Flight Cancellations

BigRed1

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Aug 30, 2002
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HOTLINE – JUNE 25, 2004 Back to Hotline Homepage
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CREW CANCELS

Good afternoon. This is Captain Steve Forte on Friday, June 25.

As you know, we’ve taken more cancellations than normal over the past week or so due to limited flight crew availability, particularly in the B737 fleet. Clearly, some of our flight crew planning assumptions were off, specifically those dealing with narrowbody trip trading. While extremely difficult weather conditions this month made the situation more complicated, we simply can’t experience these types of pilot shortages. It’s not fair to our customers and it’s not fair to you.

As a result, we’ve made a number of significant changes to help mitigate this issue now and in the busy summer months ahead.

We’ve substituted A320s for B737s on certain routes, moving about 400 hours to the Airbus in July and 600 hours in August.
We’ve canceled all non-required B737 pilot training for next month.
We’re reviewing all open time before secondary line assignments are finalized for July.
And we’re reviewing the trip trading assumptions we’ll be using to make certain manpower calculations going forward.
While operational results have now returned to more normal levels, we’re still going to be tight in several fleets this summer. We’ve got sufficient pilots in absolute terms, particularly given the fact that we expect to be parking a significant number of B737s this fall. Our challenge is to ensure that our pilot manpower is always allocated to the proper seats and fleets.

I appreciate everything you are doing to keep things running as smoothly as possible – and I especially want to thank all the pilots, crew schedulers and others who have changed their personal plans to put in extra time. I know it’s not easy out there – and it’s going to continue to be tough – but I’m committed to doing everything in my power to make sure you can stay focused on the mission at hand – running an exceptional, safe operation and providing great service to our customers.

Have a good weekend, fly safe and let’s keep running a great airline
 
"Clearly, some of our flight crew planning assumptions were off..."

HMMM... Translation. Clearly, we are starting to realize we don't operate in a perfect world, and clearly, things looked great on paper, but CLEARLY, we once again had our head up our ass.

As a furloughed pilot who was among the very last to get the ax, this is very very frustrating for me to read. It is going to be a crazy summer. Only gonna get worse.
 
BigRed1 said:
... we expect to be parking a significant number of B737s this fall ...
That's interesting.

Anyone know more about that? Are the Shuttle configs (or some other 737 sub-fleet type) being parked? Does this mean the schedule is shrinking? Are the flights operated by those planes gonna be replaced by Airbii (and if so where are THOSE planes coming from)? Or are more cities going UAX? Or are frequencies being reduced?

Anyone?
 
Is Capt. Forte an ALPA or company representative? Mentioning the 737 parkings seems to confirm some of the other rumors on this board, esp. if he is a company rep.
 
737nCH11 said:
It has been common knowledge for several months that the 37s would be parked in the fall.
ALL of them?

Wasn't common knowledge to me! Guess I'm out of the loop...
 
The 20 or so 37's to be parked have are a mix of shuttle/non-shuttle.

This has been the plan for quite some time - we have already seen many markets go to UAX, and aircraft utilization will increase to cover for the loss of these aircraft.
 
WorldTraveler said:
Is Capt. Forte an ALPA or company representative? Mentioning the 737 parkings seems to confirm some of the other rumors on this board, esp. if he is a company rep.
He's management -- head of Flight Ops if I'm not mistaken, but I'm sure a UAer can give us the official title.
 
What's sick about sitting airplanes is that airlines have NEVER shrunk into profitability.......ask all your friends from TWA and Eastern. In fact, by shrinking the fleet, you instantly become more inefficient - unless more layoffs are around the corner.
 
I keep hearing that we're going to park the 737's and start picking up the outstanding orders for remaining Airbus. My Captain on Saturday said that there were about 70 orders/options left for A319/320's.

No tears shed by this FA as we bid the Guppy buhhhh bye!

FA4UA
 
FA4UA said:
I keep hearing that we're going to park the 737's and start picking up the outstanding orders for remaining Airbus. My Captain on Saturday said that there were about 70 orders/options left for A319/320's.

No tears shed by this FA as we bid the Guppy buhhhh bye!

FA4UA
Are you not just a little afraid that the creditors who are already in line for money owed to them might take offense at United spending money on new stuff when they haven't paid for the old stuff yet?
 
I think that Continental and America West have been the only 2 airlines that were successful in shrinking into a profitable carrier. But shrinking by 20 a/c when you are the size that UA is, is not really shrinking. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Good Luck to all. Just my thoughts.....
 
If the B737 go to IAD to help replace ACA for a while this summer/fall, I acn see IAD becoming almost gridlock at times. There will beplanes everywhere. Can't make for much fun for the passengers, as I believe that delays will become huge. Just my thoughts.....