12/21/02 Airline News



[FONT face=Times New Roman][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][STRONG]United Tries to Cut Airline Partner Fees[!--plsfield:stop--] - Regional Carriers Are Target of Plan[/STRONG] [/FONT][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3]WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - United Airlines is seeking to cut payments to its three regional airline partners, including Dulles-based Atlantic Coast Airlines Holdings Inc., by $70 million to $80 million a year to help reduce costs while operating under bankruptcy protection, United confirmed yesterday.[/NITF] [/FONT][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3]Complete Story: [A target=_blank href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19626-2002Dec20.html][FONT color=#0000ff]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19626-2002Dec20.html[/FONT][/A][/FONT][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT color=#333333][FONT size=3][STRONG]Delta Says Jobs, Service May Be Cut Without Alliance[/STRONG][/FONT][/FONT][/SPAN]
[/FONT][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT color=#333333 size=4][SPAN][FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3]WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) - Delta Air Lines Inc. said jobs and routes may be cut unless the U.S. approves its planned alliance with Northwest Airlines Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc. [/FONT]
[FONT size=3]A draft letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation said that without the alliance, the three carriers ``may well be forced' to reduce the workforce and service. Delta spokeswoman Catherine Stengel, who released the letter to some media, said the document was never approved by management and was not sent to the government.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [/FONT][/FONT][A target=_blank href=http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgPAbBUiRGVsdGEg][FONT face=Times New Roman color=#0000ff size=3]http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgPAbBUiRGVsdGEg[/FONT][/A]
[FONT face=Times New Roman size=3]Chip comments:[/FONT]
[FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3] It looks as if the DOT is moving towards blocking the three-way alliance between Delta, Northwest, and Continental. Today the Chicago Tribune said The Transportation Department said in a regulatory filing that smaller carriers and the attorneys general of several states, including Iowa and Connecticut, had requested it again delay making a decision. While we have not made any final decision, we have advised the three airlines that we believe the agreements as presented to us raise competitive issues, said Read Van de Water, the assistant transportation secretary for aviation. We have discussed our concerns in detail with the three airlines.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Delta, Northwest, and Continental have been holding up and even adding capacity in US Airways' markets to try and drive our company out of business. With US Airways moving towards emerging from bankruptcy and additional traffic diversion from the other major carrier to UAL and US Airways, I expect to see the other major airlines drawing down capacity that undoubtedly will help our airline.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3][STRONG]US Airways Reaches Pact With Mechanics, Other Unions[/STRONG] [/FONT]
[/FONT][SPAN][FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3]ARLINGTON (Bloomberg) -- US Airways Group Inc. reached tentative agreement with mechanics, flight attendants and baggage handlers for concessions to allow the seventh-largest U.S. airline to secure financing needed to operate in bankruptcy. [/FONT]
[FONT size=3]The airline would save about $45 million a year under the proposed contract with mechanics and cleaners, and $14 million from the deal with baggage handlers, said Joe Tiberi, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Airline spokesman David Castelveter declined to discuss the amount of cost savings.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [A target=_blank href=http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgPEUhWBVVMgQWly][FONT color=#0000ff]http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgPEUhWBVVMgQWly[/FONT][/A][/FONT]
[FONT size=3][STRONG]US Airways Reorganization Plan[/STRONG][/FONT]
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[P class=bodytext align=left][FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3]ARLINGTON (theHub.com) - US Airways will file its plan of reorganization and disclosure statement later today with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Today’s filing maintains the reorganization timetable announced in August at the beginning of the company’s “fast-track†Chapter 11 reorganization, which contemplates confirmation of the plan by March 31, 2003. The company said that the planned electronic filing with the court is scheduled to occur this evening after the close of business. [STRONG]A Special Bulletin and related material will be issued for employees and the reorganization plan document will be made available on the company’s Web site, usairways.com, but most likely not until Saturday morning. [/STRONG][/FONT]
[P class=bodytext align=left][FONT face=Times New Roman][STRONG][FONT size=3]US Airways files POR, GECAS agrees to finance large RJ order, new shares to be issued[/FONT][/STRONG]
[FONT size=3]ARLINGTON (Bloomberg) -- US Airways Group Inc. filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would allow the seventh-largest U.S. airline to come out of Chapter 11 under new ownership.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [A target=_blank href=http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgP5BhYaVVMgQWly][FONT color=#0000ff]http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APgP5BhYaVVMgQWly[/FONT][/A][/FONT]
[P class=bodytext align=left][FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3][STRONG]Chautauqua agrees to operate 23 additional RJs for US Airways with J4J provisions[/STRONG][/FONT]
[P class=bodytext align=left][FONT size=3][FONT face=Times New Roman]INDIANAPOLIS - In a company update on December 20, 2002, Bryan Bedford, President and CEO of Chautauqua Airlines said, Our Holding Company [WEXFORD Management]has also reached a tentative agreement with US Airways to operate up to another 23 regional jets; also assuming numerous conditions are met, including approval by the ALPA association at US Airways. [STRONG]Since Chautauqua cannot comply with the Jets for Jobs requirements, additional furloughed pilots from Airways would be covered under the other regional jet service agreement between the Holding Company and US Airways.
