Mid Atlantic Future In Jeopardy


Dec 10, 2003

I'm sorry that you are having trouble understanding what it is I'm trying to say, but maybe this article will help. Are you sure a Mid Atlantic 170 will be in FLL in a few weeks be operated by a US Air/Mid Altnitic employee? Take a look and expect more outrageous news soon.

Asset sale at airline no longer in focus

US Airways, pilots looking at regional jets

Thursday, February 05, 2004
By Dan Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In another sign of warming relations between US Airways and its unions, executives with the Arlington, Va.-based airline tomorrow plan to discuss with labor leaders how the company can meet its financial obligations without resorting to a sale of some hub operations, its Washington-New York-Boston shuttle or other assets.

"We are not going to default" on $900 million in government backed loans received last year as the airline emerged from bankruptcy, spokesman David Castelveter said, adding "options other than asset sales" will be raised when leaders of the pilots, flight attendants, machinists and reservation workers meet with the company.

US Airways' board met yesterday in Charlotte, N.C., where it was expected to talk about the challenges the airline faces as it continues to lose money and tries to avoid defaulting on the government-backed loans. The board also was expected to discuss any asset sales that might help it raise much-needed cash. New York investment banker Morgan Stanley was hired in December to examine those options and accept bids from other carriers, and several airlines have expressed interest.

But with labor groups signaling a willingness to discuss some concessions, US Airways has started to downplay talk of asset sales. In a message to employees last Friday, Chief Executive Officer David Siegel said it is "not inevitable" that the airline would have to sell any assets of can get its costs down through labor agreements.

To that end, the pilots this week agreed to discuss the company's desire to use regional jets -- smaller, cheaper-to-operate planes that were to serve as the backbone of MidAtlantic Airways, a commuter airline to be based at Pittsburgh International Airport and scheduled to start this spring. Everything from the number to be flown, where they would be concentrated, whether US Airways pilots would fly them and under what work rules would be on the table.

Observers speculated all the focus on regional jets could suggest a rethinking of MidAtlantic even before it has a chance to begin. The company is worried that GE Capital Corp., which financed a large order last year for the RJS from Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer and Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier Aerospace, would pull its commitments if the airline's junk credit rating falls any further.

To prevent that from happening, US Airways is contemplating a strategy that would involve selling or transferring some of the RJs on order to other US Airways Express commuter operators not owned by US Airways. That way, the planes would still operate under the US Airways banner, but the company could relieve itself from the costs of operating and staffing them.

Such a change would require the approval of the pilots union. "The company needs to extricate itself from direct operation of regional jets," said local airline analyst Bill Lauer, and is likely conducting a "massive rethink" of MidAtlantic because of the capital expenditures it would require.

US Airways has already contacted Phoenix-based Mesa Air about buying some of the 170 RJs on order from Embraer and Bombardier, and has raised the idea in a meeting with GE, its regional jet financier. If another carrier is willing to buy the planes, operate them more cheaply and provide regional jet service for US Airways on a contract basis, "Why not let them do it?" Lauer said.
Another Dave Siegel lie to provide furloughed employees from mainline a job with MidAtlantic.

Will we ever see MDA get off the ground?
And what a Shocker that Mesa is waiting for them with open arms... It seems that all of our losses are Mesa's gain.
If it is true, which I doubt very much, the common employees have been screwed by both their management (ever employee will have a job offer at MDA), and by the unions, specifically ALPA, which seems to always eat their young. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Now Mike,

Didn't you read the fine print on that "soft landing"? You know, the part that said they could come back latter and replace the padding with rocks.

:down: Union (IAM) promised MDA in aug of 2002 in the COB .Well guess what I am Santa Clause.I voted for something that they said would happen, no problem
if certain sections of hub ramps and small cities went express and RJS.THis is what
they said in their meetings with us to try to get us to vote yes to help the company
and the members of the IAM survive.Well they lied.
The last time I checked,US Airways and not the IAM was responsible for the development of Mid-Atlantic. I don't understand how it is the IAM's fault that management has screwed the pooch so badly that now they can't afford to buy airplanes to start their low cost carrier. The fact that Embraer can't get their airplanes certified is a completely different situation. I understand that you're unhappy. There are a lot of us who are,but at least try to be fair.
"Observers speculated all the focus on regional jets could suggest a rethinking of MidAtlantic even before it has a chance to begin."

Are you reading that too????

I read the article, but unlike you I don't believe everything that the papers say.They have been speculating for MANY MANY years.(since I was a teenager) that US Airways (US Air) at the time will not be around in ten years.

I don't choose to worry about everything that I read and or hear from "observers speculating". I am telling you what IS going on at MAA right now. If it doesn't happen...Oh Well!!! Why worry about something that we have no control over. Everyone there will just go back to mainline or maybe even to Mesa...lol Who knows.