Regional Airline future

Kaman

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I originally posted this because the only way to bring change about is to "stir the hornets nest" and not that my ideas are the solution. Perhaps the battle of fair compensation is what this really boils down to. Personally, I think that the "Genie" that got out of the bottle in the early 90s might be very difficult to get back in there again.
There is much debate over whether deregulation has been a good or bad thing for the airline industry. Even though it has had a negative impact upon the airline pilot profession, deregulation has been a positive overall for the consumer and the marketplace, which should really dictate what companies thrive and which ones fail in a free-market society. The government should only have limited power to manipulate the marketplace or drive pricing.
Scope is where the battle really should be fought, and in my view the only place where some measure of victory can take place for labor (specifically pilots). When the CRJ came on the scene in 1992, and the various codeshare agreements and contracting schemes, ALPA really let the ship sail without us on that, and didn't use enough foresight to see that overall it was going to kill mainline jobs.
Now, 20 years later...regional airlines that were once just operating smaller turboprops with only interline/marketing agreements have become CPAs/ASAs that place all the advantage with the mainline who can put up their flying for competitive bid. This places the burden of cost on the regional partner and minimizes the mainline's risk and gets them their lift into hubs FAR cheaper than flying a large fleet of 737/DC-9s like they all once did.
SCOPE is where a firm stand has to be made...The more flying the better at the mainline, BUT what happens in the meantime? Another ugly period in our profession with an even more uncertain future as consolidation trickles down to the regional sector, pilots that counted on a "career" at a regional suddenly facing loss of jobs, reduced benefits, less favorable work rules. Very troubling times in which we live...
 

General Lee

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The inherent problem with the American pilot profession is that it has nothing to do with experience or skill. We end up with highly qualified pilots in dead-end jobs, or no job at all. Pilots at Fedex and Southwest who make the most money, but when they were hired were often the least desirable. And pilots like General Lee, who hit the lotto jackpot and flaunt it with their sense of superiority and entitlement.

Say what? Superiority and entitlement? Really? I believe there shouldn't be a National seniority list because nobody forces you to go to a job. If you only want to fly for one particular airline, then only apply there. It's that simple. As far as my views in this industry and what will happen to the regionals, I think their numbers will decrease, but there will still be RJs flying due to their relative cheapness compared to overall costs at the Majors, and that includes every job, ramp to pilot to upper management. I think there will be lots of upcoming retirements that will help move pilots up to the Majors if they want to go, but those remaining will see their choices wane. The likes of Gojets and their cheaper costs will become the "model" Major CEOs like, and they will be awarded more feed if they become the cheapest.

This last decade has been very tough on this industry. First 9-11, then BKs, then age 65. Unbelievable stagnation for everyone except Regional pilots, who enjoyed growth until passengers discovered they were uncomfortable on longer stages, and CEOs discovered they were very inefficient with higher oil prices. It was bound to happen, and that isn't an example of superiority, rather just fact. If you want to get out of the regionals, stay out of trouble and apply as the retirements increase. If you don't, your regional may end up looking like Gojets in a year or two.



Bye Bye---General Lee
 

CapnVegetto

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Nah, I don't like the idea of equal seat pay and sharing. Imagine someone with 20 years experience on an airplane, having to sit right seat to a new hire. The new hire will be (or at least should be) constantly deferring to the experienced guy's judgement. So it doesn't work to give the new guy the last word in a dispute over the correct course of action, which is essentially the main role of a captain. It would be confusing and dangerous.

It's been that way for years in the corporate world. None of this "I'm the Captain" bull$hit. You both make a decision and agree with it before anything happens. If you can't work it out as professionals then you have bigger problems then what seat you sit in.

I once ran into a couple of guys in TEB flying a Global Express, back when I was brand new and didn't know any better. I asked them which one was the captain. They looked at each other and laughed. One of them said this:

"Dude, at the beginning of a trip, we flip a coin. Whoever loses is the captain."
 

JustaNumber

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CapnVegetto,
That's amusing, and very interesting. I could see it working with most crewmember pairings, but not all. Has there never been a case where two type-A a-holes fly together (don't kid yourself, every airline has about 5-10%), where one has significantly more experience than the other? I'd rather the a-hole with the experience wins that battle of wills.

On the topic of letting the free market determine compensation, I think scope works in the opposite direction, causing misallocation of resources not necessarily justified by demand, and a further artificial distortion of compensation levels for everyone.

I think a better solution would involve getting the government to do one of the things it was originally designed to do--preventing fraud and deception in transactions. Why is it that I am PROHIBITED from saying the name of my company in my PAs? I should be REQUIRED to say it. The mainline carriers have been so successful in creating a "seamless travel experience", that I guarantee you that the majority of pax think they're still flying on mainline, with mainline pilots. When a Colgan flight crashes due to inexperienced, fatigued pilots, every passenger in the country says, "whew, good thing I only buy my tickets from name-brand airlines on Travelocity!"

