Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Orenstein and US Airways

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Apr 29, 2002
Does anybody know what the U pilots scope clause says about their sub contractors flying airplanes larger than 70 seats? It was my understanding that the contract forbids U management from using a sub if they fly larger a/c, even if they fly them under their own name. That being the case, what does the U contract with Mesa say? If U management didn't get it in writing that Mesa agrees not to operate the 90 seat rj but they have a legally binding contract with their pilots to stop subbing with some one who operates them, are they going to have to break the Mesa contract and pay Mesa off? If they do have it in writing that Mesa won't fly bigger planes, then they can break the contract without paying but can they afford to lose the revenue and market share? Any thoughts? Publisher, you talked to all those guys at the RAA, speak to me, oh knowledgeable one!
Brian De Jong
While we're waiting for publisher's response, let me chime in with my understanding of the set up.

US Airways scope provisions disallow any code share from operating 70/90 seat jets. This is enforced whether or not those jets are used by the code share in US Airways Express operations or for operations in support of some other code share partner. Mesa had planned to get 70 seat CRJs to support America West Express oeprations but could not under the scope provisions.

Therefore, Mesa Air Group, the parent company for Mesa Airlines, is forming Freedom Air which will have the freedom to do the 70 seat America West Express operations presuming US Airways' agreement is with Mesa Airlines and not Mesa Air Group.

For others with better info, please correct anything I have misstated.
I assume they'll set it up the same way they did with their Deutsche BA code share in Europe. They fly more than 70 seats, right?
Unless I'm mistaken, in addition to what Andy said, the new LOA81 recently negotiated at U, removes the previous restriction against 70/90 seat aircraft operated by U subcontractors as long as the aircraft at not used to code-share with U. Therefore, Mesa would now be free to make the deal with AW without having to create Freedom.

However, press reports indicate that JO will continue with the creation of Freedom. That allows him to bypass the Mesa pilot contract and avoid negotiations for the new jets. Another reduction in the compensation package (at Freedom and Mesa) is likely to be the result as this airline (Freedom) will be whipsawed against the the Mesa pilots (and also against the AW pilots).

ALPA objected to the creation of Freedom and called JO "another Lorenzo". However, weeks later ALPA sanctioned and fostered the rejuvenation of Potomac, a new subsidiary of USAir Group.

Potomac will do to the USAir subsidiaries pilots (Piedmont, Allegheny and PSA .... all represented by ALPA) the exact same thing that Freedom will do to Mesa pilots, i.e., undercut their compensation and remove their bargaining leverage. It has already begun with furloughs announced at all three and the company demanding contract concessions. Potomac has been renamed Mid Atlantic Airways and will get all or most of the new U regional jets. One or more of the present USAir subsidiaries may well go out of business when Potomac is up and running.

The only real difference between Freedom and Potomac is that all Potomac pilots will be furloughed USAir pilots and Potomac will recognize ALPA as the bargaining agent.

This is a classic case of ALPA selling out its members at PDT, ALG, PSA, in favor of USAir mainline pilots, while the "kettle calls the pot black". There is little doubt that ALPA could have arranged to place the new jets at the current USAir subsidiaries while protecting the mainline pilots and the regional pilots that it supposedly represents. Instead, ALPA chose to discard its "regional pilot" members in favor of mainline pilots, again.

ALPA's treachery and double dealing in this matter is hypocrisy at its finest. If JO is "another Lorenzo" what is ALPA ..... another Benedict Arnold?
Last edited:
Oh Boy - Here we go again

Surplus1 is right about LOA 81 changing the code share restriction. Mesa is free to operate 70/90 seat RJs for America West Express now. It is too bad the Ornstein is going ahead with Freedom Air though.

While I won't comment on the integrity of ALPA, I would have to disagree with Surplus1's comments in regards to Potomac/Mid-Atlantic. Being on the other side of the fence, I have watched PDT, ALG, PSA benefit enormously at the expense of the mainline over the last 12 years. They have taken our routes and not offered us jobs while on furlough. This isn't the fault of the pilots, it is the management of mainline that makes these decisions. So getting mad at one another serves no real purpose.

