RJs & UAL

E

Eagle

Guest
What would it take to make RJs be a profitable part of United's fleet?
 
OP
E

Eagle

Guest
Yes I do have questions. I also have a very good understanding of United's relationship with our UAX carriers. What I am trying to understand is how can we work through the roadblocks to make it profitable to add RJs to United's fleet? Why can’t it be just another aircraft like a smaller A319, flown by UAL pilots, crewed by UAL flight attendants, and maintained by UAL mechanics? If ACA, AW, and SkyWest can do it, we should be able to find a way. Not being a union member, is it scope clause? If so, does it make more sense to place (or price) it outside the contact then it does to get the jobs inside? Just trying to learn.
 

Farley

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
190
0
Yeah, wouldn't that be nice. Ditch the UAX carriers? Do you mean fire all of their employees? You have run one entity into the ground, so now you want to take another one and do what?

It's not your company, not your job.
 

G4G5

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
164
0
I agree with you Eagle,

If you can get both aircraft for around the same price(which I not sure that you can). I would opt for the A319.

What most people seem to miss when they preach the RJ line is the rising saleries. The new sr ca RJ70 rates at Comair are only the begining(better then 4th year F100 and MD80fo at AA). ASA is up next. Then Skywest is an independant, whose next ACA?

What people miss is the RJ's are no longer being flown by 5 year pilots. Most of these guys are commited to the airlines and are now demanding the bennies they deserve. Their was a time when Comair/Eagle/ASA didn;t have any 15+ year pilots, now they do. With the current state of the economy nobody is going anywhere. So these numbers will only increase in the next 5 years(pilots receiving max pay). It will quickly reach a point where the majors will not care who flyies it because the pay rate will be the same.
 

UAL777flyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
730
0
In order for UA to operate RJ's with its' own employees, pay rates would have to be such that they'd be profitable. In other words, you'd have to pay pilots basically what the regional carriers pay their pilots. Same thing with the rest of the employees involved with RJ's. That's really the only reason they're profitable in this industry is because the regional carriers are basically a B scale of the large major carriers. I'd much rather see us ditch the regional UAX carriers and have UA own the RJ's and fly them using our own employees. But I have a hard time believing it would happen at UA. But who knows. The way things are now, anything could happen and it wouldn't surprise me.
 

Farley

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
190
0
Maybe the rate will be the same someday, but when I was last at ACA the average seniority was 2-3 years. The payscale hit $100/hour at year 18. Almost nobody is getting paid the top scale. I can't speak for the seniority of the other carriers, but I know that Skywest has been on a huge hiring binge for the last few years, so I assume they are getting more junior as well.
At least Skywest has more senior guys collecting whatever their top wage is. Another irony is that lots of our best guys with 7+ years of seniority were hired and subsequently furlouged during the recent hiring at the majors. Now they will have to wait it out, or start over with no seniority. That stinks.
 

mastermechanic

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
202
0
Whoa...I think you're taking 777flyers comment out of context. We're talking operational theory, nobody is talking about firing anyone or taking over anything. But along with this thought, I am fairly sure that the RJ carriers are doing well because they are basically subsidized by the majors. They are not paid on a per passenger basis. Pay is also reflected by current market rates, so as the majors go up, they too want to go up as well.
 

sumsonic

Member
Oct 22, 2002
27
0
www.usaviation.com
Maybe some pilots on this board could answer this? Given the fact that pilots are paid by weight of a/c (productivity), I'm guessing the pay scale is a linear progression for you guys (a straight line from the 737 to the 747). I know there are other variable, but is that an accurate guess? If so, what would happen if we plugged in CRJ's (50 seaters, 70 seaters, and 90 seaters) to that progression? How much difference would there be between those rates and the rates of UAX? What about work rules? How could they be applied in this case? Then there is the question of the other groups, mainly IAM and AFA. Could those work rules be adjusted for this type of flying. One thing to consider, since we are throwing this theory out there, there is a lot of potential savings to be had by doing this. No more fee per departure, instead UA would get the margin that our UAX partners enjoy.

I have to agree with UAL777flyer. This could only work if the costs of operating these SJ's is fairly close to to what the regionals enjoy. I guess the questions should be, could we do it in house?
 

