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Will UA / Others Outsource All Their Maintenance?  
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9810 posts, RR: 52
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4201 times:

A quote from a few years ago implied that United was going to outsource its large heavy maintenance facility in San Francisco.

United Airlines is considering selling a stake in or perhaps spinning off its entire maintenance division, which includes the sprawling facility at San Francisco International Airport where nearly 3,000 people are employed, a spokeswoman for the airline said Thursday.
Images

The potential sale would be to a third party "who can invest in maintenance, repair and overhaul operations," said United Airlines spokeswoman Jean Medina, with the aim of "working to improve our efficiency and be more productive."


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...gi?f=/c/a/2007/08/24/BUUIRO9D2.DTL

Do you think that UA will go ahead and fully outsource and sell off the SFO base. It is a huge base with a lot of employees. Is outsourcing maintenance a good idea and will it provide adequate coverage to ensure the safety of the fleet? Will quality remain? Are they thinking of outsourcing because of the unions. What will happen to maintenance done in house at airlines in addition to United like AA with its huge base in Tulsa?


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26136 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

Well most of the heavy maintenance at United is already outsourced. B744 in Korea, 777 in China, 757/767 in GSO and Airbus at couple locations.

UA has repeatedly including recently said they are looking to monetize assets they hold including the SFO maintenance base and Denver training facility.

Franky SFO having hung around this long surprises me. Its by no means a low cost town to do business in. I suppose its sale has been held up by the global economic malaise and credit crunch. Maybe now with things loosening, UA can strike a deal with someone.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9700 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4046 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
Franky SFO having hung around this long surprises me. Its by no means a low cost town to do business in. I suppose its sale has been held up by the global economic malaise and credit crunch. Maybe now with things loosening, UA can strike a deal with someone.

I'm not sure who would want it.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
AA with its huge base in Tulsa?

AA has a very good(ok has a GREAT) union that has done a dang fine job of saving jobs. Plus the way the overhauls work in Tulsa are quick and cheap. AA is the only airline that has figured out that letting others do work cost them more time and money long term. Plus AA has all kinds of floor space to do more thrid party work.
Delta has a large base in Atlanta but all of the fleets HMVs are done by 3rd party. 767s in HKG, 757s in SAT, M80s in DHN and GDL. I assume the M90s are done by the same people who do the 88s. The 777s and 737s don't get HMVs they are a deeper PSV which TechOps does. The winglet mods for the 737s are done at TectOps. So far the 767s have been done at GSO. Most of the DAL-S fleet gets painted in Atlanta unless they get backed up then Boeing/goodrich will do it. Delta over the years has given up floor space and is really tight in Atlanta. They have started moving 3rd party work(TechOps is the largest 3rd party company in the US) to the other hangars like CVG. DL has hangars in ATL,CVG,SLC,DTW,MSP and BOS. In the last 8 years they have dumped hangars in ATL(old Eastern hangar),DFW(IIRC AA took it), TPA,ORD,LAX(Though Delta does use it on day by day leases from LAWA.), BOS(NW had one and DL had one when they mergered they moved into the old Ua hangar and dumped the other two) and ANC.

Also note AA has hangars in AFW,DFW,TUL,ORD,MCI,LAX,JFK,BOS,MIA(and this one is a beautiful hangar.....its exPA and its pretty cool looking). IIRc they have them in DCA,LGA and SFO also but im not 100% sure. Also not sure about STL.



yep.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26136 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4005 times:



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
I'm not sure who would want it.

Some large global MRO's might want a(or additional) US shop. Possibly in return for a long term contract from UA.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4003 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
UA has repeatedly including recently said they are looking to monetize assets they hold including the SFO maintenance base and Denver training facility.

