US Airline Labor Says Cyclical; Reality Says Secular

paulsalem

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William S. Swelbar is a Research Engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation, where he is affiliated with the Global Airline Industry Program and Airline Industry Research Consortium.

Prior to accepting his research position at MIT, Swelbar spent 25 years in the consulting world with a focus on airline labor cost restructuring, regulatory issues governing air transport, communication strategy and support, and air service development on behalf of airports and communities. In his consulting roles, Swelbar has represented airlines, airports, investors, manufacturers, and labor groups. He also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Hawaiian (Airlines) Holdings, Inc. and on an advisory board of a technology company that offers enterprise solutions to multiple industries including transportation.

Here is the rest
http://www.swelblog.com/swelbar/
 

jonjuan

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Sounds like he know what he's talking about.
 

Minimaniac

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Yes, let's increase the hours worked per month by pilots. "If these unproductive pilots would just start flying 90 hours a month, the companies could save sooo much. What, there is a limit to how much a pilot can fly? 90 hours times 12 months is, um, 1080 hours, and you say pilots can only fly 1000 hours per year? So everyone would time out before Christmas? Brilliant! Who wants to fund my next study?!"

I suppose to increase the productivity of these senior pilots, Delta should start tacking on an ATL- JAX round trip at each end of a NRT turn...

"Wages have been halved, pensions obliterated... I can't understand why these senior pilots aren't more productive! A 60 year old pilot should definitely work harder, and fly more trips across multiple time zones with less down time to recover each month. I mean, what is the point of putting in 30 years with a company if all you want to do is sit at home 18 days a month. Sheesh."
 

paulsalem

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Yes, let's increase the hours worked per month by pilots. "If these unproductive pilots would just start flying 90 hours a month, the companies could save sooo much. What, there is a limit to how much a pilot can fly? 90 hours times 12 months is, um, 1080 hours, and you say pilots can only fly 1000 hours per year? So everyone would time out before Christmas? Brilliant! Who wants to fund my next study?!"

I suppose to increase the productivity of these senior pilots, Delta should start tacking on an ATL- JAX round trip at each end of a NRT turn...

"Wages have been halved, pensions obliterated... I can't understand why these senior pilots aren't more productive! A 60 year old pilot should definitely work harder, and fly more trips across multiple time zones with less down time to recover each month. I mean, what is the point of putting in 30 years with a company if all you want to do is sit at home 18 days a month. Sheesh."
Read his bio, I'm pretty sure he is familiar with the 121 FAR flight time limits.
 
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Tail Gunner Joe

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[COLOR=#0066cc said:
Swelblog Archive[/COLOR];1861435]Is US airline labor ever going to get that featherbedding their own membership roles is actually hurting a smaller number of employees necessary to support a struggling industry?
Some beancounter telling pilots they don't need time off - now get back to rowing the slave ship. You can sleep when you are dead.
 

80drvr

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William S. Swelbar is a Research Engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation, where he is affiliated with the Global Airline Industry Program and Airline Industry Research Consortium.

Prior to accepting his research position at MIT, Swelbar spent 25 years in the consulting world with a focus on airline labor cost restructuring, regulatory issues governing air transport, communication strategy and support, and air service development on behalf of airports and communities. In his consulting roles, Swelbar has represented airlines, airports, investors, manufacturers, and labor groups. He also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Hawaiian (Airlines) Holdings, Inc. and on an advisory board of a technology company that offers enterprise solutions to multiple industries including transportation.

Here is the rest
http://www.swelblog.com/swelbar/
Follow the money....

Current members of the Airline Industry Consortium include:
Air Canada
Air Transport Association of America
Airports Council International - North America
Amadeus s.a.s.
American Airlines
American Express
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Jeppesen Systems
Lufthansa German Airlines
SITA
United Airlines
 

ualdriver

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Is US airline labor ever going to get that featherbedding their own membership roles is actually hurting a smaller number of employees necessary to support a struggling industry?

I think the last statement in his article pretty much sums up his biased position. Basically, as pilots, he expects us to forgo raises in order to help prop up the airline industry- AGAIN. After a decade of huge increases in pensions, trashed work rules, and huge cuts in pay....hey airline pilots! You're crazy for wanting raises those silly inflationary raises! Like the past 10 years resemble featherbedding in any sense of the word for the vast majority of us.

He does make some good points about the airlines' seniority based systems and cost cutting, but that's a disadvantage shared by all airlines across the industry, so it's not like one airline is gaining advantage over another because of this, like some airlines did with employee salaries back in the 90's/00's.

Just another typical, anti-union, anti-pilot rant from an airline board member.
 

bluechunks

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Just another typical, anti-union, anti-pilot rant from an airline board member.
Bingo. It's so transparent that it is almost sad. Note his bio from the Hawaiian Airlines website:

William S. Swelbar
Director

Mr. Swelbar has been a member of our Board of Directors since November 2005. Mr. Swelbar is president and co-founder of Eclat Consulting, an economic and strategic planning firm serving clients across the spectrum of the commercial aviation industry – airports, airlines, investors, states, and aerospace/aeronautics corporations (2001 to present). He has held senior positions with several aviation consulting firms over his 22 year career. Mr. Swelbar currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of MIT’s Global Airline Industry Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from The George Washington University.​

In Swelbar's search for efficiencies nowhere did he suggest that stockholders, aircraft manufacturers, financiers, suppliers, refineries, airports, airline managements, or airline directors adjust to the 'new reality' of air transport revenue as a percent of GDP and lower their costs. After all, if the only thing that matters is tracking expenses with GDP, they'll all need a haircut too. But he won't suggest that because those constituencies are the paid customers for his consulting work.

Make no mistake: this is not about money, it's about money.
 
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PeanuckleCRJ

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He's missing one huge factor: he's comparing airline labor in this recession to the cutbacks of other professions during this recession. The fact is, airline labor has already been decimated to the breaking point from earlier this decade. Everyone else is just semi-catching up.
 

cybourg10

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“if the revenue-to-GDP ratio had stayed where it was pre-2001, the airlines would have raked in an additional $27 billion in revenue in the year ended in March.”

That is an amazing statistic and one giant reason the legacies have taken such a huge hit in pay and quality of life. Raise the GD fares!
 

jonjuan

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That is an amazing statistic and one giant reason the legacies have taken such a huge hit in pay and quality of life. Raise the GD fares!
They can't.
 

jonjuan

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Because.........?
Clients won't pay it. Try it and see what happens. If they raise, they'll push more revenue to JBLU, WN, AAI, and Song.
 

bluechunks

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Anyone consider he might be right?
Nope.

He is right only in the sense that the general economics have changed, he is very wrong in his belief that the pilots are the primary ones to shoulder the responsibility. If a fundamental change has occurred, and it probably has, where are all the other cost re-alignments? After all, pilot expenses are only a fraction of total operating costs for any airline.

It's all about money and his solution to the problem is focused only in one direction: not his.

I'd suggest that in the past 10 years, or at least since 9/11, pilots have experienced a greater share of the cuts than the constituencies that he is paid to represent. This is all an argument about money. Period.
 
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