American Eagle Rejects Labor Contract, Hilarity Ensues

Via Bloomberg today:

American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) said it will begin shrinking its American Eagle regional unit and moving planes to other commuter carriers after pilots rejected a cost-cutting labor agreement.

American will “immediately” begin seeking another regional partner to fly 60 new 76-seat regional jets from Embraer SA (ERJ) that it had committed to Eagle if the contract were approved, Pedro Fabregas, the unit’s president, told employees in a letter today. Some smaller planes will be retired, he said.

American sought givebacks at Eagle in exchange for adding the larger regional jets and improving chances to move to the larger airline. Eagle pilots earlier agreed to concessions while former American parent AMR Corp. reorganized in bankruptcy before its December merger with US Airways Group Inc.

Then this afternoon the following ad popped up on Craigslist (copying the entire post below, as I’m sure it will be deleted):

Looking for an airline to fly 60 EMB-175 aircraft (desperate) (DFW-ORD-JFK-MIA)

Hello there, here at the world’s largest airline we are aggressively seeking an airline to staff and fly our state of the art, Embraer 175 turbo jet aircraft. These aircraft are on the way from Brazil and just waiting for your airline and all of the excess pilots that you have trained and on property (that also possess ATP minimums) to fly them. We are willing to pay precisely the bottom dollar that Delta pays for their feed, so please keep that in mind when bidding for this flying. Did we mention how shiny these jets are? They are extremely shiny and they have that new plane smell that pilots love. Pilots would probably fly these jets for free, they are THAT nice.

I am looking forward to hearing from you about your ability to fly these planes that are arriving. It is very cost prohibitive to have these jets sitting without pilots, so let’s make a deal! Contact me anytime. Seriously. Anytime. I’m desperate here. My ascendency up the mAAnagerial ladder depends on this. I may already be screwed. Ugh. Please call. Please? Hello?

PS: Shiny!!!

Regards,

  • Location: DFW-ORD-JFK-MIA
  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offer
  • Compensation: See Pinnacle Airlines.

Craigslist Ad

Hilarious! Or maybe I’m just easily amused…

Comments

  1. it is pretty funny, especially because its pretty close to the truth.
    no idea what regional would bid for this at the moment. maybe if they want a lot of oversized paperweights.

  2. Ha! This is going to be an interesting little game. I hope it works out favorably for everyone. On the other hand, having spent a few years flying for a certain regional airline back in the day, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to leave one regional to go join the bottom of the seniority list for another regional.

  3. Eagle pilots will only leave Eagle and go to another carrier because the company is creating a situation where it is necessary. And that is what AAG is doing and have said they will do. Some will be lateral (First Officers going to another regional) and some will move up (experienced First Officers or Captains going to a JetBlue, or Spirit or a larger legacy carrier). But it is the company creating this situation, make no doubt about it.

  4. I was a ramp rat for Atlantic Coast Airlines over a decade ago, although I left before the Independence Air experiment. Others might call it a “fiasco”.

    Back then, I learned exactly how nasty the regional airline business is. On paper, it looks ok, senior captains were making six figures, the airline had been around for decades, and never furloughed anybody. That’s what we all told ourselves, anyway.

    But the reality is that if you’re not growing, the nature of the airline beast is that your labor costs increase every year in ways that are beyond your control. Under the types of agreements that are common these days, these costs are passed on to the major affiliate. They get tired of paying them, and think they can outsource the flying for cheaper.

    And they do. Some other regional-airlline-dujuour will come along and say, “we can fly it cheaper.” Yeah they can fly it cheaper, because when your previously cushy airline gig goes belly up because your carrier lost the contract, the next carrier is going to hire you at first year wages — $22k/year. UNLESS, you are lucky enough to get hired on as a street captain.

    That’s when I learned the realities of pilot life, and I said f that. What for? I still work in aviation, but on the white collar side, I can get laid off and get a 25% pay increase (which I’ve done.) At my current employer, I work with people who have been at the company longer than I have been alive, and I’m not fresh out of school anymore.

    BTW, back to Independence Air… flawed business model or not, I had respect for them trying to stick it to United. Truth is, even if they didn’t try, they were still screwed, so why not give it a go?

  5. In what universe does it makes sense for pilots to start at $21,000/year? A standard office job is 2080 hours per year (40 hrs/week) which means that you could sign-up for a basic clerical work at $10/hr and get paid the same 🙁

    Lame!

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