The Denver training facility (DENTK) is something that I would HATE to see go. I have an office at DENTK (my position has nothing to do with training its just a satellite office I can use when I can't commute into WHQ) and that facility is full of the most amazing people. DENTK is very profitable for United which is obviously a good thing as it is a source of continuous income, however that also makes it a very attractive asset to use if you need to generate cash.
I really hope we never see DENTK spun off and I know that a lot of my fellow United coworkers feel the same way. It has so much history and it is something that a lot of us are very proud of. For longtime United employees that were based in DEN when Stapleton was around it is even harder to think about losing it, lets just hope we never do!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v178/UAL747DEN/UnitedDEN.jpg



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9810 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3836 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):

Franky SFO having hung around this long surprises me. Its by no means a low cost town to do business in. I suppose its sale has been held up by the global economic malaise and credit crunch. Maybe now with things loosening, UA can strike a deal with someone.

It seems like cost base of San Francisco wasn't enough to deter them from moving all of the Indianapolis work there in the aftermath of 9/11.

Does UA do a lot of work for other airlines in SFO?



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineSlimShady From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3803 times:

The SFO maintenance base has had a perverbial "for sale" sign on the outside for years, and they are always talking to potential investors like Chromalloy, P&W, TIMCO, Boeing, and others. The base is basically a ghost town complete with empty hangar bays and shops, but there are still many people that work there, but compared to years ago, it is a ghost town. The tooling and equipment in the shops are old and antiquated, just like the culture there. Some of those buildings have been around since the 40's, and rediculously expensive to maintain.

The Landing Gear and Engine overhaul shops are still there and running. They have become more of an dissasembly/assembly/test facility, rather than a true overhaul shop. Once the parts of the LG and Engines are dissasembled and sent out to 3rd parties for repair/rework. The TAT for these are atrocious compared to industry standards.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
Does UA do a lot of work for other airlines in SFO?

They do some 3rd party work, but not much relative to places like Delta tech ops. They are basically staffed to handle thier own scheduled work and if they bring in 3rd party work, they have to bump a UA plane out of the schedule and into a place like TIMCO. I was involved in bringing two Kuwait Airways 777 into SFO for a landing gear change and it was a total nightmare, running into brick walls around every corner. SFOMX, dispite what others claim, is in no position to handle 3rd party work like they claim.

That place turned a once young, eager, optomistic, and enthusiastic go-getter into a hardend, bitter and wiser young man.

Stay United.. heh.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3665 times:



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
AA has a very good(ok has a GREAT) union that has done a dang fine job of saving jobs.

Who do they union through?

Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 4):
The Denver training facility (DENTK)...

That place has laid of a lot of folks from there. We have some folks from there working for us at F9 as A&P's now.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3605 times:



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Who do they union through?

They are TWU transport workers union. IMHO it is the worst union out there. Although I will admit AA does more work in house than a lot of other carriers.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineFlyIGuy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3551 times:



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
They are TWU transport workers union. IMHO it is the worst union out there. Although I will admit AA does more work in house than a lot of other carriers.

SAW has the TWU as thei union as well and I beleive they do all their MTX work in house as well...

Just my 0.02



The opinions I post are of mine and mine alone, not of the airline I work for.
User currently offlineDFWEagle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1076 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3537 times:



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
In the last 8 years they have dumped hangars in ATL(old Eastern hangar),DFW(IIRC AA took it),

Yes, the ex-Delta hangar has become AA hangar #5 in DFW. They have configured it with 6 bays (3 wide-body and 3 narrow-body). AA hangar #1 has been taken over by American Eagle, in addition to their own hangar. So, AA and Eagle have 6 hangars in total at DFW now with 19 mainline bays and 5 Eagle bays -:

American Eagle Hangar – 2 RJ bays
AA Hangar #1 – 3 bays (1-3) now occupied by Eagle
AA Hangar #2 – 3 bays (4-6)
AA Hangar #3 – 6 bays (7-12)
AA Hangar #4 – 4 bays (13-16)
AA Hangar #5 – 6 bays (1-6 East)

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
Also note AA has hangars in AFW,DFW,TUL,ORD,MCI,LAX,JFK,BOS,MIA(and this one is a beautiful hangar.....its exPA and its pretty cool looking). IIRc they have them in DCA,LGA and SFO also but im not 100% sure. Also not sure about STL.

AA has three hangars in LGA (HGRS 3, 4 and 5) and occupies the southern half of the super-bay hangar in SFO (UA has the north half).
AA has no hangar in DCA and none in STL any more (they closed it down a few years ago when they made STL an RJ hub).