767jetz

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,286
2,779
UAL777flyer,

I agree whole-heartedly with your last posts. However, G4 G5 makes a good point about the cost of labor rising at the regionals. There will be a point in the future that pilots at regionals who decide to stay there as a career, climb the ladder and achieve payrates consistent with their years of service. Of course I can't speak for the other labor groups. I don't think UA ALPA would sign off on RJ payrates at current regional rates. But it might be possible for example, to take ComAir's rates projected out a few years, (which is where they will eventually be as they become more senior) and still be competitive. I think most pilots on or facing furlough would rather stay employed by United and fly an RJ at a lower rate. Just a thought.
 

UAL777flyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
730
0
Farley,

Hold on a minute. I am not advocating that UAX carriers fire their employees. I never said that. But my allegiance is to United Airlines. A case can be made that the only reason regional carriers are in business today is because they live and die off the feed from the larger majors. Same thing with those majors. But if a major owns and operates its' own RJ's with their own employees, it becomes a much more efficient operation, provided the costs are kept low enough to make it sustainable. So if RJ's are going to be a part of this industry for the long-term, I'd love to see UA own and operate their RJ's with their own employees, even though I doubt it'll ever happen.

And to say that UA would be running their UAX carriers into the ground, some of those carriers do a fine job of that already. Just look at ACA's operation results in/out of Dulles. It's a joke. The UAX carriers and United have a mutually beneficial relationship at this time. That's good for both parties. But my paycheck is signed by United Airlines, so forgive me if my primary concern is looking out for what I feel is best for my company.
 

UAL777flyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
730
0
sumsonic,

You raise a very interesting point about payscales. However, there is potential for dangerous territory where pilots are concerned. Let's say UA bought RJ's and got agreement from ALPA to have UA pilots operate them, albeit at competitively low regional-esque pay rates. Now one big worry for ALPA would be what if the company used this as a way to whipsaw the more senior pilots into lower pay scales? Meaning get rid of 744's and replace them with RJ's, like we're pretty much doing right now. You end up putting downward pressure on the average pilot pay which is something ALPA isn't going to be fond of. So if such a system ever came to fruition, there would have to be ironclad contractual stipulations as to how many would be in the fleet, ratio of RJ's to larger jets, etc. Pretty much what ALPA had in contract 2K. However, the company used force majeure from the 9/11 tragedy to basically go below many of the floor measurements that were agreed upon.

So could such an agreement be worked out? Absolutely. But my opinion is that you'd have to have a high amount of trust in the CEO and senior leaders and a visionary pilot group that recognizes such a deal as being in the best interests of the company, if indeed it is. The economic climate and industry climate would also have to be favorable to such a transaction.
 

767jetz

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,286
2,779
[blockquote]
----------------
On 10/30/2002 10:30:03 AM Farley wrote:

Yeah, wouldn't that be nice. Ditch the UAX carriers? Do you mean fire all of their employees? You have run one entity into the ground, so now you want to take another one and do what?

It's not your company, not your job.
----------------
[/blockquote]

Excuse me Farley,

The deal UA has with it's UAX carriers basically pays them per departure. It's a business transaction. I'm sure there is a contract in place guaranteeing this arrangement for a certain amount of time. So I wouldn't worry about it for now. However, If UA could do it at the same or similar cost, then we would, could, and should fly the planes ourselves and ditch UAX. No offense, but as you said, UAX carriers are not our company and therefore not our concern.

Beyond any contractual obligations, we have no moral or financial obligations to you, your company, or your job.
 

767jetz

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,286
2,779
[blockquote]
----------------
On 10/30/2002 1:40:23 PM sumsonic wrote:

Maybe some pilots on this board could answer this? Given the fact that pilots are paid by weight of a/c (productivity), I'm guessing the pay scale is a linear progression for you guys (a straight line from the 737 to the 747). I know there are other variable, but is that an accurate guess? If so, what would happen if we plugged in CRJ's (50 seaters, 70 seaters, and 90 seaters) to that progression? How much difference would there be between those rates and the rates of UAX
----------------
[/blockquote]

You are correct about the linear rate. It is basically a straight line. You pose a good question about where that progression would place an SJ. Unfortuately I don't have the answer, but it's something I've often wondered myself.
 

Latest posts