friend has asked to me read and respond to some of these posts from an AirTran Pilot's prospective.
First, some facts:
AirTran Pilots are paid higher wages then our counterparts flying 737s and MD
-80s and UA
, US and soon DL
. Our current conctract, which I helped write and is amendable in Spring 05, has some industry leading features like a 12 hour duty day, highest paying reserve rules, company paid retirement (that isnt bankrupt) and paid stock options to name a few.
Our companies success is based on simple rules: Fly fuel-friendly planes that we acquire when the market allows us to bargin; spread our yields amoung our cites rather then placing 80% of our revenues in 5% of your cities like the majors, making us much less vulunarable; hedge fuel; and yes, keep labor costs managable. The company is content with high turnover rates on the ATL
ramp because of low wages for example.
Don't blame the current failures of other carriers on AirTran, and the "LCCs". We cannot be faulted for their poor managment and our forward thinking.
As far as being a GREAT place to work, what do you think? Imagine being at an airline where you never worry that the paycheck will be bad, but rather wonder what new route or city will be announced this week. An airline whose oldest airplane is a model year 1999. An airline that brought RJs online when the markets would not support mainline, and the GOT
THEM when the markets rebounded. An airline that will grow 25-35% for the next 6 years min, thus doubling in size over the next 4. An airline that still has that "family" since of sprit so often lost in mergers and growth, and with it comes our battle-hardened, can-do attitude that will bring us 9 more profitable quarters to follow the last 9.
We are here to stay, so get used to it.. If the industry has to trim some fat to survive, so be it.. Nobody at AirTran wants to see other carriers fail, putting more people on the street, but our product is the way things will be now, and others will either have to start taking notes, or, well you know..
Thank you for reading my perspective..