Ryan / HKG
User currently offlineBoeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3487 times:



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
They are TWU transport workers union

I thought TWU stood for Totally Worthless Union.

They took my 2 cents.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26136 posts, RR: 50
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3458 times:



Quoting FlyIGuy (Reply 9):
SAW has the TWU as thei union as well and I beleive they do all their MTX work in house as well...

SWA is AMFA and does a fair bit of outside contracting, including recently announced overhaul work in El Salvador.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2039 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3430 times:
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That article was from August 2007. I wouldn't put it off the table, but I certainly would question is applicability at this point.

-Charlie


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 9290 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3386 times:



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
AA has a very good(ok has a GREAT) union that has done a dang fine job of saving jobs. Plus the way the overhauls work in Tulsa are quick and cheap. AA is the only airline that has figured out that letting others do work cost them more time and money long term. Plus AA has all kinds of floor space to do more thrid party work.

One might wonder about the lack of work in the US for blue collar workers and just hope someone wises up before it is all gone. Good for AA and its union workers.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3343 times:

How is the outsourced work fairing for airlines that send their planes out for third party work? I figure when all shops have going for them is their low-low contract prices the quality of the work must be equally low.

I guess this question goes out to the airline mechanics out there who have handled airplanes that get taken care of by outside shops. Lots of mistakes? Jerry rigging?

I doubt that third party work is superior to in house... much like in the auto industry where Maaco in the U.S. is a bargain basement/low quality repair shop compared to an autodealer shop.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineFlyIGuy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3334 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
SWA is AMFA and does a fair bit of outside contracting, including recently announced overhaul work in El Salvador.

Yout right, their ramp is TWU, my bad...thanks for the clarification.



The opinions I post are of mine and mine alone, not of the airline I work for.
User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9700 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3286 times:



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
They are TWU transport workers union. IMHO it is the worst union out there. Although I will admit AA does more work in house than a lot of other carriers.

I have heard this but when i look at UA(IAM) NW(AMFA) they look like gods. I'm sure they hurt the employees in other ways but at least AA does its work in house and doesn't send it all over the place.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 14):
Good for AA and its union workers.

I would bet that if AA could get all of its work sent out they would do it.

Quoting DFWEagle (Reply 10):
AA has no hangar in DCA and none in STL any more (they closed it down a few years ago when they made STL an RJ hub).

Wasn't sure, thanks for the info.

Quoting DFWEagle (Reply 10):
Yes, the ex-Delta hangar has become AA hangar #5 in DFW.

thought so. Happy someone is using it and not screwing everyone in DFW over like other carriers have done.



yep.
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3217 times:



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 15):
How is the outsourced work fairing for airlines that send their planes out for third party work? I figure when all shops have going for them is their low-low contract prices the quality of the work must be equally low.

I guess this question goes out to the airline mechanics out there who have handled airplanes that get taken care of by outside shops. Lots of mistakes? Jerry rigging?

I doubt that third party work is superior to in house... much like in the auto industry where Maaco in the U.S. is a bargain basement/low quality repair shop compared to an autodealer shop.

I would imagine that would all depend on who does the work. If UA decides to send all of their 777's to Delta Tech Ops for work it would be using a third party but I don't think anyone would say that they do a bad job. (Im just using this as an example)



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3204 times:

A competitive outsourcing culture widespread throughout the industry should both lower costs and raise quality/safety. Anyone found to be doing work not meeting contractual requirements will have a very difficult time winning future contracts and they all know it. The attitude at the inhouse union MX shops seems to be "I can do just about anything and keep my job." The attitude at the non-union MROs is more like "If I screw up, I'll lose my job and all my buddies will lose their jobs too."

Quoting SlimShady (Reply 6):
That place turned a once young, eager, optomistic, and enthusiastic go-getter into a hardend, bitter and wiser young man.

I know what you mean. I have a friend who worked there for years as a carpenter (making crates). He used to laugh about how UA would get better work at a lower price by outsourcing but that he was happy being paid $46/hour to play darts most of the day while waiting for something to crate.


