Print from discussion forum

Topic: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-15 15:42:42 and read 2171 times.


ATLANTA, GA, April 15, 1999 -- Delta Air Lines today announced it has agreed with The Boeing Company to defer indefinitely deliveries of four Boeing 777-200 aircraft previously scheduled for delivery to Delta between December 1999 and April 2000. Delta said arrangements were made with Boeing to replace the deferred 777s with four 767-300ER aircraft to be delivered beginning in the spring of 2000.

Delta said three related factors compelled the company to make the decision at this time:

In order for Boeing to maintain production schedules, Delta was required to inform Boeing this week of its intention to either take delivery of, or defer/replace, these aircraft.

Delta said the airline and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) remain far apart on both their practical and philosophical positions in current 777 pilot pay and work rule negotiations. Therefore, it is unlikely that a tentative agreement and subsequent pilot ratification of necessary contract provisions could be completed in time for these 777 to be included in Delta's winter schedule. ALPA has indicated to Delta its pilots likely would invoke a contractual provision and refuse to operate the 777 after November 1 without an agreement.

In order to take delivery of the four 777s, Delta must have the assurance that the aircraft could be placed into service on Delta's winter schedule, which will be placed into computer reservations systems worldwide on August 1, 1999. Serious doubt about the company's ability to place the aircraft into service as scheduled for the winter months could create an unacceptable customer service disruption.

Delta said that both the customer service and the financial implications of parking a fleet of international aircraft scheduled for service would be intolerable. The airline said it intended not to subject its customers to the risk of being stranded or displaced as a result of disrupted service on the 777. In addition, the company will not put any aircraft into commercial service that does not produce an adequate financial return to Delta. All aircraft operating costs, including pilot labor costs, are important financial considerations.

Delta stressed that it remains hopeful a competitive and mutually agreeable solution can be reached in ongoing negotiations with its pilots to enable the 777 to play a significant strategic role with the airline in the future. Delta's current offer is for industry-leading rates of pay for 777 pilots, and ALPA's current offer is 47 percent higher than Delta's industry-leading offer.

Delta has taken delivery of two 777-200 aircraft, and five more are already in production. The airline said it intends to operate the two 777s already in its fleet through the summer schedule. Delta is considering various alternatives beyond this summer regarding those aircraft and the five others in production.

Delta, named Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine, is the world's most flown carrier. More than 105 million passengers traveled on Delta in 1998. Delta, Delta Express, the Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers and Delta's Worldwide Partners operate 5,316 flights each day to 352 cities in 58 countries.

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: AF777
Posted 1999-04-15 16:17:55 and read 2169 times.

HOW SAD!!!!!

Oh well, economics always takes precidence

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: CX747
Posted 1999-04-15 16:28:31 and read 2169 times.

Does anyone think that DL will sell their 777s after a while? Sounds like the same type of things that happened with their 747 fleet in the 70's and 80's.

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: 777Rules
Posted 1999-04-15 17:01:38 and read 2169 times.

Sure? Tha's is quite sad...

Where did yo get this article?

Topic: NowWait Just One Minute!
Username: Navion
Posted 1999-04-15 17:42:11 and read 2169 times.

Delta is not getting rid of their 777's!!!! This issue has nothing to do with the aircraft but everything to do with the pilots and labor negotiations as well as near term requirements to commit for the winter schedule software the type of aircraft they will be flying. LETS STOP ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF OLD LADIES AND GOSSIPING AND SPECULATING RECKLESSLY.
Delta's 777's perform wonderfully and they are perfect for the routes planned. Delta needs this class of aircraft and I predict they will not only take all of this order but will in fact end up taking all of their options and eventually ordering more. In the meantime, these little financial and administrative nuisances will be ironed out while this great aircraft with it's great performance keeps on flying.
Make no mistake, if there were no hangups with the pilots, these aircraft would be taken now but it is only because of the hangup that the other factor of the winter scheduling committment came up.
Let's all get back to talking about better things (which each of you who have responded to this posting do very well).

