More On The So Called "transformation Plan"


Aug 20, 2002
US Airways to lay off 55 jet maintenance workers

By Thomas Olson
Thursday, January 1, 2004

US Airways is approaching a new "restructuring phase," said US Airways CEO David Siegel on Wednesday, when the airline said it would furlough 55 jet maintenance workers in the struggling carrier's second layoff notice in two days.
"Sometimes you have to prune the garden before you can grow it," Siegel told employees in a bulletin yesterday.

The pruning will include 36 ground-equipment mechanics' jobs sometime in February and 19 aircraft cleaning jobs, including three based in Pittsburgh, the airline said.

But in a last-minute bow to US Airways mechanics' union, management backed off its decision to close eight maintenance locations. They included such US Airways secondary bases as Columbus, Jacksonville and San Diego -- but not Pittsburgh.

"They are not going to close those eight locations because we threatened to take them to court," said Joe Tiberi, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists, which represents nearly 5,000 aircraft mechanics and about 4,800 bag handlers.

In a letter to their members, union leaders said the hangar closings would have been a "blatant violation" of their contract with US Airways and refused to arbitrate the matter.

"This is just like they did trying to take the Airbus maintenance to Alabama. And so we fought this too," said Tiberi. When US Airways management began subcontracting Airbus jets to an Alabama maintenance contractor, the machinists union got an injunction banning the practice in late October. US Airways' appeal of the case is pending.

Siegel is seeking to lower US Airways' operating costs by as much as $300 million annually, starting in 2004. It is part of what he termed yesterday as "the next restructuring phase" since the airline reorganized during bankruptcy a year ago. But he has so far been vague about details.

The CEO also said US Airways would grow the mainline fleet "in significant numbers in 2004 and 2005." Siegel had told executives at a Dec. 16 meeting that the expansion entailed about 60 new aircraft. MidAtlantic Airways also will play a part, as will cost cuts to maintenance, dispatching and benefits, Siegel told Wall Street analysts in November.

"The time is approaching for us to make a choice," said Siegel yesterday about the challenges of continued weak traffic and heavier competition from discount carriers such as Southwest Airlines.

"(W)e can fight and win by matching (discounters') fares and their costs," said the CEO.

Management is trying to shrink further US Airways' historically high operating costs. The airline's cost per seat mile of 12.8 cents two years ago was down to 10.3 cents as of October.

Siegel aims to lower seat-mile costs to 8 cents for mainline flights. In addition, he wants US Airways to increase point-to-point flying -- versus connections through its hub-and-spoke system -- which would cost about 6 cents per seat mile to operate.

Union officials expect more plan details to be disclosed at employee meetings in the coming weeks. "They (US Airways) said they would start peeling off layers of the restructuring plan in mid-January," said Tiberi.

"The devil is in the details, and we haven't heard them yet either," said Capt. Bill Pollock, chairman of the Airline Pilots Association's US Airways unit.

Meanwhile, US Airways said Tuesday it would lay off 552 flight attendants on Jan. 15 to rebalance work rolls after 360 returned from voluntary leave earlier this month. While Pittsburgh was spared layoffs, Philadelphia will see nearly 300 flight attendants lose their jobs.

Some of those being furloughed, however, might land a job with MidAtlantic Airways. US Airways' new regional jet division, which is slated for Pittsburgh, said yesterday those to be furloughed can bid for 48 MidAtlantic flight attendant jobs based on seniority.

Bidding lasts through noon on Jan. 12, and retraining begins on Feb. 2. New-hires must make a six-month commitment but would see their MidAtlantic pay offset by their US Airways furlough pay.
Well... its nice to see some information that is publicly available.

Without the details, it sounds like UAIR is going to try and become the airline it was prior to bankruptcy with lower costs... The problem that I see is that UAIR already gave away many of its point to point markets, and it won't be that easy to jump right back in. Although, I think an increased focus on point-to-point service on mainline jets at LGA couldn't be bad... The problem will be winning people back from JetBlue and others.
Now let m think....If I was a paying passenger..which would I prefer...a Jet Blue 320 or a Usairways RJ at the same price? I think I'll go blue!!!!! :huh:
PineyBob said:
As a CP the decision isn't all that clear cut as you may think. Several reasons

1 - Many of my routes are now turbo-prop and the RJ is a huge step up.
2 - SWA/JB doesn't even fly to many of the cities I fly to as part of my business activities.
3 - Seat 12A on the EMB-145 is more roomy and comfortable than a 737 coach seat and I with my status I can usually get it.
4 - SWA/JB do not have as good a FF program as US does. In every market survey where all things are equal, the FF plan is the differentiator.
5 - When I connect sometimes I need a quiet place to make phone calls and check e-mail. Haven't seen an SWA or JB Club have you?
6 - CP desk when things go wrong. Irregular Opperations are NOT an LCC strong point.
7 - Irregular opps! LCC's lack interline ticketing capabilities. US can do involuntary reroutes on other carriers to get me to my destination. LCC's generally can't.

As you can see from this very short and incomplete list the type of aircraft is only ONE factor. Not to be insensitive but I really don't as a paying customer care if it is mainline or express as long as I arrive something close to on time with my stuff and a resonable price. ONE of the HUGE factors for me is that the company knows what to do in terms of getting me where I need to be when things get wacky and speaking strictly for me they have done a great job.

The reasons you listed support "your" flying preferences not neccessarily those of the "general" flying public or other US1's.

And anyone with as much flying time under our belts like you and I can get through any disturbance in the system. It's the general public, that don't fly enough, that have the problems and cause problems when there is a hiccup.

1. Live in PIT and get stuck on an RJ 80% of the time. This has caused me to use NW now.
2. Nope, they aren't even in PIT yet.
3. as a US1 why are you coach? ;)
4. FF programs are for airwhores like you and I
5. Clubs......!! USAirways clubs don't even compare to UA or NW (love the ladies at PIT but US Clubs need a makeover desparately)
6. THANK GOD FOR THE CP DESK!! Great people, can't argue with this one.
7. Again since the LCC's aren't in PIT I can't comment.
usacrew3 said:
I think you should take a good look at South wests ff program, it is actually a great deal.
Very true. Free beer and tickets with no restrictions. Unless you want to go to the Carribean, Europe, downtown Boston, New York City (in a timely manner) or a few dozen other places. Each plan has its' advantages.