The day passengers have to actually click on the Colgan name to purchase a ride on a Colgan airplane is the day the free market will begin to adequately compensate regional pilots.
 

pilotyip

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The inherent problem with the American pilot profession is that it has nothing to do with experience or skill. We end up with highly qualified pilots in dead-end jobs, or no job at all. Pilots at Fedex and Southwest who make the most money, but when they were hired were often the least desirable. And pilots like General Lee, who hit the lotto jackpot and flaunt it with their sense of superiority and entitlement.
How to cope with the airline industry. After 11 jobs since leaving the Navy, I have adopted another slogan, "Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed” I know it sounds like having no drive, ambition or goals, but that is not the case. There is so much in this business you have absolutely no control over, these effect your job. To fret unnecessarily over those things causes ulcers, it is not worth it. Getting depressed over stupid things that you have no control over is not worth it. By expecting nothing, it will always be better than nothing. Life is a ball.
 

CapnVegetto

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CapnVegetto,
That's amusing, and very interesting. I could see it working with most crewmember pairings, but not all. Has there never been a case where two type-A a-holes fly together (don't kid yourself, every airline has about 5-10%), where one has significantly more experience than the other? I'd rather the a-hole with the experience wins that battle of wills.


I see what you're saying, but if you've never flown corporate, it's a bit more difficult to process. Seniority in the corporate world, like the rest of the workplace in pretty much every industry, is only a part of the equation. It's not the WHOLE THING. In my opinion, that is how it should be. In the airlines, it doesn't matter whether or not you're worth a $hit, it only matters how long you've been there.

There are A-holes in corporate, too, trust me. The difference is, thanks to there being no unions and seniority systems to fight their incompetence and save their job, they don't last long.

As far as experience meaning you are always right, there are a lot of dead bodies piled up because some senior captain thought he was right and wouldn't listen to his junior FO who was ACTUALLY right.

The Air France airplane that fell in the ocean a few years ago?
American MD80 in LIT?
Air Florida (I think it was) 737?

The list goes on and on.

I guess there is no right or wrong answer, you can find examples on either end. But I've been in both worlds, and I'm a far bigger fan of how things are done in the 91/135 world.
 

Freebrd

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and what will happen to the regionals, I think their numbers will decrease, but there will still be RJs flying due to their relative cheapness compared to overall costs at the Majors
Bye Bye---General Lee

Yeah you PUTZ, but you caved again for $$$$ and a wet dream of a Capt slot on the 717 and allowed the regionals more 7-900s didn't you PUTZ! Oh sure you'll get rid of some 200s but at XJet those will be deployed to the caribean to fly for AA. You in particular folded so quickly on your TA it was nauseating to witness. PUTZ!
 

joepilot29

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Personally I would like to see the regionals disappear. Not a fan of CRJ's after flying one the last 6 years. Flown all 3 crj's ie 50/70/90 and yet it's still an CRJ. Cramped cockpit in all 3 and crap pay which has become part of the job thanks too the typical low ballers that appear every year. Go Jets being the most recent. Funny flying into Nashville and seeing Freedom's whole fleet parked across the ramp!

I would love to see all the legacy carriers pull all the flying back in house. Obviously will not happen but one can dream! Most of my fleet is parked in Rockford or Kingman waiting to be turned into beer cans! Long live Comair! Hopefully the life support will be pulled after Sept!

P.S. I was hired after the strike and didn't know any better.
 

Gr82Aviate

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I see what you're saying, but if you've never flown corporate, it's a bit more difficult to process. Seniority in the corporate world, like the rest of the workplace in pretty much every industry, is only a part of the equation. It's not the WHOLE THING. In my opinion, that is how it should be. In the airlines, it doesn't matter whether or not you're worth a $hit, it only matters how long you've been there.

There are A-holes in corporate, too, trust me. The difference is, thanks to there being no unions and seniority systems to fight their incompetence and save their job, they don't last long.

As far as experience meaning you are always right, there are a lot of dead bodies piled up because some senior captain thought he was right and wouldn't listen to his junior FO who was ACTUALLY right.

The Air France airplane that fell in the ocean a few years ago?
American MD80 in LIT?
Air Florida (I think it was) 737?

The list goes on and on.

I guess there is no right or wrong answer, you can find examples on either end. But I've been in both worlds, and I'm a far bigger fan of how things are done in the 91/135 world.



Have to disagree. I flew corporate prior to the airlines, and saw lots of guys that only got the job because of who they knew, and no matter how poor their performance was they were "protected".

The Air France flight actually stayed in a stall the whole way down because low time F.O. was pulling back on the stick all the way down, canceling out the captains corrective forward input.
 

pilotyip

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Have to disagree. I flew corporate prior to the airlines, and saw lots of guys that only got the job because of who they knew, and no matter how poor their performance was they were "protected".

The Air France flight actually stayed in a stall the whole way down because low time F.O. was pulling back on the stick all the way down, canceling out the captains corrective forward input.
If you want a career in this business, you need a number on seniority list to project your job, this is not necessarily a CBA airline. Even then they can not prevent the company from going out of business. When my ALPA represented airline was going out of business, I decided to go into the corp. world got hired at a Fortune 500 auto parts supplier in Detroit. The company had 2 airplanes and 5 pilots. They had never had a lay off in their history. 3 years later in the auto turndown of 1982. They cut their dept in half, and I was let go. I saw it happen at VW, K-Mart, GM, Dana, Ford, US Steel, the list goes on. The smaller companies are even worse, not to say there are not good corp. jobs out there, but there are no guarantees of job security in any aviation jobs.
 

wms

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It's been that way for years in the corporate world. None of this "I'm the Captain" bull$hit. You both make a decision and agree with it before anything happens. If you can't work it out as professionals then you have bigger problems then what seat you sit in.

Not even close.
 
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