lexkid12300, just a few answers to some of your questions.
"there might be B717 pilots out there that refuse to switch to the B737."
lexkid12300, this statement doesn't make any sense. Why would a pilot flying the B717 refuse to transition to the B737? There is not a pilot out there who would surrender his/her seniority number at AirTran/Southwest and apply for a position at Delta, only to start again at the very bottom of the Delta seniority list and on probation as well. If this is what you think, you are not totally familiar with how pilot seniority works among airlines. Seniority does not transfer between companies.
"Will they put their current pilots through training or will they hire new crews?"
Many of the B717 pilots for Delta have already been trained, and since Delta has not commenced hiring new pilots yet, these pilots obviously came internally from other fleets at Delta. As mentioned by XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 5), the new B717 pilots came from among almost all the fleets at Delta.
"Unless Delta still employs pilots trained on the MD
-11, . . ."
There are no crews at Delta still qualified on the MD
-11. With regard to B717 training, it wouldn't make any difference anyway.
"Hmm... I'm assuming all of Delta's pilots flying DC9 and MD88/90 have the same DC9 type rating certifications, but will Delta combine all variants (including the new 717) on the same qualification? "
Yes, the type rating for the DC-9, MD
-88/90, and B717 is the same (DC-9 type rating) but that is not necessarily the same as being "qualified" on the aircraft. There will be three separate qualifications: DC-9. MD
-88/90, and 717. The training programs are different and pilots qualified for each of these three categories are not interchangeable--they are only "qualified" to fly one type of airplane, either DC9-50, MD
-88 and MD
-90 (that is a single qualification) or the Boeing 717.
"I'm just wondering if Delta will have the B717 on the same bid line as the DC9 or MD88/90?"
No, completely separate.
When Delta does begin to hire new pilots, those new-hires will be trained to fly whichever aircraft have first officer seat vacancies at the time of hire. This could be first officer positions on the 717, MD
-88/90, A319/320, or even the 7ER category (757/767).
I know this may seem very confusing but read reply number 5 again, and let us know if you have more questions.