This time the mainline pilots have fought hard enough to ensure they they get some of the jobs that are going away from the mainline. Sorry that it will adversely affect pilots at the wholly owneds but there are 1070 furloughed USAirways pilots already and probably more to follow and since it is mainline routes that are being flown with these new jets it should be mainline pilots flying them.
"I have watched PDT, ALG, PSA benefit enormously at the expense of the mainline over the last 12 years."

How exactly have we benefitted at ML's expense? The WO's are flying 17 year old props while the contracters recieve new equipment. We are furloughing and probably will go out of business-how is this a benefit? I'm still in the right seat after two years and probably never will see the left seat at PDT-benefit-no.

"They have taken our routes and not offered us jobs while on furlough."

We were allocated thin markets. Short haul heavy lift operations. Markets where a 737-400 was operating with 30-40 pax each leg and losing money. Why not place a Dash-8 on the route IE: CLT-AVL and operate at a profit. The time difference between a Dash and a 737 is minimal; I timed it once-five minutes difference.

PDT, PSA, and ALG all hired furloughed ML pilots and let them retain full recall rights back to ML. In fact, ML furloughees were unjustly terminated from ALG as retaliation for not "playing nice" in reagrds to letter of extortion 81.

I agree that Freedom Air and MidAtlantic are the same. They are a new alter-ego airline started up by an owner to benefit themselves at the expense of a segment of their own pilots (Mesa/WOs).

Logically, ALPA should either be for both or against both. But, when $s are considered, ALPA's position makes sense. The U pilots contribute a vast amount of $ to ALPA, compared with Mesa. So, ALPA will do what is good for the U, at the expense of ALPA's own WO pilots, who don't matter $-wise nearly as much as the U pilots. At Mesa, ALPA supports the Mesa pilots, as there are no Freedom Air pilots to compete with Mesa for ALPA contributions, and, in fact, if Freedom goes (it's non-union) that will weaken ALPA.

This is why ALPA is being sued by Regional pilots. ALPA has supported actions at Delta, and now at the U that benefits ALPA's big-money pilots at the expense of small-money pilots.

If you think about it, it is hard for ALPA being the union of ALL carriers. If NWA moves into a market with more flights, that's good for NWA ALPA, while at the same time, UAL may lose a number of flights at the same location, which hurts UAL ALPA.

One way to solve this would be an ALPA seniority number. When you were first hired by an ALPA carrier, no matter who they were, you would get an ALPA number, that would stay with you until you retire. That way, if you were hired by PanAm, you would have a number, and if they went out of business because of actions by UAL, for instance, that PanAm pilot could apply at UAL, and, if hired, would start at pay/benefits of his master ALPA number. Your seniority would be portable, as long as you worked for an ALPA carrier.

If there were a furlough, you could go to a smaller carrier with your number, and later go back to a bigger airline with you number.

What do you guys think of this idea?????


Did I hear my name being summoned.

I believe that the scoop is already posted here by others, except that JO probably goes ahead with Freedom anyway. Why? Not so much to have a non-unon airline, but rather to have an airline entity not tied to a major carrier.

In some of my other posts, I indicated that he was not in the best position as a contract carrier for two airlines that might not have made it through the slowdown that had started before the 11th.. As these are the weakest, he needs something that he can just go ahead and compete with.
"...and since it is mainline routes that are being flown with these new jets it should be mainline pilots flying them."

If am correct Gangwall offered ML 60 RJ's a few years back and the offer was rejected because U pilots didn't want to fly for "those pay rates."
ALPA seniority number

I've followed these "scope" discussions with interest because I want to learn and understand. I also enjoy pro-union v. anti-union discussions, as Pub will attest.

The ALPA seniority number is an interesting thought, but, given ALPA's fragmentation policy, would it be practical?

I only throw it out for thought because fragmentation didn't work so well for the many of the Eastern pilots of eleven years ago.

Latest resources