About the captain upgrades. Currently our most junior captains are still in the 9000 range employee number wise. I don't know where either of you guys are on that list for upgrades. I do know to help speed up the process they just put a bunch of capatins through check airman class to get us more check airmen for IOEs.
Based on what I have seen in dispatch, I would say mechanic shortages are killing us more than crew shortages, basically not enough mechanics brought in, and too many airplanes to work. Obviously MKE
mechanics for the most part wouldn't relocate, and we are trying to hire in PHL
, but cost of living is making it difficult out there. There has been a fair amount of attrition on the pilot side, guys not wanting to commute to PHL
, plus guys who were flying the 146 who were scared to death to fly the crj. But a lot of former 146 guys are now starting to fly CRJ's and most of them are pretty good people to work with. DEN
closing will help us there.
As for the RFP, I think we have a much better chance of putting in a competitive bid for Airlink than United Express. Why do I say this? Because when we put out our United bid, we had to keep the same cost structure, the same crews, and everything, where as other carriers not flying could come in and bit it as incremental growth, which saves money. Thats why GOJet, Skywest, and Mesa eventually got the flying. With Airlink, its a very similar case. Both Mesaba and Pinnacle have the same type of structure as we did with United, which will make it more difficult for them to put in a competitive bid. Where as we can come in, and since our 70 existing RJ
's are tied up with USAir for 10 years, we can bid on the flying as incremental growth. That would keep our costs down, and allow us a greater chance of landing the flying. Our ATW HQ
is a perfect location, we can keep the hangar open rather than lose a bunch of great mechanics, and the rumors about us moving out of ATW
would be squashed. Plus DEN
is a much easier commute to MSP
, since many of our crews still commute from DEN
. We shall wait and see.
And about the new hire classes. I have seen them come through ATW
in packs. And the good news for you is I have seen a lot of hot girls in these classes.