Management's take on the situation:
Status of 767-400ER Pilot Rest Seat and Related Route Decisions
Nov. 2, 2000
1. Q. Why is the pilot rest seat on the 767-400ER an issue?
A. Delta was scheduled to introduce the 767-400ER on its ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL routes on April 1, 2001.
Since three of the four flight segments (ATL-HNL, HNL-ATL and DFW-HNL) are longer than 8 hours but fewer
than 12 hours in duration, Delta would be required to provide a pilot rest seat on flights scheduled for these
routes. A pilot rest seat would not be required on the remaining 97 percent of the 767-400 flights since they
would not be in excess of 8 hours.
2. Q. Why haven't Delta and ALPA reached an agreement on the pilot rest seat?
A. Delta has been negotiating with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for several months on a pilot rest
seat for the 767-400ER. Delta has offered to install an enhanced pilot rest seat equivalent to the 767-300ER
BusinessElite seat currently used for 8- to
12-hour crew rest on international flights. While progress has been made, some aspects are still under
discussion. However, because of contractual requirements for scheduling crew training for the 767-400ER, a
these routes had to be made by Nov. 1, 2000.
3. Q. Isn't this really a safety issue? ALPA wants a pilot rest seat that would ensure proper rest and the
company is unwilling to provide a seat for adequate rest?
A. The pilot rest seat offered by Delta that is the subject of ongoing negotiations meets all FAA requirements
for sufficient pilot rest
and even goes beyond the BusinessElite pilot rest seat used on all 8- to 12-hour international flights.
4. Q. Why would Delta have to convert the entire fleet of 767-400ERs, and what would be the cost of that
A. Each of the 21 767-400ER aircraft needs to be available to fly the ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL routes as part
of its scheduled rotation, and
therefore would need the pilot rest seat. The company is willing to accept modification costs and the revenue
loss associated with removing two first class seats from our inventory on these flights in order to accommodate
the pilot rest seat. A final cost has not been determined.
5. Q. How were these routes performing financially?
A. While a stopover is financially acceptable on the ATL-HNL route on an interim basis, the marginally
profitable DFW-HNL route
cannot financially support a stopover, particularly in view of our competitor's daily, nonstop flights between
6. Q. Where will Delta reallocate the 767-400ER aircraft that would have been introduced on the DFW-HNL
route on April 1, 2001?
A. The additional capacity will be used to expand existing Delta service or to introduce new service. The
767-400ER aircraft released
from the DFW-HNL route will be used to provide additional capacity at the ATL hub, freeing other aircraft for
new service opportunities.
8. Q. Why not fly another aircraft type on these routes, such as the MD-11, 767-300ER or 777?
A. According to Delta's fleet plan, the L-1011s are to be replaced by the 767-400ER on a one-to-one basis.
The other aircraft cited
are configured for international use.
9. Q. Will this devalue Delta's frequent flyer program?
A. No, we don't believe so, although Hawaii is our most popular redemption destination. Our frequent flyers will
still be able to
reach Hawaii through Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, Delta will add more than 1,200 daily seats
this winter to Caribbean destinations, which are also very popular with frequent flyers. These routes include:
Atlanta to Los Cabos, Mexico 2nd flight from Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica
Atlanta to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Cincinnati to San Juan
New York (JFK) to Grand Cayman
Atlanta to Montego Bay
New York (JFK) to Aruba
10. Q. Is it true that the real reason you will not fly these routes is that the 767-400ER does not have the range
to actually fly them?
A. Absolutely not. Delta's original performance specifications to Boeing for the 767-400ER included capacity
to fly ATL and
DFW to HNL. Its range is approximately 6,400 statute miles; the ATL-HNL route is 4,501 statute miles.
11. Q. If Delta reaches an agreement with ALPA on a pilot rest seat at a later date,
would the ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL routes be reinstated?
A. ATL-HNL nonstop service will be reinstated when an agreement on a pilot rest seat is reached and the pilot
rest seat has been installed on the initial 16 aircraft. Delta will re-evaluate the reintroduction of the DFW-HNL
route based on aircraft availability and profit potential compared to other route opportunities.
13. Q. Why announce that the service will be discontinued so far in advance? Why not wait until the company
reaches an agreement with ALPA?
