Here's a question for the resident airline future prognosticators (DCA-ROCguy, I'm especially interested in your opinion!):
What do you feel will be the future of US Airways' wholly owned regional carriers, Piedmont, Allegheny and PSA? I am interested in any informed and educated opinions.
Here's my take. It's no great secret that United wants to retain the wholly owned carriers to boost their east coast feed. ACA has done well, but since they are not owned by United they have exhibited a flare for independance that is a touch disconcerting to UAL management. Goodwin's statements in the Feb 2nd edition of the WSJ makes it clear, I believe, that United has come to the conclusion that it has been a mistake not to own a (some) regional(s).
The problem is the Flight Attendent's union, AFA. Thier scope clause strictly prohibits any wholly owned regionals from using non UAL F/A's. It is possible for them to grant UAL a scope waiver, as the pilots would surely do as ALPA has done at every other airline.
So, I suppose the real question is what interest does UAL's AFA leadership have in blocking or granting the scope waiver? Is United truly interested in Piedmont, Allegheny and PSA? Or is Goodwin doing what airline managers do best... blowing smoke up everyone's kiesters!
Let me know what you think folks!