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Aviation Industry Updates: July 5, 2022

By July 5, 2022July 12th, 2022Industry News

United Pilots Rethink 14.5% Pay Raise After American Ups Their Contract Game

  • The new proposed tentative agreement for American pilots has United pilots talking another look at their own tentative contract agreement.

  • The review came Friday night, after American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said that American has offered its pilots pay raises totaling nearly 17% in a new contract. American’s offer was first reported by CNBC.
  • Six days earlier, the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association and the airline reached a tentative agreement including pay raises of 14.5% within 18 months. United has 14,000 pilots.
  • “The MEC is aware of the offer made by American Airlines to the Allied Pilots Association,’ said the master executive council of the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, in a letter to members.
  • “We are collecting information regarding the (American) offer, and the MEC will meet in special session next week to consider the impact it has on our TA,” United MEC said in the letter. “We will carefully consider all available options and, until we have greater clarity, we will suspend the town hall meetings, P2P deployments, and other presentations related to the 2022 (tentative agreement.)

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American Scheduling Glitch Allows Pilots To Dump Thousands of July Flights

KEY POINTS:

  • A glitch in a scheduling platform allowed American Airlines pilots to drop thousands of July assignments overnight Saturday, their union said, a headache for the airline as it tries to minimize flight disruptions during a booming travel season.
  • American said it didn’t expect the problem to affect its operation, including during the busy July Fourth holiday weekend. The union and airline are now discussing additional pay for pilots whose dropped trips the airline reinstated, the Allied Pilots Association said.
  • “As a result of this technical glitch, certain trip trading transactions were able to be processed when it shouldn’t have been permitted,” the airline said in a statement. “We already have restored the vast majority of the affected trips and do not anticipate any operational impact because of this issue.”
  • More than 12,000 July flights lacked either a captain, first officer, or both, after pilots dropped assignments, the Allied Pilots Association said Saturday. APA said the airline reinstated about 80% of the trips.

CNBC

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Pilot Shortage Adds to Summer Chaos

KEY POINTS:

  • High gas prices. Bad weather. Too many people traveling.
    Those are some of the factors causing travel chaos this summer, but a shortage of pilots that has been brewing for years has also added strain to the industry.
  • “The problem at airlines is, when you’re short on ramp staff, when you’re short on ops agents, it just delays flights,” Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said. “But when you don’t have a pilot, they are canceled or delayed for hours as pilots are moved into position to move that airplane.”
  • During the pandemic, thousands of pilots took early retirement packages, and because of disruptions in pilot training programs, there were also fewer people joining the industry.
  • This exacerbated an existing problem, as the pipeline of new pilots was already too low before the virus hit, according to Faye Malarkey Black, who leads the Regional Airline Association (RAA).
  • “This is something that we’ve been warning about for over a decade and certainly the pandemic has made it worse, but I really want to emphasize we’ve got to get away from the notion that the pilot shortage is just following the pandemic,” Black said.

NPR

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Breeze Takes A Beating

KEY POINTS:

  • Breeze Airways, the year-old startup from JetBlue founder David Neeleman, is encountering some major growing pains.
  • The airline has postponed the launch of numerous new routes and markets, citing staffing shortages and supply chain constraints.
  • The cuts, first spotted by Twitter user @IshrionA and confirmed by TPG, include the airline’s debut out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which had been scheduled to begin this week with three routes.
  • Breeze will not “wet lease” aircraft — an arrangement where the company leases a plane and the operating crew — in order to cover any of the affected routes, a spokesperson said.
  • “While we understand how disruptive this has been, we feel it’s best to let our Guests know sooner than later so they can make alternate plans,” a spokesperson for Breeze said in a statement. “By postponing some new routes for several months, we’ll greatly ease congestion and delays, and return to a reliable and efficient operation.”
  • Nevertheless, passengers scheduled for the flights expressed their frustration to TPG.
  • “It’s hard to have confidence booking with them now, which is unfortunate as a Charleston resident previously excited by all the new destinations,” Dan Greenstein, a TPG reader, said in an email. “Much fanfare was made of their new routes months ago, but things seem to be quiet of them removing a lot of these from the schedule.”

The Points Guy

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