms of pilot compensation packages) and before too long the big regionals will be biddng against the majors for the narrow-body flying.>>>




Excellent.
Another update from the reigning king of fantasy land.
Of course his court jester skydiver is right at his heels 'yessing' away like crazy at everything he says.
 

skydiverdriver

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Hey Boeingman,
So, who do you classify as a "whore?" Everyone who doesn't fly a Boeing? Wouldn't that be all non-military pilots before they get that big break?

Now seriously, what do you propose? That we all refuse to work for regionals? How will we work our way up? And, even if we could all refuse (which could never happen) all the airlines will have to do is train their own, even foriegners who don't know what they are getting into. Management will allways find a way. I agree with Surplus that it's the unions that allowed this situation to occur. They could have stopped it, and they still have a chance, but they seem unwilling to try.

But, if you have a better suggestion, I'm open to it. Thanks for reading.
 

Clownpilot

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Excellent

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.

Yep.
Join the RJDC and guarantee that your fellow pilots are stuck in low paying regional jobs for the rest of their natural lives.

I hope most guys on this board realize the real threat you people present and that you are their enemy. You skydiver, even though you aren't a pilot, feel compelled to post on these boards and there are actual pilots that support the RJDC; incredibly. Since they're pilots it is sometimes difficult to recognize the enemy in our midst. Management takes a clear position against labor and we know where the dangers are. These pilots appear to be peers.

Although your group has almost no support in the pilot ranks at any level, new pilots may be hoodwinked by the rhetoric. I can't tell you how sad it makes me to see pilots attempting to destroy the profession. The ONLY people that the RJDC benefits is those who KNOW they will never go anywhere higher than a regional job. They want to keep everybody down there with them. It's really pretty sick.
 
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Timebuilder

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I can see only one reason that regional pilots would be stuck in low paying jobs: the refusal of their union to treat them like union members, and bargain on their behalf the same way they bargain for their dwindling mainline ranks.
 

Boeingman

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skydiverdriver said:
Hey Boeingman,
So, who do you classify as a "whore?" Everyone who doesn't fly a Boeing? Wouldn't that be all non-military pilots before they get that big break?

Now seriously, what do you propose? That we all refuse to work for regionals? How will we work our way up? And, even if we could all refuse (which could never happen) all the airlines will have to do is train their own, even foriegners who don't know what they are getting into. Management will allways find a way. I agree with Surplus that it's the unions that allowed this situation to occur. They could have stopped it, and they still have a chance, but they seem unwilling to try.

But, if you have a better suggestion, I'm open to it. Thanks for reading.

I'm not trying to suggest I have the answer. It is a fact of the industry that many of these companies will ALWAYS have pilots beating down the door. The unions are only a small part of the problematic equation.

You said it yourself above. "How will we work our way up". Managment will play on that and keep squeezing every chance they get. The attacks on mainline flying will proliferate through the established regional ranks as more of these alter ego carriers crop up. And they will have thousands of applications.

Until something fixes the pilot supply and demand problem, it will always haunt us. If it were possible to instill on kids coming out of these flight school factories that working for slave wages to build time, ultimatly kills their prospects for future bucks. I know, how do you get the experience.

Yes, I was spoiled. I hardly have any prop time, flew fighters and never worried about jet time (let alone flight time) when I was interviewing. But, I am positive I would never of accepted some of the lousy jobs after seperating from the AF that are out there today just to fly. However I think that most civilian guys will (or must) do that to get the experience.

PLEASE, NO ONE START A FLAME ABOUT CIV vs. MILITARY, not my intent.

It carries furtherr that people need to feed their families and will also fly larger equipment at C scale wages to put food on the table. So I'm not just talking about younger regional pilots.

The situation will eventually decimate the contracts ALPA has spent years negotiating. I guarantee the more established smaller airlines pay and growth will eventually get decimated as this low wage, alter ego cancer spread like wildfire.
 
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