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As far as I have seen and heard no recalls are planned for PILOTs at UAL yet, so don't get your hopes up anytime soon. Some nonpilots are being brought back, but when the pilots get back is anyone's guess (my guess is late fall at the ABSOLUTE soonest for any recalls)
It will be years before UAL hires off the street again. Flight officer employment is basically down to one guy and, in case you haven't heard, there are 844 on furlough.
There is no word on what will happen to the poolies. While it is unlikely they will flush the pool, it is likely they will give you a follow up interview of some sort to check on what you've been doing the past few years.
If you look closely at who is being recalled, then you'll see it is ground service employees. Ramp, ticket, and cabin service personnel are being called back.
Friends and relatives often ask me about UAL recalling employees. I usually put it in perspective for them by reminding them that 20,000 employees were laid-off, so recalling 1300 is not significant by any means. Furthermore, pilots are likely the last to get called back because we tend to cost a bit more than cabin service employees. I don't think the company would have laid off additional pilots in March if they did not think those pilots would be on the street for a couple of years. Sorry, but that seems to be the cold, hard truth of the matter.
We are retiring approximately 300-350 per year for the next three years. After that I believe the rate falls off below the 300 mark. In addition each year there can be 25-50 medical retirements each year. Currently 844 pilots on the street. So if you do the math with zero growth. It would be four years before hiring at United would begin again.
Surely you can't think airlines will perform logically. Throw in a slow recall and training. Add a little manpower making bad decisions on staffing. With a dash of having to retrain and rehire HR folks and interview Captains. Yep adds up to at least four years. It would drive Mr. Spock crazy. Completely illogical business.
This response is a personal perspective only--not an attack on anyone in this thread. With regard to UA recalling furloughed pilots, here is what I know, and it's **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** little for sure.
Spoke with a DEN based UA Flight Mgr who stated that it was his understanding that the last furloughed pilot grouping (253) was to be the last group of F/Os furloughed. Please note that there is an excess of First Officers at UA, not Captains--funny how it works that way.
However, Capt Forte's Message Line: (877) 933-5936, stated on Thursday before Good Friday that, and this is a paraphrase: UA is in the process of finalizing the summer 02 flying schedule and because of that no pilot furloughs (read that to mean First Officer furloughs, uggh!) would occur in May. BUT: it is what he did not say that left the door open to yes--more furloughs in June--ARRRRHH! That is, he would not explicitly state there will be no more furloughs. I know, and I can hear the responses already, "but he does not have a crystal ball", yadda, yadda. You are right. However he is closer to the decision makers, so who else outta know? So there you have it.
How many more pilots would UA furlough? Well, if there's not a June furlough then it wouldn't matter. But if there was a June furlough, my guess is that UA would put 100-200 more First Officers on the street. How do I arrive at that guess?
IMHO, the 5th Surplus which is effective 2 June, is really a furlough tool. How is that? Well, if you overlay where all the First Officers matriculate (I know big word) after the 4 previous surplus bids, then you simply take the number of remaining UA cockpits times the fleet staffing numbers and the excess is the furlough margin. Do I know what what the magic staffing formulae are? Hell no! No operator does!!
So where does this leave this whole discussion? I am 173 from the "new pilot seniority list" bottom (that is, after the exit of the 253 illegally furloughed pilots along with all the other illegally furloughed brothers & sisters ) here at UA. On 9/11, I was on the 767 in SFO with over 1000 First/Second Officers junior to me and was bumped to the 320 in the very first surplus bid in Nov 01. In the 5th surplus, I was predictably displaced to the 737, and fortunately for me, in SFO.
My nickel on the grass ( and that's all it's worth): I'm betting there's a 90% chance of a June furlough, and there's a 75% chance I'll get the boot.
At that rate, UA will have the ignominious (big word) distinction of having put nearly 1000/1000+ pilots on the street. When UA last furloughed pilots, I mean First Officers in 1979, the first furloughee was gone nearly 5 years folks! The earliest furloughee to be recalled was 3 years. Ain't nobody comin' back any sooner than the summer of '04 and I'd be willing to put a "C" note on that wager :<
But more telling than the number of retirements, is the number of cockpits on the property. I know, we're taking delivery of a few brand new (7?) 777s and maybe a smattering of Airbuses this year. That won't do diddly to get 844 folks back on the job. Hell, we've had 727 people collecting 75hr/month paychecks since October and they have not turned a revenue wheel--just waiting for the dust to settle on the seat bids and the final furlough numbers.
So until you see 50+ new airplanes on the ramp at UA, then there will be no recalls. As for new pilot hiring, who can know. But the fifth floor at Stapleton Plaza Bldg 1 (UA FO HR) has been dark since October 02 and my guess is that sometime in 2006 UA will conduct interviews for placement at a future date. You're better off at a UA regional (thanks ACA) or at UPS/FDX.
