Mesaba news from local press

trip

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Northwest plans to dump 35 Mesaba airplanes

BANKRUPTCY:Mesaba, which operates nine daily flights to Duluth, will contest the move.

BY MARTIN J. MOYLAN

ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS


Bankrupt Northwest Airlines intends to terminate the lease of 35 Avro jets to its regional carrier Mesaba Airlines by Dec. 20, apparently slashing the flying that Mesaba does for the larger airline.

Mesaba said Friday that it will contest the planned move -- which affects about one-third of the aircraft it operates -- arguing it's a violation of its contract with Northwest.

Eagan, Minn.-based Mesaba, which employs about 3,750 workers, said the termination of the leases and the removal of the Avro jets from its fleet would result in a "substantial decrease" in its revenue and would have a "material" effect on its financial results. Mesaba flies nine flights daily through Duluth International Airport.

"Obviously, these developments are very worrisome," Mesaba President John Spanjers told employees in a letter. "At this point, we need to understand that every assumption that underpins our business is subject to review."

In 2004, Mesaba flew about 5.4 million passengers for Northwest under the flag Northwest Airlink, for the most part shuttling them between smaller cities and Northwest hub airports. About half of the passengers flew on the Avros.

Northwest, also based in Eagan, had no comment about the lease terminations. But in a filing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Northwest had listed the 69-seat, four-engine Avros among about 100 planes it intended to return to leasing companies.

"All schedules are under review," said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.

During fiscal 2005, flying for Northwest accounted for 93 percent of Mesaba parent MAIR Holding Inc.'s $456 million in revenue.

Industry analyst Doug Abbey said he's not surprised that Northwest would dump the Avros because more-efficient options exist.

He expects Northwest will order two-engine 70-seat jets to replace them. "It will be a battle to see who flies them," said Abbey, a partner with the Velocity Group.

He expects they'll go to whichever group of pilots is willing to fly them for the least amount of money. That could mean pilots at Northwest or Mesaba or Pinnacle Airlines, Northwest's other regional carrier based in Memphis, Tenn.

Northwest, said Abbey, will squeeze its regional carriers hard to drive down costs.

"They have extracted a pound of flesh already, and they will extract another," he said.

On Sept. 1, Mesaba and Northwest formally announced an agreement for Mesaba to operate 15 Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets. All 15 planes were expected to be in service by March 2006. In addition, Northwest had indicated that Mesaba could be in line to receive 20 more CRJs. Those planes typically have 44 or 50 seats.

With Northwest's Sept. 14 bankruptcy filing, however, it is unclear how Northwest's allocation of the CRJs to Mesaba may change. The airline was not saying Friday.

Spanjers told employees that Mesaba wants to "remain a vital piece of Northwest's future, but we also need to plan to ensure our continued role within the industry." Meanwhile, Mesaba said it has notified Northwest that it reserves the right to terminate ground-handling services provided to Northwest and to "exercise any other remedies available to us."

On Sept. 12, Northwest failed to make an $18 million payment to Mesaba for services provided.

Spanjers also disclosed Friday that Northwest CEO Doug Steenland had resigned from the board of MAIR Holdings.
 

Irish Pilot

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:eek:.........:(
 

Jimdandy

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All smoke and mirrors.

My highly classified and well informed source in the investment community says that once NWA re-works the leases with the lesors the planes will be economically viable to operate with 85 seats. The lesors won't have much choice but to renegotiate - those planes simply are not wanted by anyone. Personally I would love to see them gone so we can finally consentrate on diversifying who we contract our services to. NWA sucks I'm sick of working with their burned out gate agents.
 

cougarx530

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Northwest, said Abbey, will squeeze its regional carriers hard to drive down costs.

-Squeezing it doesn't usually get me hard!


He expects Northwest will order two-engine 70-seat jets to replace them. "It will be a battle to see who flies them," said Abbey, a partner with the Velocity Group.

He expects they'll go to whichever group of pilots is willing to fly them for the least amount of money. That could mean pilots at Northwest or Mesaba or Pinnacle Airlines, Northwest's other regional carrier based in Memphis, Tenn.

He forgot to mention the Bemedji Pilots!
 

CptMurf

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No bidding wars here!

Let there be no wars between the pilot groups, we are all (NWA mailine guys/gals too) in this together and we are stronger together than apart.

