TR1
Topic Author
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NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:58 am

As a NWA employee, I recently received a special issue of my company's internal newspaper regarding the creation of Newco, the proposed subsidiary to operate the new generation of 70-100 seat jets. The paper emphasized the fact that none of the legacy US carriers themselves operate this size of aircraft, that this type of flying is contracted out to a third party. However, Air Canada is operating the EMB-175/190 as a mainline aircraft (although the CRJ-705s are operated by Jazz).

Wouldn't make sense for NWA to study the Air Canada model about integrating the new 70-100 seaters into the fleet and finally retire the DC-9s? Are there any special provisions in the restructured Air Canada's new labor agreements to allow for this type of flying? I did a search in the data base and couldn't really find any answers. To me, this is a clear case of NWA's desire to rid itself of its unions.
 
dandy_don
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:09 am

I guess you guys at NWA still don't get some basic economics. If NWA operated regional aircraft under current union wage scales they could not make any money doing it. Hence they CAN'T do it.
 
sebring
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:28 am

Quoting Dandy_don (Reply 1):
I guess you guys at NWA still don't get some basic economics. If NWA operated regional aircraft under current union wage scales they could not make any money doing it. Hence they CAN'T do it.

Air Canada negotiated lower mainline wage scales with its pilots so they could get teh Embraer flying. It's as simple as that.
 
TR1
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:37 am

Yes, I do know that under current union wage scales, we can't. What I'm asking about is what type of provisions does Air Canada have that does allow them to operate the Embraers. Have their pilots agreed to take a pay scale similar to Jazz's (for a similar-sized aircraft) to operate them in mainline?
 
 
TR1
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:44 am

Thanks Sebring. I suppose it was just a matter of the company actually negotiating with the pilots rather than imposing its terms.
 
flyf15
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:49 am

The way it should really be looked at is this... Their DC-9 fleet is pretty much in the "70-100 seat" class. They need to replace them. They're going to replace them with 70-100 jets, definately makes sense. Much more efficient jets at that. Why can't NW operate these jets profitably? They've been doing the DC-9 thing for decades. Its not that they can't do it, its that they want to squeeze every dollar they can out of their costs/employees. Its a really bad idea and it'll never happen.

It is nothing short of oursourcing jobs and the Northwest pilots have said they'll shut the airline down before they allow Newco to happen. I don't blame them, the entire profession of airline pilot is at stake here, not to mention the other labor groups.
 
sebring
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:22 pm

Quoting TR1 (Reply 5):
Thanks Sebring. I suppose it was just a matter of the company actually negotiating with the pilots rather than imposing its terms.

Exactly. Now that isn't to say that the negotiations were a picnic, but the mainline pilots wanted to keep the work within their group, understood the company had to operate those planes in a manner that would be competitive, and in the end, both sides were able to do a deal.
 
flydreamliner
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 6):
Why can't NW operate these jets profitably? They've been doing the DC-9 thing for decades. Its not that they can't do it, its that they want to squeeze every dollar they can out of their costs/employees. Its a really bad idea and it'll never happen.

For along time, the fact they DC-9s were long paid off made up for their higher fuel consumption than other comperably sized aircraft. With the price of fuel more than doubling, this is no longer the case, and the fuel thirsty, inefficient DC-9s are not really competitively economical.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
AirlineAV8tr
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:44 pm

NWA isn't the only legacy airline focusing on the new 70-100 pax offerings. CO has also showed interest for quite a while in replacing the 73-300, and 500. COPA which is a subsidiary of CO(COntinental PAnama), seems to be a "testbed" for CO. COPA started with the 737-800 w/winglets, and after their progress report was in on the efficiency of the winglets, CO immediately started the retro-fitting of the majority of its -800 fleet. Same goes for the -700, COPA used them, and CO filed suit shortly after. The rumor mill had been buzzing for months about CO getting the EMB-190. Well, two months ago COPA took delivery of their first 190. Whether CO will follow into this new efficient 70-100 seat market is yet to be seen, but with CO pulling 69 ERJ's from XJT, any new aircraft in their fleet will effect XJT's scope clause.
I think it's great to see NWA focusing on new, efficient, low load aircraft. One thing's for sure, whatever they get will be 100% more efficient than their "Diesel 9's", even though they were paid for!
If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
 
KaiGywer
Crew
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:49 pm

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 6):
It is nothing short of oursourcing jobs and the Northwest pilots have said they'll shut the airline down before they allow Newco to happen. I don't blame them, the entire profession of airline pilot is at stake here, not to mention the other labor groups.

The only reason I don't want to see NW pilots lose their jobs, is because it'll come out of my pockets when they all file for unemployment and welfare. Hopefully they don't qualify, and get another job, lucky to make minimum wage. And how is the pilot profession at stake by creating a subsidiary? Did regionals ruin the pilot profession?
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
Oykie
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:12 pm

From my understanding NWA has been retiring DC-9's at a rate of almost 30 a year. Has this come to an end?

NWA has the same problem as the many national carriers. It needs to get labor cost down. The employees has to understand that NWA needs to cut some of the salary in order to stay in business. Otherwise they need to find work elsewhere if NWA is out of business.

Also the NWA management has the responsebility to play on the same side as their employees, not against them. I believe this is a very huge challange. The Newco idea just fuels the employees outrage.

[Edited 2006-02-06 15:17:10]
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
nwab787techops
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:29 pm

Quoting AirlineAV8tr (Reply 9):
COPA which is a subsidiary of CO(COntinental PAnama

.

"On 19 May 1998, Continental Airlines acquired a 49% stake in the airline, marking the beginning of a comprehensive marketing and operating alliance. Since then, it has adopted a livery and corporate logo which resemble those of Continental, and participates in Continental's OnePass frequent flyer program." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

COPA or Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A is not a subsidiery of CO. I think CO has sold part or all of that 49%.
 
Mikey711MN
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RE: NWA, AC, And The 70-100 Seat Aircraft Issue

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:58 pm

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 6):
It is nothing short of oursourcing jobs and the Northwest pilots have said they'll shut the airline down before they allow Newco to happen. I don't blame them, the entire profession of airline pilot is at stake here, not to mention the other labor groups.

If you outsource to yourself, are you truly outsourcing? As I understand it, Newco is fundamentally different than the initiative to outsource maintenance where, indeed, the work is being done by some third party. What Newco effectively creates is a DBA under NWA whereby said labor groups have different wage rates, work rules, etc. that are low enough to offer 70- to 100-seat two-class service profitably. But Newco is under the NW umbrella and, therefore, is funded by NW capital.

"Back in the day" (read: regulated market, low[er] fuel prices, etc.), the DC-9's being flown by mainline pilots were profitable. Here's the part that you just don't seem to get: they no longer are in the absence of the aforementioned factors that will never return. So let's cut to the chase: the entire profession of airline pilots-flying-gas-guzzling-airplanes-and-being-paid-handsomely-for-it is, in fact, over. Revenue mismanagement in a deregulated environment, which allowed for subsequent competitive startups with comparatively low overhead, killed it.

But people will continue to fly (or at least travel), and markets will indeed grow over time. So if management and the airline pilots "and other labor groups" can find a happy medium, airlines like NW will be able to respond to this and other changes and ultimately exit bankruptcy protection and potentially thrive over time. However, if not, then NW and airlines like it will be stifled to respond to said growth and the entire industry is indeed at stake.

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...

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