Lastly, no econ major, but the economic recovery is going to slow---like my brain, very slow. That more than any single factor will dictate that UA stays its current size +/- 5% for a long, long time.
So there you have it. Sorry if it's not what you want to hear, but it's not some candy-coated version of reality. I am planning on getting back in the AF after being out for nearly 4 years. I may be gone for upwards of 6 years (until retirement). Maybe then I'll have a cockpit to come back to and not be 5 First Officers from the bottom of the 737 domicile list anywhere in the UA system.
What was your date of hire ? I was hired 04/04/00 and was wondering what the latest bottom number is ? I am currently on leave of absence and was just bumped to SFO on the Guppy. Hope this helps a fellow pilot out some. June would give me the axe too. I would sure like to see a faster turn around than your prediction however your math makes some sense. Still waiting for my annual report to see what kind of financials we are really talking about. I would bet that if there is another round, it will be the last and won't last more than a year, who knows ??????
Count me in as one of the latest 253 furloughees. It's good to have some UAL guys on the board weighing in, as a lot of us that were hacked can't get any more "inside" info.
Here's my take on this, from a guy who has a lot of time on his hands. Last night I checked Cpt. Forte's hotline.....he stated that UAL had an 80 percent load factor yesterday with 1717 flights and only 3 cancellations system-wide. United's load factor numbers have been creeping up steadily over the last few months. I know yields are low, but I have to believe with load factors like this they will have to soon raise prices or increase their system schedule.....simply supply and demand. And also they have stopped paying all travel agent commissions with the rest of the airlines.....this will definitely help out as far as the bottom line is concerned.
Looking at Winbid, UAL will have 329 age 60 retirements over the next 12 months(April 2002-April2003). And the next 12 months after that, we will have 283(April2003-April2004). So add this up and starting now looking out 24 months United will retire a minimum of 612 pilots. Also there will be more based on other reasons such as medical retirements, early outs, etc.
I know United is scheduled to recieve 24 A-320's in calandar year 2002. Being that we are now in April (1/4 way into year), lets say they have already recieved 1/4 of the jets. That would leave 18 jets left to be added to the property this year. If each jet took 4 crews/aircraft, this would be 8 pilots per jet times 18 jets=144. There will be a need for 144 more pilots to fly these jets.
So assuming United stays stagnent over the next 24 months, there will be a need for 612(retirements) + 144 = 756 pilots. So my take on this is if we look 24 months out, United will need 746 more people than they do currently. Right now we have 844 out on furlough, so we could just about recall everyone to account for attrition and new jets. I'm just assuming that we will stay stagnent....with load factors like we have been seeing lately, I just can't see that happening.
I believe that the threat of more furloughs could be a possibility, but probably will not happen. My reasoning is this....within the next few months management will be asking for concessions from the pilot group and management needs a bargaining chip in their hands. I believe the threat of more layoffs are just that...threats. I just can't believe UAL ALPA would give them the kind of concessions they want and at the same time let the company cut another round of guys. My feelings come from hearing Chairman Whiteford state that "1980's style wage givebacks are a thing of the past." He basically states that the pilots will get something in return for any "deal" made with the company. I am hopeful this might be the return of some pilots to the line.
Another reason for my optimism comes from recent qoutes from Chairman Whiteford as well. His letter to the pilots has a few paragraphs that detail what they are planning to do in the future with regard to the 2 grievances involving the illegal furlough of non-probationary pilots and UAL regional jet scope clause violations. He says that even though they are going to pursue the grievances, HE PLANS ON RESOLVING THE ISSUE DURING ANY RECOVERY PROGRAM the pilots set up with the company.
That one line says it all to me....these issues will get resolved to the unions satisfaction or no givebacks from the pilots. Period.
First, P-3 Adub, I hope your leave of absence works for you. There are 112 folks system wide who are military leave of absence and another 75 on other leaves of absence. The junior most seniority number as of today is 9580. I am 9407.
727, I like your arithmetic. My fingers + toes are crossed that you are right and I am pessimistic. However, surplus #6 is out on the streets with a 4-29 closing date. There will be 75 First Officers surplused system wide from the 767 & 777 at various UA domiciles. The constant retro-flow of senior First Officers has a price and a consequence: where do they go? Generally, the 767 & 320. That's more trickle down.
I am not sure where this is all leading. As for the A320 deliveries, I am not sure how many UA will take this year. Does anyone know for sure? I keep hearing conflicting information on this?
Another United furloughee here. I believe the number of deliveries this year for UAL was 4 777s and 20 A320s. There were supposed to be something like 48 A320 deliveries next year but those were delayed until 2004 or later.
