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Aviation Industry Updates: August 30, 2022

By August 30, 2022September 6th, 2022Industry News

Mesa Airlines | Best Paid Regional Pilots In The Industry

  • The pilots at Mesa Airlines are about to be the best-paid in the regional airline industry.

  • The Phoenix-based regional airline, which operates the Canadair Regional Jet 900 for American Airlines and the Embraer 175 for United Airlines, will pay its first officers a starting rate of $100 per flight hour and its captains a starting rate of $150 per hour, the union representing its pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association, announced on Friday.
  • It’s the first regional airline to break the $100 per hour starting pay mark for first officers. In June, American Airlines sent shockwaves through the industry when agreements were reached with unions at its three wholly-owned regional airlines to start first officer pay at $90 per flight hour.
  • During the airline’s third-quarter earnings call earlier this month, Mesa’s longtime CEO, Jonathan Ornstein, said that his airline was losing pilots to American’s regional airlines.
  • Prior to this agreement, Mesa’s pilots were among the lowest paid in the regional industry. It’s a 118% pay hike for first-year first officers and a 172% hike for captains.
  • “With strong competition in the regional industry, today’s LOA offers the compensation Mesa needs to remain competitive and attract and retain experienced, qualified pilots,” Capt. Chris Gill, the chair of Mesa’s pilot union, said in a statement, referring to the letter of agreement signed between the union and the airline’s management. “We’re happy to see management and our partners recognize the value of Mesa pilots.”
  • The new rates take effect on Sept. 15. The deal is for two years, and the union is currently negotiating other aspects of its contract with Mesa.

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ExpressJet Pilots Being Offered CJO’s… Without An Interview

KEY POINTS:

  • Pilots from an airline that went bust this week are being offered new jobs at rival carriers without being interviewed first.
  • The decision reflects the intense competition for pilots as airlines continue to struggle to meet post-pandemic demand for air travel.
  • Ric Wilson of Envoy Airlines, an American Airlines subsidiary, said it would offer pilots from collapsed Georgia-based ExpressJet “conditional job offers with no interview”. Envoy operates flights under brands including American Eagle.
  • He was responding to a statement by another AA-owned regional airline, Piedmont, in which it said it would offer jobs to ExpressJet pilots as they were able to fly the Embraer planes it also operates.
  • ExpressJet filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, blaming ​​”market and economic conditions”.
  • Matt Kernan of Piedmont said pilots with five years’ experience at the failed airline, which operates in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, could earn at least $160 an hour by joining Piedmont.
  • “No one wants to see an airline fail, ever. We know that ExpressJet pilots are well-trained aviators who know the Embraer 145, and we are very pleased to make this transition as easy as possible for them,” Kernan said.

Business-Insider

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Airline Labor…99 Problems That Aren’t Going Away

KEY POINTS:

  • Whether there’s still a labor shortage in air travel depends on who you ask.
  • According to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, as of June, passenger airline employment in the U.S. was just 0.6 percent below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Some argue the industry was already dealing with a shortage before covid hit. “In 2019, there was a shortage of pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers,” said Bryan Del Monte, airline analyst and president of The Aviation Agency.
  • But the industry is also dealing with fewer flights, which means there shouldn’t be as much strain on the workforce.
  • “Our air traffic has not reached back to pre-pandemic levels yet,” said Sharon Pinkerton, the senior vice president of legislative and regulatory policy for the trade association Airlines for America (A4A).
  • For A4A carriers American, United, Southwest, Delta, Alaska, Hawaiian and JetBlue, Pinkerton says flights are still down 16 percent from 2019 levels, and the number of passengers is down 10 percent.

Washington Post

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Airline Complaints Up 270% From 2019

KEY POINTS:

  • The US Department of Transportation has revealed that air travel service complaints are up by nearly 270% compared with pre-pandemic levels. Complaints increased by a huge 34.9% from May to June alone.
  • The figures were revealed by the US Department for Transportation in its Air Travel Consumer Report, which is designed to assist consumers with information on the quality of services provided by airlines.
  • Customers have been left unimpressed with the service they’ve been receiving over the last year. Since a strong rebound in travel demand, airlines have struggled with labor shortages after letting staff go during the pandemic. Sadly, for consumers, this has meant an increase in delays, cancellations, and a sometimes-chaotic flying experience.
  • Despite the progress of the US aviation market in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of flights in June 2022 was only 85% of 2019 levels.
  • However, although fewer aircraft are flying, cancellations are up by 1.5%. For the first six months of 2022, the report also showed that the on-time arrival rate had worsened.
  • While the numbers were announced by a US body, this isn’t just an American issue. Of the 5,862 complaints received in June 2022, 57.7% were against US carriers, while 34.5% were against foreign air carriers. The remaining complaints were made against travel companies.
  • More than a quarter of the complaints were about flight problems – cancellations, delays, or other deviations from airlines’ schedules.

Alarmingly, almost a quarter of the complaints were about refunds, a topic that has made the headlines continuously for all the wrong reasons.

Simple Flying

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We Just Got A Pilot With A Gear Up Landing Hired At A Major

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