[/STRONG][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/SPAN][/SPAN][/FONT][/SPAN][FONT face=Times New Roman][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][STRONG]
US Airways reaches deal with top 4 unions[/STRONG]
CHARLOTTE (Charlotte Observer) - After three weeks of tough negotiations to wrest $200 million in union concessions, US Airways reached tentative deals late Friday with all four of its major unions.
The airline announced agreements with its mechanics and fleet service workers, represented by the International Association of Machinists, and with the Association of Flight Attendants. Members must vote on the deals.
With the agreements, the airline -- which is operating under bankruptcy court protection -- was expected to file its reorganization plan late Friday or early today.
All four unions reluctantly agreed to the deals because they saw no alternatives, union spokespersons said. At various times before and during the talks, airline executives and investors said the carrier might have to shut down if the unions didn't agree.
I didn't want to play poker with management, said Steve Hearn, president of the Charlotte chapter of the AFA and a union negotiator. I couldn't make the decision for the people I represent on whether they were bluffing or not.
Ultimately, the members will have to look at this agreement and see if it's something they can live with.
Under the deal, flight attendants would surrender some sick time, make scheduling concessions and pay more for health care. Negotiators recommended approval. IAM negotiators also agreed to concessions and recommended approval.
US Airways, the principal carrier at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, wants $900 million in federal loan guarantees, but must submit a plan of reorganization that assures the loans can be repaid.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama, US Airways' primary lender, said it wouldn't provide more financing without the concessions, which were needed to make the plan viable.
Earlier, US Airways reached a deal with pilots and a tentative deal with the Communications Workers of America, which represents customer service agents. Concessions were valued at $101 million for pilots; $45 million for mechanics; $26 million for flight attendants; $14 million for fleet service workers; $11 million for CWA members and $2 million for other unions.
Pilot spokesman Roy Freundlich said, The whole approach to unions and employees was hostile. He said unions will be watching to ensure that management remains committed to the airline's future.[/FONT][/SPAN]
[/FONT][FONT face=Times New Roman][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][SPAN class=BodyFont][STRONG]MEC CODE-A-PHONE UPDATE #2 - December 20, 2002
This is Roy Freundlich with US Airways MEC update number two for Friday, December 20, with four new items:
Item 1. US Airways announced today that it will file its Plan of Reorganization POR this evening with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
This filing is expected to maintain the reorganization timetable announced in August 2002, which contemplates confirmation of the Company's reorganization plan by March 31, 2003.
The POR is a legal document that provides how the company will pay creditors and how it will be governed following emergence from bankruptcy. Details of the POR should be available tomorrow and include the modifications resulting from reduced revenue projections and costs.
The AFA and IAM mechanics and fleet service workers reached tentative agreements today on additional cost reductions. Since Wednesday the CWA and TWU simulators engineers, ground school instructors and dispatches also reached cost reduction agreements.
Item 2. The Company posted Permanent Bid 03-02 today. The effective month of the bid is March 2003.
The drivers of the bid include:
Reduction of 27 Captain Positions.
Remaining 79 of the previously announced 145 furloughs will be furloughed effective February 4, 2003.
Adjustment of primary lines due to new duty rigs and variable minimum calculation.
PIT-LGW-PIT B-767I service returning March 9.
Additional offering of voluntary leaves in lieu of furlough. The company is talking with the Association and details will be announced soon.
A copy of the bid is available on the Pilots Only section of the MEC web site at usairwayspilots.org.