A. This decision was necessary now for a number of reasons. Scheduling aircraft, crews and offering booking
availability to our
customers are all done far in advance of the actual date of service. For example, based on contractual
requirements, advance pilot bids for this aircraft type needed to be posted by Nov. 1, 2000 to allow sufficient
time to provide individual training to support the service. In addition, April is a peak travel month to Hawaii and
advance notification is necessary to allow booked customers to make alternate plans.
14. Q. If the L-1011 is not scheduled to retire until August 2001, why not use it to fly the ATL-HNL and
DFW-HNL routes until then?
A. The L-1011 retirement sequence is based on time-sensitive engine and airframe maintenance events. The
last L-1011 will be retired in August, but the aircraft is scheduled to be retired from the HNL routes on April 1,
2001. Furthermore, the L-1011 crews are being repositioned to fly other aircraft
15. Q. How long has Delta flown the ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL nonstop flights?
A. ATL-HNL began on June 1, 1985. DFW-HNL began on Dec. 14, 1984.
16. Q. How many seats does Delta operate on these two routes today? How many would you have operated
with the 767-400ER aircraft?
A. Delta offers one round-trip flight per day in both the ATL-HNL and DFW-HNL markets. Today, these flights
operate with L-1011-250 aircraft, which seat 30 in first class and 265 in coach, for a total of 295. The
767-400ER seats 36 in first class and 251 in coach, for a total of 287.
17. Q. Will Delta add additional flights or capacity from West Coast gateways, such as Los Angeles or San
Francisco to Honolulu, as the DFW service is discontinued? Will Delta introduce more one-stop service from
Atlanta and DFW?
A. We continually evaluate the best markets in which to allocate our aircraft resources. At this time, we do not
plan to offer additional service to HNL from the West Coast One-stop service is currently offered between ATL
and both HNL and Kahului (westbound only). ATL-HNL will be offered on an interim basis with a stopover in
Los Angeles for a crew change.
18. Q. Were these negotiations part of Contract 2000 talks?
A. No. These discussions were conducted pursuant to a separate agreement reached last year between
ALPA and Delta on the new 777
and 767-400ER categories.
19. Q. Will this issue be revisited in the Contract 2000 talks?
A. It may be. Pilot rest seats on flights of 8 to 12 hours is a subject of negotiations in Contract 2000.
20. Q. How will this decision affect Contract 2000 negotiations with ALPA?
A. We cannot speculate on how this will affect Contract 2000 negotiations.
21. Q. Will this decision affect the pilot rest seat facility planned for the 777?
A. No. Delta and ALPA have come to an agreement on an industry-leading pilot rest facility for the 777.
22. Q. What is the longest route Delta plans to fly with the 767-400ER aircraft now that you will not use the
aircraft on the ATL
and DFW to Hawaii flights?
A. The range of the 767-400ER is 6,400 statute miles. Currently, the longest route would be ATL-SEA (2,181
miles). The longest
route Delta now schedules where the aircraft might be used without a pilot rest seat would be the 3,400-mile
Atlanta-Anchorage route (which we operate nonstop during the summer season). However, we have not made
a decision to use the 767-400ER aircraft on that route at this time.
23. Q. Will there be job losses in ATL, DFW or HNL related to the discontinuation of
A. Delta does not plan any job losses as a result of these decisions.
7. Q. Is the DFW-HNL route really being dropped because customers are booking away because you've had
so many problems with the
L-1011's mechanical reliability?
A. No. Although the DFW-HNL route is only marginally profitable, it has been popular with our frequent flyers.
There is no
indication that bookings have dropped off. The economics of this high-demand, low-yield route made it
impossible to sustain the route as a
one-stop as we are doing with the ATL-HNL route.
* * * * * *
DALPA (pilot's union) response:
As you recall, ALPA negotiated a provision as part of the B-777/B-767-400 agreement that required MEC
Chairman approval of the B-777 crew rest facility and the B-767-400 crew rest seat.
· ALPA's policy on crew rest, which management is well aware of, is very clear: crew rest is a safety issue and
cannot be compromised. Management's initial proposal to designate a domestic first class seat as the crew
seat on flights greater than eight hours was unacceptable.