I agree for the most part with UALX727. except that I think UAL is a little fat on FOs right now so UAL will be able to absorb some of the retirements etc, but I also don't see stagnant growth for UAL. Supposedly UAL can operate 95% of the flights we had before 9/11 with our current fleet (after deliveries this year) by just utilizing more the aircraft we have.
I know it is easy to look at the glass as half empty during times like this especially when the person being most affected is you. I should know. I finished IOE two days before 9/11 and was looking forward to a uninterupted carrer with UAL. Then at 9:05 a.m. on 9/11 I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be furloughed. It was very depressing coming to work the next month I had left knowing that I was going to be without a job for the first time in my career, not exactly the way I envisioned my first month at a major airline. The worst part about being the first group of furloughees to hit the streets was the uncertainy that we would ever be recalled because of the dire predictions of many about the state of the airline industry and particularly United. Now that the "chicken little" scenario does not seem to be materializing (as long as things continue to improve) that fear has subsided somewhat. I remember when I was first furloughed I remembered telling my dad that I would not be recalled for 10 years. That is obviously a retarded statement now and I never really thought it would be that long but for some reason I think it is human nature (at least for me) to look at the worst case scenario when the world seems as if it crashing down on you.
After being out on the streets for six months, finding another flying job, and having the shock and disapointment of being furloughed subside I am able to look at things more objectively now, but I am still realisitc about the situation. I think I won't be back at UAL until 2004 or even 2005 ( I am like 20 from the bottom of the list). I hope you don't get furloughed, If there is anybody that hopes you don't it is me. The less people furloughed means less people to recall before they get to me. But if you do realize life goes on and the shock and disappointment will wear off. I compare it to the break up of a serious relationship except easier. It only took me a couple months to accept it and move on. Good luck.
UALX727, good post...well at least an optimistic post! But I certainly like reading anything that is optimistic. It's good to see you chime in. I've sort of thought about this at length too. I've also mentally projected, just as you have done, with the retirements. BUT, there's one BIG fly that I found in this ointment to your/my hopeful projections. UAL will push hard for "increased productivity" with the remaining pilot group that's still on the property. I've seen no shyness from some of those willing to pick up (AND JUSTIFY) extra time. This will certainly have an impact on the magnitude and time frame of any recalls. I believe that the recovery plan will hinge upon extracting more time, at current payrates, for the remaining pilot group. What do you think? In an overly simplistic fashion, and assuming that the UAL pilot force will be reduced (due to attrition) another 8% (apprx 800 pilots), in the next 24 months, then all you have to do is increase the avg hours worked by a similarly increasing percentage.
75 hours = 81 hours. 81 hours = 87.48 hours. In this fashion, UAL could effectively not change any hourly pay rate (satisfy the "NO concessions" stance), and yet increase their productivity to surpass that amount required as pilot attrition acrues. I have a feeling that that's what "they're" planning on doing. I hope it doesn't turn out this way, and I'd rather go with your previous assumptions. HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!!
"I've seen no shyness from some of those willing to pick up (AND JUSTIFY) extra time."
The SSC has reported that last month less than 50 hours of overtime was picked up throughout the entire system. That's 2/3 of a pilot on the street, but when you consider 9500 some pilots, this is still a pilot group that looks after its own.
Basically you've got some guys in their last three, and it's hard to argue with that.
I've seen a lot more furloughees here recently. Does everyone have access to the Compuserve UAL ALPA board? There's a lot of stuff going on over there. If not, I can get you the e-mail of the sysop.
If that's the only amount of "extra time" that's being picked up, then I'd say that it sounds like furloughees are in good shape on that one. Thanks for posting that information. Any sort of news like that is encouraging!
Deskflyer, very good point. I definitely could see how productivity gains given to the company could keep the furloughees out MUCH longer than I originally forecast. I hope that any "recovery plan" doesn't go in that direction.
I'm sure that when the talks begin, the company will try for this. However, I just cannot see how UAL ALPA would go for the idea without strings attached.....especially with pilots illegally furloughed by the company still out on the street. I think the only way UAL ALPA will go for the idea is that it be tied to some kind of recall of all United furloughees.......at least I hope so.
Maybe something like raising the guarantee 5 hours a month starting ONLY when the last furloughee is recalled. I'm sure there are many other scenarios that could be looked at. Otherwise, like you say, it will only keep us out that much longer.
Yeah, thats exactly what happened with "Blue Skies" back in 1981. United agreed to make the pilots the highest paid in the industry but they had to give up most of the work and productivity rules in order to get it and they took it. It kept all the furloughees out until the company became desperate and needed these pilots back in 1984-85 hoping they would cross the picket line when the company attempted to break the union. Lets hope history does not repeat itself.