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-15 17:50:15 and read 2169 times.

I received it via e-mail, but I also found the story here:

Topic: RE: Crazy Pilots
Username: DL757
Posted 1999-04-15 17:56:20 and read 2169 times.

I think the pilots unions in the US are getting way to strong and out of touch with reality!

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: NYC Int'l
Posted 1999-04-15 18:14:45 and read 2169 times.

Another Pilots union willing to hurt its airline? Delta, on the outside looking in as two huge alliances are forged, cannot afford to have its pilot union put the cuffs on the airlines plans for growth and expansion. Playing such games will in the end hurt the Delta employees more than anyone. Delta is slipping on pax lists as far as favorites airlines go, they can ill afford to begin to having AA type labour problems.


Topic: RE: NowWait Just One Minute!
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-15 18:24:43 and read 2170 times.

You are correct, Navion, this news is NOT about Delta getting dumping their 777's but instead it's airline management sending a message to the pilot's union (ALPA). If you'll recall, in 1996, contract negotiations became quite sticky at Delta, and the pilots' union actually began informational picketing in preparation for a strike. This was just before the Olypmics were to be held in Atlanta and the LAST thing Delta management wanted was to be shut down with an event as big and hyped (Delta was an olympic sponsor) as the Olympics happening right in their corporate headquarters' backyard. So, they somehow managed to get a contract signed with the union without giving in to the union's biggest demand....A voting seat on the board of directors. Since that contract was ratified, however, there have been some new devolpments. Several moves by Delta management have irritated the pilots again, and there is a new boss at Delta (Leo Mullin), who's primary background and experience is the financial side of how to run a business. The current contract will be "up" at the end of this year. It "appears" this little spat between the union and Delta over how much to pay their 777 pilots is a primer for a renewed ALPA demand for a seat on the Board. The union is "testing" Mullin's resolve and tactics in handling contract disputes so they can formulate their tactics for next year's negotiations. It also gives the pilots a better feel for how to read Mullin's responses to their actions and get a feel for his resolve.

Delta's move here was simply to conserve money while this issue gets hammered out. If the pilots refuse to fly the aircraft (citing a contract disagreement), then why have brand new high dollar investments parked on the ramp? The deferment is only Delta's way to add in some buffer time to allow for the pay issues to be ironed out during the year 2000 contract negotiations. I also fully expect to "eventually" see the 777s delivered to Delta. For now they are just saying "Hey, if you are threatening to not fly this aircraft, then we'll just delay our pending orders and resolve this in next year's contract negotiations." If you "read between the lines" of that announcement, Delta is practically saying that parking their two new 777s after November 1, 1999 is an option they would consider.

Topic: RE: NowWait Just One Minute!
Username: Mirage
Posted 1999-04-15 18:43:28 and read 2169 times.

You should mention your source in the end of the article.
It's copyright protected material.

Topic: RE: Crazy Pilots
Username: Delta727
Posted 1999-04-15 19:21:45 and read 2170 times.

I can't curse in this forum so I'll have to take a deep breath before replying.

If you looked at the contract history over the last 10 years at Delta, adjust the rates for the cost of living and extra productivity it can make for the company, you'd think that our contract opener was fair, in fact, almost a bargain.

You have to keep in mind that if a company could get away with paying minimum wage to fly the 777s, and if the pilots let them, they surely would.

No one ever second guesses a plastic surgeon with a six-figure salary, a dentist or even a sports star but when we're getting less than $1/seat per flight, we're pretty cheap labor.

Doug Taylor
Delta Pilot

Topic: RE: Mirage
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-15 19:50:42 and read 2169 times.

Actually, Mirage, the text I posted was directly from a Delta Press release someone e-mailed to me from within Delta. I don't believe any company formally copyrights their press releasesso that the Press (or anyone else) is allowed unrestricted republication of the release (like I did here). The link I posted later probably is a "copyrighted" version since it was "re-published" by Yahoo, but that was not where I copied the text from.