If there is some order for 70 aircraft at NWA.
If mainline does not do some "jet for jobs" deal on those aircraft.
If mainline releases scope somehow.
If it comes down to the airlinks, who will operated a 70 seat aircraft cheaper, then give them to Pinnacle (current contract).

The way I see it, we do not have a 70 seat rate at XJ (it stops at 69), and that is 1 more seat than the AVRO and that deserves a higher pay rate. BTW if 85 seats are put in the AVRO than that also deserves a higher pay rate, same airframe or not. We are payed by seats, not the size of the aircraft. If they want to put 50 seats in a 747 and pay me at CRJ pay thats fine, but lets not accepted substandard wages now on a 70/85 seat airplane now and pay for it the rest of XJ's lifetime.

That's how we came about being underpaid pilots at the regionals anyway, the pilots in mid to late 80's accepting bad pay/work rules, and here we are 20 years later trying to raise the bar one contract at a time.
 

KaptainKarl

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Okey Dokey.. here we go again. Its finally down to the real question. Will the senior xj captains be willing to cut THEIR pay to GROW? They were all to quick to do it during the contract to the FOs. Now its their turn.

You gotta be kidding me. "give them to Pinnacle"?!?

You would rather be a all saab airline. Is that so that you can look at your contract and think about them good ole days when you made $89.79/hr flying the avro that is now parked in the desert? They are bankrupt. Its not like when XJ was in negotiations. There is only so much $ that the judge is able to move around. If they want to put 85 seats in that fat sumb!tch and pay you the 69-seat rate, then take it, be happy and fix it on the next contract - you greedy a$$hole. Think about someone other than yourself for a change. You would put your "brothers" on the street for a couple of dollars. You make me sick. I personally would profit greatly from the addition of a 70-90 seat rate, but I like to sleep at night. Things are bad.

"the rest of XJs lifetime" - Hardly. Pay rates are negotiated... then you say "one contract at a time" ... which is it?
 

screwed_again

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KaptainKarl,

Can you explain to me how the Captains sold out the FOs during the last contract? Just a little confused.
 

Butters

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KaptainKarl said:
Okey Dokey.. here we go again. Its finally down to the real question. Will the senior xj captains be willing to cut THEIR pay to GROW? They were all to quick to do it during the contract to the FOs. Now its their turn.
1. The F/O's voted this contract in, too.

2. Say what you want, but the far MAJORITY of our F/O's wouldn't be making as much as they are if we didn't have a blended rate.

Put down the moonshine and go back to buffing your mama's pooter.
 

screwed_again

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Also, keep in mind, its those SENIOR XJ CAPTAINS that made Mesaba the place it is. What percent raise did the FOs get on the last contract? More than the captains. Watch it FIRSTOFFICERKARL.
 

Monster Buck

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KaptainKarl said:
Okey Dokey.. here we go again. Its finally down to the real question. Will the senior xj captains be willing to cut THEIR pay to GROW? They were all to quick to do it during the contract to the FOs. Now its their turn.

You gotta be kidding me. "give them to Pinnacle"?!?

If they want to put 85 seats in that fat sumb!tch and pay you the 69-seat rate, then take it, be happy and fix it on the next contract - you greedy a$$hole. Think about someone other than yourself for a change. You would put your "brothers" on the street for a couple of dollars. You make me sick. I personally would profit greatly from the addition of a 70-90 seat rate, but I like to sleep at night. Things are bad.

"the rest of XJs lifetime" - Hardly. Pay rates are negotiated... then you say "one contract at a time" ... which is it?
This guy is the type of VIRUS that I have spoken about in the past. The ways of thinking that we should all fear. This guy will never see the forest through the trees.

If a plane has 85 seats we must have a 85 seat scale. You're right, we(senior xj) pilots will demand for proper pay. Will everyone get to vote on it? Who knows? But I, and all the other I know("greedy a$$holes" that helped to support the quality of the contract that we now have) will keep the fight going. We will not give in to promises of a better life and forsake" thinking of someone other than ourselves". Are we perfect? No. Have we made mistakes? Yes. But we will try not to repeat the ways you are suggesting. If you don't like what we have and do here, hit the F^^CKING ROAD. You should have read our history and our contract BEFORE you decided to ASK for a job here.
 

FN FAL

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Take one seat out of the 70 seat CRJ and give them to Mesaba, one for one for the A.V. Roe. Then take the remaining planes and give them to Big Sky. What's the big deal?
 