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 9290 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3083 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 19):
A competitive outsourcing culture widespread throughout the industry should both lower costs and raise quality/safety. Anyone found to be doing work not meeting contractual requirements will have a very difficult time winning future contracts and they all know it. The attitude at the inhouse union MX shops seems to be "I can do just about anything and keep my job." The attitude at the non-union MROs is more like "If I screw up, I'll lose my job and all my buddies will lose their jobs too."

A textbook summation of how to intimidate and co-erce with the threat of closing the shop. The job is the god, we should all be extremly grateful, Yes Massa!  Sad  Sad



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineBluesky02 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3018 times:



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 15):
I doubt that third party work is superior to in house... much like in the auto industry where Maaco in the U.S. is a bargain basement/low quality repair shop compared to an autodealer shop.

Not quite. Aviation maintenance is highly regulated, and all US carriers have to use FAA approved shops that meet the same regulations as US-based shops. Some of the unions dispute the quality and will say that the FAA is stretched as far as how many visits they make to these shops for audits, and there is some merit to that; but many airlines, such as US Airways, have said that the quality of the work is better than when it was done in-house.

United, since that is the topic of the thread, uses Korean Air for the 744, and Ameco Beijing (a joint business owned by Air China and Luthansa Technik) for the 777 hardly a "macco" operation. United also had AAR do the maintenance on its 737s, at the old world-class United maintenance base at IND, with a lot of the old United technicians.

Here is a link to a report you might find interesting. Just kind of a small glimpse into maintenance is at United. It is UAL Corporation's new annual "Corporate Responsibility Report." http://content.united.com/ual/asset/UAL_CSR-web-v4.pdf
See page 2 and 3.


User currently offlineBluesky02 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3002 times:

I would also boldly add that some of the skepticism about these foreign repair shops is a thinking that is outdated and borderline bigoted. I think that to say that American workers somehow have a lock on quality work and high standards is an insult to those who work hard everyday, often with the same or more education and training than their American counterparts, to keep us safe in the skies in many nations around the world.

Cheers to ALL of those mechanics out there, American and foreign. Thank you for all you do for us the traveling public.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8470 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2977 times:



Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
What will happen to maintenance done in house at airlines in addition to United like AA with its huge base in Tulsa?

TUL is pretty well showing the way on how to successfully carry out maintenance in-house. I don't see AA cutting back on their efforts here.

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 2):
AA has a very good(ok has a GREAT) union



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
They are TWU transport workers union. IMHO it is the worst union out there. Although I will admit AA does more work in house than a lot of other carriers.

In TUL it took BOTH the unions and management to decide to work together. That might be a real big hint that it is not the "fault" of only one side of the coin.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 14):
One might wonder about the lack of work in the US for blue collar workers and just hope someone wises up before it is all gone.

In TUL both the management and unions wised up about the same time and started working together.

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 17):
I would bet that if AA could get all of its work sent out they would do it.

Nope, not at all.

Actually AA just opened up another new hanger in TUL - with help from the city.

Why would AA want to send work out when they are making money bringing work IN?

AA, it's management and unions in TUL have learned to make maintenance a successful part of their business.

Maybe they can pick up some of UA's maintenance.  Smile


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2880 times:



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
Although I will admit AA does more work in house than a lot of other carriers.

I dunno about the TWU much, but maybe if the crap does really hit the fan at F9, maybe I'll try to go to AA.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
25 MasseyBrown : I met two mx guys from Delta in a bar in Wales last week. They were checking out the GE engine facility outside Cardiff for doing GE-90 overhauls for
26 DeltaL1011man : I believe DL doesn't have a test cell that the GE90 will fit in. Same goes for the Trents. DL has said if they had to Test cell to work the Trents th
27 EA CO AS : AA's pretty happy with their TUL facility - they've partnered with the union to improve productivity on their own fleet while simultaneously bidding
28 WarRI1 : That is as good as it gets, good for them. A reality check on both sides.
29 Par13del : Since the airline outsources the work we can be sure that their opinion is biased, probably better to rely on the NTSB or FAA inspectors, if their ru
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