Topic: JetWash
Username: Mirage
Posted 1999-04-15 20:08:47 and read 2169 times.

JetWash, I don't want to make a big deal from this. I just think it's better if we all refer our sources, just this.
Sorry for anything.

Luis, Faro, Portugal

Topic: RE: JetWash
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-15 20:25:37 and read 2169 times.

I agree with you and I should have indicated my "original" source form the start. My apologies in return.

Topic: RE: Delta Defers 777 Deliveries
Username: DLAIR
Posted 1999-04-15 23:24:01 and read 2169 times.

WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO DO THAT?!?!?!?!?! First off, the 777 is a MUCH better airplane than the 767-300ER. As a DL frequent flyer, I am VERY disappointed to see this. And just to let you know, that was taken off Deltas web site press release section

Boston, New York, London

Topic: Cost-cutting Delta
Username: FirstClass!
Posted 1999-04-16 01:44:15 and read 2169 times.

Sooner or later Delta's cost-cutting tactics will hurt the airline. I stated that in an earlier post and it seems as though there is starting to be an effect with the 777 pilots. I am not saying the airline is unprofitable. Yes, I understand that Delta is one of the most profitable companies in Corporate America but now, Leo Mullin has taken too many advantages with this. Just my opinion.

Topic: Who Do Pilots Think They Are?
Username: ERAU
Posted 1999-04-16 03:45:47 and read 2169 times.

Pilots need to stop and think when they give altimatums like the Delta pilots gave Delta over the 777. In an age when pilots are required to do less and less in the cockpit they are asking for more and more money, this does not make sense at all.

Also Pilots, and no unionized labor force in any airline for that matter has the right to call a sick out putting many other employees of that airline out of work and many passengers without means of travel. I am so glad that the American Airlines pilots are required to pay 45 million dollars in damages for there sick out.

Pilots are too greedy and as a result other airline labor groups are getting screwed over in their pay which should be much higher than they are now.

Topic: RE: Cost-cutting Delta
Username: Delta727
Posted 1999-04-16 04:21:12 and read 2170 times.

it's not cost cutting. The fact is that if we and the company couldn't agree on pay rates by a certain date, the union had the right to 'park' the 777s until we could agree on rates. So instead of parking 10 777's, the company deferred deliveries and took the ER's early.

Just a tactic. Enjoy the show.


Topic: RE: Who Do Pilots Think They Are?
Username: Delta727
Posted 1999-04-16 04:35:41 and read 2169 times.

And you're an ERAU grad? My fellow alumnus, once you see how "little" is done in an airliner, I hope you remember that statement you made.

Anyhow, let me tell a quick "story". I was a starving CFI back in 1995 and I got offered a job at Skyway Airlines whose starting salary was $14,000/year. I thought "big deal! I'm just flying from point A to point B, I have no students to teach and I'm getting all of that multi-engine turbine time, no problem!"

That lasted for about two flights before I realized how much work being an airline pilot actually is. Up in the midwest, you can fly for days without seeing the sun. Either you're dodging thunderstorms or loading-on ice onto the wings. There's days when I flew over 8 hours, with almost as many hours in IMC, did 5 approaches to 1800 RVR, a missed approach and a diversion to boot. Being a pilot is very demanding work.

Plus then, you have to handle passengers, dispatchers, doublecheck their paperwork, doublecheck yours and repeat the whole process for 8 to 10 legs five days a week. Not including training on your off days.

Keep in mind that all of this is for a income that you can make at McDonalds.

Now I'm responsible for hundreds of passengers, in and out of high density airports, and some small airports like Boise, through all sorts of weather and aircraft malfunctions (believe me, they happen) and the pay should correspond to the level of responsibility you have.

A pilot makes a mistake and my parents lose a son, my girlfriend loses her boyfriend and Delta loses a $60 million aircraft, is exposed to billions of dollars in pending lawsuits and lots of people die. That's a fact.

If you think airline pilots are overpaid and underworked, just what would think that UAL Captain Al Haynes (United 232/DC-10) should earn per year?