· Management was aware of ALPA's requirements for a crew rest seat while the B-767-400 was still on the
assembly line. Yet, they made no efforts to accommodate our safety requirements while the aircraft was under
development and changes could more easily be completed.
ALPA has spent months working to find an acceptable solution to this issue,
but we were unwilling to sacrifice crew rest under any circumstances. Management's failure to install rest
accommodations that adequately address safety issues for flights over eight hours will compromise our
ability to be competitive in one of our customers' most popular markets.
Below is a timeline of events:
· October 15, 1998: ALPA Board of Directors adopts Delta MEC policy on crew rest facilities. Policy on crew
relief seat defined as "a comfortable, fully horizontally reclining seat, separated and screened from the
passengers and flight deck ... " Delta MEC delivers this policy to management shortly thereafter.
· September 30, 1999: B-777/B-767-400 agreement states, "A relief seat (or
other crew rest facility) approved by the MEC Chairman will be provided on all B-767-400 flights that are
scheduled ... for more than eight hours ..."
· October 8, 1999: MEC Safety Committee Chairman Capt. Ken Adams e-mails
management requesting dimensional specifications for the crew rest facility
for the B-767-400.
· November 30, 1999: Crew Rest Optimization Team (CROT) is formed and tasked with developing a solution
to fulfill this section of the B-777/B-767-400 agreement.
· February 2000: Management addresses the B-767-400 crew rest seat with the
CROT, and tells team they are prepared to offer a domestic first class seat
near the flight deck as the rest seat on flights scheduled for over eight
· February 20, 2000: CROT letter to MEC Chairman sums up the ALPA team's
position regarding management proposal. In short, the ALPA team states the
proposal is "a serious erosion of our current standard and is inconsistent
with our stated requirements ... the Association's negative reaction to the
Company's proposal was communicated to them in late February."
· March 8, 2000: Capt. Adams again requests specific information to
facilitate working together on a solution to the crew rest seat. One week
later, management responds that they have no information on the seat plan
for the B-767-400 due to the Boeing engineers' strike.
· April 19, 2000: ALPA safety team visits Boeing, production plant in
Everett, WA, along with management representatives. ALPA team views the
B-767-400 interior and again informs management they will recommend that
the MEC Chairman not approve first class seat as the designated crew rest seat. Management says they will
continue to review other technical solutions that conform to ALPA policy, but options are limited.
une 2000: Capt. Adams repeatedly requests a solution to the problem. Management rebuffs ALPA's ideas
· July 17, 2000: ALPA and management meet again at Boeing's production plant. Management outlines a
concept for an enhanced flight deck jumpseat that would meet most of ALPA's requirements. ALPA safety
members express their concern about this proposal but state they will inform MEC Chairman
of the concept.
· July 19, 2000: ALPA Safety e-mails management that the MEC Chairman has
rejected the flight deck rest seat concept.
· August 23, 2000: Management proposes allowing the B-767-400 rest seat to
be in the cockpit in exchange for the company agreeing to a 180 degree reclining seat on the B-767-300ER.
ALPA rejects this proposal.
· September 14, 2000: ALPA proposes management consider using a portion of
the space within the coat closet by Door 1L for a horizontal platform that could serve as a rest area. This
concept is discussed at length and is later modified by management. The concept now is to move the coat
to the center of the cabin and in front of seat 1C, then use a portion of it, combined with the seat, as the rest
· September 21, 2000: Senior Management sends a letter to the MEC Chairman
presenting the above proposal (coat closet in front of seat 1C).
· Week of October 9, 2000: ALPA Safety and management review specifications and agree that dimensions
of present B-767-300 relief seat would suffice for B-767-400 with the exception of room in front of seat for
leg extension. We also agree legs will be raised to a horizontal position;
seat should be isolated from other passengers, preferably by a curtain, but
ALPA is willing to consider other options.
· Week of October 23, 2000: ALPA and management continue to work out the
details of the rest seat. Agree to a canopy concept to isolate pilot from obtrusive light and noise. ALPA
reiterates to management that the Association must be responsible to all pilots receiving adequate rest
opportunity. The current configuration, as proposed by management, does
not provide adequate leg room for all pilots.
So in the end both sides are at fault for not coming to a compromise on the issue and the customer is ultimately shafted.