Few doubt that the new rules governing pilot duty time and first officer qualifications will challenge human resource departments at regional airlines throughout the U.S. But to a nation that depends on regional airlines for some 50 percent of its flights, the extent to which the new regulations will affect the supply of pilots and service to small communities remains largely underappreciated, much to the frustration of the Regional Airline Association and its members.
CitationAir last month asked all of its remaining 32 pilots on furlough to return to work. The Greenwich, Conn.-based fractional provider placed 85 pilots on furlough in 2009 to right-size the business and be in line with customer demand during the economic recession, thereby cutting the company’s pilot force to 307 people.
CitationAir said yesterday that it has asked all of its remaining 32 pilots on furlough to return to work. The Greenwich, Conn.-based fractional provider placed 85 pilots on furlough in 2009 to right-size the business and be in line with customer demand during the economic recession, thereby cutting the company’s pilot force to 307 people.
Pinnacle Airlines CEO Phil Trenary last month placed the responsibility with his pilots for moving forward with contract talks after the ALPA-represented group failed to ratify an agreement to amend their labor contract this fall. The sides had negotiated for some four-and-a-half years before the group’s Master Executive Council (MEC) this summer approved a tentative contract, which the pilots voted down.
A voluntary furlough-mitigation program collaboratively formed in April by NetJets and its pilot union, the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), has averted layoffs and furloughs. “Through innovative and purely voluntary measures, NetJets has been able to align our pilot and other areas of our workforce to match our current owner demand levels,” NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli told AIN.
Continental Airlines last month said it would end all pilot furloughs this year to stem excessive pilot-training costs at its Continental Express subsidiary. A “flow-through” agreement negotiated in ConEx’s pilot contract in 1998 allows furloughed mainline pilots to bid for positions at the regional airline.
Flight Options pilots work eight days on, seven days off, a schedule that for the most part is popular with crews. The schedule at Raytheon Travel Air had pilots working six days on and four days off. Company founder Kenn Ricci, a former corporate pilot himself, claims his pilots are the most highly compensated in the frax industry, and in his view “our best pilot is a displaced flight-department pilot.
Ron flies a Gulfstream IV based at Dallas Love Field and he loves his job–most of the time. But the 42-year-old married father of two young children has found the on-demand culture of delivering teams of executives, who make decisions on a dime, is wreaking havoc with his family life.
Even under ideal circumstances, hiring pilots for a corporate operation is arduous. But when there’s a shortage of qualified pilots, the situation becomes even more difficult. Add in a slumping economy and stir in a liberal measure of the September 11 turmoil that has planted hordes of airline pilots on the street looking for work, and the decision about whom to hire can be overwhelming to even diehard aviation department managers.
The two U.S. pilots–Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino–involved in a fatal midair between an ExcelAire Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 above the Amazon jungle in September 2006 will be allowed to testify in a criminal trial from the U.S.
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