If anyone thinks I'm full of it, I'd more than welcome a personal response.

Doug Taylor
Delta Pilot.

Topic: RE: Who Do Pilots Think They Are?
Username: L-188
Posted 1999-04-16 05:15:47 and read 2169 times.

I wanted to tag this comment on.

If anybody what to see an graphic example how having an owner or CEO who is a beancounter and couldn't care if he was running an airline or a taco chain. Read the book, Tiger Tales.

Flying Tigers was destroyed because from the time that Bob Prescott died to their disolution, there were stuck with management who didn't care what they ran.

I hope Delta isn't falling in the same trap.

Topic: RE: Who Do Pilots Think They Are?
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-16 12:01:14 and read 2170 times.

Doug, You made it sound like Delta is trying to force minumum wages on the pilots to fly the 777, so I did a little checking. If you'll go to this article;

It says that Delta is offering to pay 777 captains $236.36 an hour ($212,724 a year) before overtime or other add-ons. It says this is 4% HIGHER than any other carrier with the 777 is paying their 777 captains. But the union is "demanding" $346.44 an hour ($311,796 a year).

I understand and agree with high pay for high stress, but this sure smacks of greed to me! I thought part of Boeing's standardized plans for the cockpit layouts would reduce the amount of training needed to change from one aircraft type to another, so, for example, the workload compared between a 767 and a 777 should be very similar, right? And then there's the actual flight plan issue. I also believe these planes are destined for long haul international routes, with hours and hours between take-offs/landings, like maybe only one take-off/landing per day. While the smaller planes for the domestic routes can see from 3-5 take-offs/landings per day, but they are the pilots making the lower pay. As a consumer, this seems backwards to me. To pay the busier, and more task saturated positions (3-5 takeoffs/landings of 2-4 hour flights per day) MUCH less than the slower paced positions (1 or 2 at most takeoffs/landings per day with one leg being from 8-14 hours). Isn't the hardest part of being a commercial pilot the take-off/landing part where you have pattern traffic and negotiating lower altitude clearances (just as you explained), which you don't have on the long hual flights? Please explain this apparent conflict in pay justification!

Topic: RE: Who Do Pilots Think They Are?
Username: Delta727
Posted 1999-04-16 14:10:30 and read 2170 times.

No problem!

I'd post an article from our DALPA website but it'll just be easier to paraphrase it.

United parked the 747-400's during the early delivery dates because of a disagreement with management over the pay scales. In the meantime, they negotiated quickly and established 777-200 pay rates. UAL's 777 rates are horribly inadequate (and ask any UAL 777 pilot, he'll agree), especially when it comes to FO rates.

When AMR and the APA locked horns over their 777 rates, they based it on a small percentage over UAL's rates. Now DAL management wants to give us a few cents over the AMR 777 rate.

Sure it's more than AMR, but if you compare the 777 12-year captain pay rate compared to the 1989 (or so) L1011-500 rates -adjusted- for 1999 dollars, ALPA is actually asking for less money to fly a larger, more efficient aircraft. Also keep in mind that pilots are paid a slight premium for flying a 2-pilot international aircraft opposed to a 3-piilot international aircraft.


Topic: Reply To Delta727 Commets
Username: Al Welk
Posted 1999-04-16 16:41:36 and read 2171 times.

One problem with unions, not just ALPA, is that there are times that they fight for the Union and not their employees group. The Delta pilots have a union who is looking for a fight. I spoke with a union rep a while back on the 737 pay rates. He and I agreed that "... if the pilots knew all the details of the companies offer they would willingly accept the offer. His reply was; "Oh yes in a heart beat! But we've had our Vietnam (refering to the last contract) now we want a Pursian Gulf."

Delta, and other airlines, are getting intense pressure from the US regard to the "Passenger Bill of Right". When a crew member diverts over a bunk or a union parks a major protion of the US international commerce the US will be getting involved. Delta, can not afford to place themselves in that situation. The Delta MEC Chairman was briefed last week friday about pending decision. He knew that Delta had a very short window to act with Boeing.