JT8D

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I can picture Steenland at his desk looking at this thread on his computer, salivating, saying to himself; "it's working!, it's working! The whipsawing is working!"
 

Shocker

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Actually if you look at what UAL pilots are now getting paid for their 747/777 Captains, one would think they are selling the industry short. SWA pays more to a 737 Captain than most majors pay their 777 Captains now, how does that work. I think regional pilots are hardly selling themselves short based on this.
 

JT8D

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Shocker said:
Actually if you look at what UAL pilots are now getting paid for their 747/777 Captains, one would think they are selling the industry short. SWA pays more to a 737 Captain than most majors pay their 777 Captains now, how does that work. I think regional pilots are hardly selling themselves short based on this.
Last I checked SWA wasn't Bankrupt. UAL and NWA are.
 

sf3boy

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Perhaps KaptainKarl is referring to LOA 15 of our previous contract where the senior pilot(s) did cut FO pay for growth. Perhaps he thinks that if a payrate for all aircraft is good enough for FO's, maybe their should be a blended rate for captains too.
 

screwed_again

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Perhaps KaptainKarl is referring to LOA 15 of our previous contract where the senior pilot(s) did cut FO pay for growth. Perhaps he thinks that if a payrate for all aircraft is good enough for FO's, maybe their should be a blended rate for captains too.
KaptainKarl was at home watching Scooby Doo when LOA 15 was signed. I don't feel sorry for the FOs, we all pay are dues at one time or another. XJ got a lot of growth as a result of LOA 15. The FOs on the property when LOA 15 was signed are all captains in the jet now.
 

RampTower

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screwed_again said:
KaptainKarl was at home watching Scooby Doo when LOA 15 was signed. I don't feel sorry for the FOs, we all pay are dues at one time or another. XJ got a lot of growth as a result of LOA 15. The FOs on the property when LOA 15 was signed are all captains in the jet now.
I was around then and the way everyone puts it, it's just a "nice way" of saying we're helping our company grow, when in reality it's screwing one group so another group can benefit. Pretty much falling into mothership NWA's union busting plan.

We all have to pay our dues by why pay more? It's like kicking someone in the back of head when they're already down instead of trying to help em get up. Forcing one group to freezes or cuts, then politely saying "Oh you'll be a captain soon" is such a yes-man excuse. The exact same crap came up in January 04 when we all had to vote on the new contract. Same statements to the 3-4 year FOs: "Oh just you wait, as soon as we sign this new contract we'll be getting jets up the arse in a few months and it will be like old times"- every GD senior captain spewed this crap to the senior FOs..... and how along was it from the signing to the CRJ announcement? 1 year and 3 months! And the upgrade party didn't even last that long with all the NWA bankruptcy crap going on.

I'm not defending any side here, just trying to put some sense to all this "help the company" jibberish. All you're helping is Foley and his good ol boys make his wallet and pension bigger. Certainly not ours.
 

scabseeker

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screwed_again said:
The FOs on the property when LOA 15 was signed are all captains in the jet now.
Dude, that was 8 years ago. I would hope they could get to the jet by now.
 

sf3boy

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They are heading to the Saab in a couple of months....some to the right seat.

Six years will get you a reserve Saab captain slot....for now.
 
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KaptainKarl

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Perhaps KaptainKarl is referring to LOA 15 of our previous contract where the senior pilot(s) did cut FO pay for growth. Perhaps he thinks that if a payrate for all aircraft is good enough for FO's, maybe their should be a blended rate for captains too.Works for UPS.



" KaptainKarl was at home watching Scooby Doo when LOA 15 was signed. I don't feel sorry for the FOs, we all pay are dues at one time or another. XJ got a lot of growth as a result of LOA 15. The FOs on the property when LOA 15 was signed are all captains in the jet now. "



Not true. Not even close. How long were u an fo? I'll bet 1.5 years. Six year fos have every right to be bitter. Give them the chance to fly the avro for current rates with 85 seats and they will gladly step over you. Go ahead and give them the "we built this place" cr@p. I 'll bet their 6 years in your right seat was alot tougher than your 7 years over on that side barking at them. What an arogant prick.

The growth you speak of may be gone soon and the FOs of which you speak will still be in the right seat. Bet they are proud of the growth they provided you. As for the contract, guess a bird in the hand...$
Some of them were right!
 
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