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Aviation Industry Updates: August 23, 2022

By August 23, 2022August 30th, 2022Industry News

American Airlines Pilots Seek 20% Pay Raise

  • American Airlines’14,600 pilots are seeking a 20.4% pay raise over three years, as well as improved scheduling because “they’ve been running my pilots ragged,” the pilot union’s recently elected president said Thursday.

  • “If it’s less than 20%, I don’t think our pilots would accept it,” said Ed Sicher, a Miami-based Boeing 737 captain who took office as president of the Allied Pilots Association in July. Sicher said he thinks the airline would accept the 20.4% number, but retroactive pay remains an issue.
  • The existing contract became amendable in January 2020. APA has proposed a contract with raises of 10% in the first year, 5% in the second, and 5% in the third, plus retroactive pay.
  • Sicher visited Charlotte on Thursday for a meeting of APA leaders. “In order to create schedule certainty and reliability in the fall and winter holiday schedules, management needs to get a tentative agreement in the next 30 to 60 days,” he said in an interview. “Right now, things are moving.”

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United Eyes Airbus and Boeing Jets for First Widebody Order in 4 Years

KEY POINTS:

  • While the size and timing of a potential order are unknown, United executives told pilots in a town hall earlier in August that they are “looking at widebody requirements and opportunities now and may have recommendations later this year.” A deal could include replacements for United’s Boeing 767 and older 777 fleets, they noted.
  • Any deal would come on the heels of Boeing resuming 787 deliveries earlier in August after a more than year-long hiatus due to production quality issues. And a year-and-a-half after United placed a massive 270 aircraft order for Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737 Max planes.
  • United’s oldest widebodies are its 38 767-300ERs with an average age of 25.9 years, and its 19 777-200s with 24.5 years at the end of December, according to its latest fleet plan. The carrier’s 16 767-400ERs and 55 777-200ERs are also on average more than 20 years old.
  • “We are developing an increased maximum takeoff weight plan for the 787-9 and 787-10 that will add additional value for our customers with even greater efficiency, flexibility and capability,” a Boeing spokesperson said. “We are currently working to incorporate this offering into production and are communicating with our customers on timing.”

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Air Wisconsin Ditches United for American

KEY POINTS:

  • Starting no later than March, the regional will switch from United Airlines to American Airlines, American announced Monday.
  • The new agreement, known in the industry as a capacity purchase agreement, will cover up to 60 of the 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet 200 aircraft based at American’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) hub in Chicago — not far from Air Wisconsin’s base in Appleton, Wisconsin. The initial agreement is for 40 CRJs to ramp up between March and October, with the possibility to add 20 more aircraft, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new agreement also leaves open a nonbinding possibility of Air Wisconsin operating the larger CRJ-700 aircraft.
  • “Our wholly owned and partner regional carriers strengthen our network by providing safe, reliable and convenient service from small- and medium-size communities to our hubs,” Derek Kerr, American’s chief financial officer, said in a note to American’s staff. “They supply the right equipment to meet customer demand across all cities in our network. Air Wisconsin and its 1,100 team members will be a fantastic addition to the American Eagle family.”
  • Monday’s announcement means Air Wisconsin will end its latest flying agreement with United — the airline that it has been most closely associated with throughout the years. At one point, United even owned the regional carrier.

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