The openers have been on the table since Feb 10th(?) with no progess at all. Leo Mullin has openly stated that Delta will be the hightest paid employee group in the industy. Delta has offered 2% over the highest rates (AA). A 12yr Capt at $236.36/FO $161.43. The union has opened with $339.94/242.30. plus esentially go back to work rules lost in the previous agreement. You can add night pay, nav pay vacation rules etc on to those rates.

The union always brings up the "we so far behind inflation" No one is paid at inflation adjusted rates. That leads to triple didget inflation rates that you have in South American countries.

The union wants the 777 FO to make 71.3% of the Capt rates. "Delta272" claims that the percentage is needed because it is only a 2 man cockpit. The current FO rates are 67.8% on the L10(3man) and 68.3% on all the other international cockpits. Where does the 3% difference come from?

The union has every right to ask for work rule changes as well as rates of pay. Those work rule changes were a major part of ALPA's 27 page opener. The company has offered to open up the work rules and the entire contract early to all employees IF the union agrees to rates of pay on the 777

The union always beats on the "B" scale issue. If that is such an issue why will they allow a contract that will create another elite employee group receiving substantially better work rules?

It is great to have representation, but under the Railway labor act the company cannot address many issues directly to the employees. The becoome accused of negotiating directly with the employee and union busting. The employee is limited to the union for any information. When the union does not profer all the information they control the events.

Cockpit duties:

I agree 100% with Delta727 on the cockpit work load. Yes, comercial aircraft are in some respects easier to fly with the levels of automation. That is great when everything works. All that can fall apart very fast.

The other major issue is not with cockpit work load, but the responsibilites that have increased. When you have an agency (FAA) whose sole function is to make rules you end up with never ending regualtions and changes to those regulations. When you can lose a months pay because a passenger stands in the isle while your pushing back or taxiing somethings wrong! That passenger may have just stood in a subway at 40MPH!

I called the FAA twice on difficult issues, non alcoholic beer and an approach in DCA. What a zoo! The FSDO could not give me an answer on the beer (this is when they just started comming out) It boiled down to "you can not consume, as a beverage ......any alcohol...." but you can put Jack Danials on your Cheerio's because then it's not a beverage.

DCA had an approach that was illigal. By strict definition it had 2 published missed approaches. Which one should be flown? The FAA reply was quite being so paranoid fly which ever one you like. DCA is operating under so many waviers it just doesn't matter!

Enough Said!

Topic: RE: Backwards?
Username: JetWash
Posted 1999-04-16 18:34:02 and read 2172 times.

Doug, I still didn't see where your answer explains why a domestic flight crew with the higher stress and higher workload for 3-5 legs of 2-4 hour flights per day is paid FAR less than an international flight crew only flying a single 8-14 hour leg? To me this seems completely backwards. What could probably be the rationale for paying less for the more demanding and stressful position?

Topic: Someday...
Username: ERAU
Posted 1999-04-16 20:27:14 and read 2169 times.

will pilots ever get payed for the hours they fly and not a minute more?, like at Southwest.

To answer Delta727s question, no im not an ERAU graduate, im still in high school.

Topic: RE: Someday...
Username: Delta727
Posted 1999-04-16 20:43:56 and read 2170 times.

Well, airline pilots are actually paid by the minute, not by the hour.

But we always refer to pay in hourly rates.

Doug Taylor
Delta Pilot

Topic: Dal & 777's
Username: Chris
Posted 1999-04-17 02:47:04 and read 2169 times.

It is a little unfortunate that DAL has to defer
the delivery of its 777's. They are beautiful
aircrafts and in the new livery, they look even
better! I do think, though, that the pilots should
be flying because they like flying. Of course,
people do need to make money and a living, but
if I were a pilot, I would fly simply because I
love to fly. And the 777, who could refuse to fly the ever-so-brilliant 777???

The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of or any entity associated with

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.