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NWA rumors?

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Does anyone have any updated info on NWA besides the 302 furloughs in Jan? I heard today from an NWA pilot who said a union rep jumpseater said furloughs recalled by June with hiring to resume in summer. Has anyone heard anything similar?
The only OFFICIAL word from NWA regarding a possible recall scenario was maybe, perhaps, please, God, no more attacks, did I mention that this wasn't for certain? fourth quarter 2002, with the notices going out in the tail end of the third quarter. Of course, there are persistant "I had my exit interview and the chief pilot said. . ." stories that are a variance of the rumor you heard. Personally, I think these are Terrorism's ribald attempt to concoct an urban legend capable of making it even harder for a struggling furloughee to make long-term decisions.
...make a long term decision...been on my mind every single day. I'm due to get out of the Nav the end of Jan. Have a reserve slot but no other prospects from the majors except NWA with the letter that I am no longer "an active pilot candidate" which I received like many others after 9/11 while awaiting a class date. Do I get out and join the ranks of the fuloughees or pull my letter and do 2 more years...boy I wish I had a crystal ball.
Having never been in the military, I can't really say what you should do, but if it were me, I'd sign on for 2 more years of job security and ride this one out. In 2 years things should be improving and you would be very competetive having just left the mil and having flown actively. If you get stuck out of a job here in the civ world, you may not fly for a long time, which will reduce your competetiveness.
Just my $0.02
I agree, looking at the current situation at the majors, if I we're in your shoes I would stay in 2 more years. If you said 4 years, then I would be hesitant. But 2 years will fly by pretty quick.

I've been with United 1 1/2 years. I just made it past the first round of cuts and am very close to the bottom. UAL is talking about laying off 403 more in March. I tend to think it will happen, unless the union can strike some sort of deal with them. If they lay off that many, we will have 994 guys out on furlough.

Now my logic, at least with the UAL situation, is this. From what I have heard, it isn't cost effective to lay off a pilot for less than 1 year. Not sure where this comes from, but that's what I've heard. Assuming UAL does lay off 403 in March, then they wait 1 year(best case scenario) to bring them back. It would then be March 2003 when the first UAL guy is recalled.

Being that UAL has retired 2 fleets(727, 737-200) they cannot get as many people through TK(training center) as they used to be able to do. There will be less sims to train on. In the "old days" UAL trained around 100/month. When they recall I would think it would be closer to 80/month.

So from now until March 2003(before they recall-theoretically) is 15 months. Then the time it will take to get through recalling 994 pilots at 80/month will be another 12 months. Now we are looking at 27 months before all of the furloughees are recalled.

Last I checked, United has a pool of around 250 guys waiting for class. Not sure of their status. Let's assume 150 of these guys take a class. That's another 2 months draining the pool.

So, and there are a lot of assumptions here, in this scenario it will be 15 months (until recall begins)+12 months (to get the furloughees trained again) + 2 months (to drain pool). All totalled up this equals roughly 2 1/2 years before any outsider gets a shot getting hired at United. And my scenario only assumes that 403 more will be furloughed. Right now, the company is showing a surplus of 1562 pilots.

Definitely not looking good right now at United. I am planning to be laid off for at least 2 years. Hopefully that won't happen but I must be a realist.

If you stayed in the Navy, there are some definite advantages. I guarantee, you'll make a lot more than me during the next 2 years if I get furloughed. The job market is bad right now, even outside of aviation. You'll probably find me delivering you a pizza one night!!!

You will also keep building flight-time and stay current, which can only be to your benefit when you get out in the airlines eyes. Now some of the regionals are hiring, but the odds are that you will spend most of the 2 years as a copilot in an RJ making 25 grand or so. If you stayed in the Navy, you would spend those 2 years making more money and probably being the pilot in command(not sure of your status). Command time is golden to the airlines over S.I.C. time.

Also, you are not losing any seniority at the airline by staying in the Navy. Nobody is hiring now. Let's say you stay in the Navy and when you get out, the timing is good and the airlines start to hire again. You will end up right behind some guy that was hired 2-3 years before you on the seniority list, so essentially you lose nothing.

Anyway, good luck with your decision. Maybe some other guys from other airlines could work up a scenario for their own company. This is just guesstimate kind of stuff, but gets you thinking.
Sign up for two more years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have lots of friends who are out on the streets with no income. One friend just got told it will be two years minimum before he gets his call back. Take the two years ang go treat yourself to a new car or boat and consider yourself lucky to have a good job.

I was in your shoes 3 months ago trying to decide wheter to pull my letter or jump ship and go into the reserves. I also got the "don't call us we'll call you" letter from NWA. In the end I decided against leaving in order to wait it out on active duty until the next wave of hiring starts up. No one has a crystal ball but even if hiring starts back up again in full force this summer (which I really doubt) you would only be about 14-15 months behind the begining of the wave which is time you will need anyway to get interviews and land a job. And with the NWA situation in particular no one,including HR, knows what our standing is. Many feel that we would have to do the entire interview all over again just like everyone else, which again means many more months before you would be in a class. SO to make a long answer even longer, take door number 1 and have fun flying for the next 2 years without the stress of wondering where the next meal is coming from. Believe it or not you're in a good position.

Fly Safe


p.s. your engines are mounted upside down

I'm a major carrier furloughee and a USAF retiree. If I could get back in for two years, I'd do it in a heartbeat. From what I'm hearing with my ear to the ground, I'd bet that this will last at least two years. Stay in, fly your butt off, and work on your apps. This will all come around but its going to take some time with all the uncertainty and guys trying to light their shoes.

I'm a NWA furloughee and AF Reservist as well. I've always said I'd rather sell vacuum cleaners at Sears than give the Active Duty another two years to squeeze some more blood out of me. Here's my two cents. If you can make enough money with your Reserve unit to pay the bills for a while, do it. I'd talk to your Reserve unit and find out exactly how much money you can expect to earn. If you can't get by on that, go back to the AD. Most Reserve/Guard units I've heard about are very good about finding work for guys to do to make some money. Also, with the current world situation, there is more than enough flying to be done. I'd rather have my freedom to take a job if one comes calling than to wait two years and start over. I think NWA will be hiring before you would get off AD, and you guys with the "letter" probably will be the first ones in line.

It's a tough call and you wouldn't be wrong to go back to the Active Duty. But if you can get by eating TV dinners for a year or so, stick it out with your Reserve unit. Good luck.
I agree with the previous posters on the general decision making. With no definitive job offer I probably would have pulled my letter (I left active duty Nov 00), though we both know that it probably would have led to non-flying boat orders. Personally, I am doing the Reserve flying job to bridge from active duty to Southwest start date (?). If you need to make a living at it, look into whether you can get additional drills, reserve management periods, and additional active duty for the unit that picked you up (beyond the one weekend/mo. and 2 weeks AD). All of this additional time and pay adds up quickly - and there seems to be alot more money to be spent from the Reserve pot than what it seemed on AD. The military does have a Cobra-type program to extend Tricare benefits up to 18 months after separation, though it is costly (you probably heard about it in TAP class). I know that this is not your exact situation, but hopefully more info is better than less. Good luck.

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