The bid will close at 2330 Eastern Time on January 5.
Item 3. Midway Airlines has received bankruptcy court approval to begin operations in January and training classes have been scheduled which include jets for jobs vacancies.
The number of US Airways pilots From the Affected Pilot List (APL) is being scheduled for each initial training class as follows:
18 pilots are scheduled for January 10. The Company must have a compete list of pilots to attend this class by December 30.
18 pilots for a February 1 class date
10 pilots for a February 21 class date
14 pilots for a March 14 class date
10 pilots for an April 4 class date, and
13 pilots for an April 25 class date for a total of 83 out of 166 small jet vacancies at Midway Airlines.
The hiring process will be conducted per APL procedure listed in the Restructuring Agreement. These vacancies will be made available in seniority order to all US Airways pilots who are on furlough, who have received a furlough notice, or who are expected to be furloughed on Feb. 4. A contact number to inquire about these vacancies should be available on Monday, December 23.[/SPAN][/FONT][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][SPAN class=BodyFont][STRONG]Chip comments:[/STRONG] By July there should be 163 Midway J4J opportunites for furloughed US Airways pilots.[/SPAN][/FONT][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][SPAN class=BodyFont]US Airways, Unions Tentatively Reach Agreements[/SPAN][/FONT][/SPAN]
[/FONT][SPAN class=BodyFont][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3]WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - US Airways reached tentative agreements with its flight attendants and machinists unions last night, as it prepared to file a new reorganization plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[/NITF] [/FONT]
[NITF][FONT size=3]If it keeps the airline from liquidating, it's a positive development, said Jeff Zach, a spokesman for US Airways flight attendants.[/NITF] [/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [/FONT][/FONT][A target=_blank href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20396-2002Dec21.html][FONT face=Times New Roman color=#0000ff size=3]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20396-2002Dec21.html[/FONT][/A]
[FONT face=Times New Roman][FONT size=3][STRONG]Airline unions agree to cuts - US Airways plots bankruptcy recovery [/STRONG][/FONT]
[FONT size=3]PITTSBURGH (Post-Gazette) - US Airways has reached a tentative agreement with its unionized mechanics, flight attendants and baggage handlers on work-rule changes and benefit reductions over the next 6 1/2 years that are a key component of management's strategy to pull the carrier out of bankruptcy.[/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [A target=_blank href=http://www.post-gazette.com/businessnews/20021221usair2.asp][FONT color=#0000ff]http://www.post-gazette.com/businessnews/20021221usair2.asp[/FONT][/A][/FONT]
[FONT size=3][STRONG]Pension snub rocks US Airways[/STRONG][/FONT]
[FONT size=3]PITTSBURGH (Tribune Review) - US Airways' request to slash its pension-funding obligations by $1.1 billion has been rejected by the federal government — a defeat that could cripple the struggling airline's effort to climb out of bankruptcy, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review learned. [/FONT]
[FONT size=3]Complete Story: [A target=_blank href=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_109046.html][FONT color=#0000ff]http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_109046.html[/FONT][/A][/FONT][/FONT][/SPAN][/SPAN]
[FONT face=Times New Roman][SPAN class=BodyFont][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][STRONG]Tilton's Path to Bankruptcy Surprised Airline Industry, Siegel's did not[!--plsfield:stop--] [/STRONG][/FONT][/SPAN][/SPAN]
[SPAN class=BodyFont][SPAN class=BodyFont][/SPAN][/SPAN][/FONT][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT size=3][SPAN class=BodyFont][FONT face=Times New Roman]WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - When oil executive Glenn F. Tilton took the reins of United Airlines in September, the marketing pro immediately launched a campaign to get employees, customers and politicians to lobby the Bush administration to bail out the airline. Tilton exuded such can-do confidence that many were surprised when the effort collapsed, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy protection a few weeks ago.[/NITF]
[NITF]David N. Siegel, a longtime airline executive, took a different approach when he stepped in to run US Airways in March. Weeks before the carrier's August bankruptcy filing, he signaled to markets what was coming, and he arranged for financing, government backing and employee cuts based on that idea.[/NITF]
Complete Story: [/FONT][A target=_blank href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A19822-2002Dec20][FONT face=Times New Roman color=#0000ff]http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A19822-2002Dec20[/FONT][/A][/SPAN][/FONT][/SPAN][/P][/DIV]