Friday, January 09, 2009

Bad News and Some Good News for Atlantic Southeast Airlines Pilots

SkyWest - Delta Connection CRJ900Pilots at Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) received some bad news and some good news this week. The bad news: 80 of ASA's 1,700 pilots will be furloughed as of Feb. 9, 2009. On the more positive side, ASA soon will be flying 10 new CRJ-900 regional jet aircraft.


The furloughs resulted, in part, from planned capacity reductions for the coming year by Delta Air Lines. As a Delta Connection operator, ASA is directly affected by Delta's reduction in flying.

An article about the ASA pilot furloughs in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted David Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the ASA group of the Air Line Pilots Association union, who said the pilot furloughs may last for at least a year, though that could change.
The ASA pilots union is working with the union’s national office to help find jobs for furloughed pilots, such as at other carriers, charter operations or overseas operations, Nieuwenhuis said.

The pilots’ contract protects pilots from furlough if they were hired by the date it was signed in November 2007, Nieuwenhuis said.
All of ASA's pilots are domiciled in Atlanta.

Fleet Re-shuffle

Yesterday, SkyWest, Inc. announced that 10 CRJ-900 regional jet aircraft previously ordered by Delta will be flown by ASA. ASA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest.

ASA currently operates 110 CRJ-200s and 39 CRJ-700s. Several months from now, when the new CRJ-900s begin flying, 20 of the CRJ-200s will be removed from Delta Connection service. SkyWest says that the CRJ-200s are scheduled for removal from contract service between April 2010 and August 2010, which is earlier than the existing scheduled termination dates as contained in the Delta Connection Agreement.

In a statement to the press, SkyWest said, "ASA will evaluate how it will redeploy the CRJ-200s based on market conditions at the time of removal from Delta contract operations. Options may include, but are not limited to, subleasing the aircraft and operating certain aircraft in pro-rate operations."

Bradford R. Rich, SkyWest Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said, “This transaction represents a good faith effort by SkyWest, Inc. to help Delta right-size its fleet through the replacement of 50-seat CRJ-200s with the larger, more efficient 76-seat CRJ-900s. Additionally, we expect the deal to solidify ASA as Delta’s primary regional carrier in Atlanta through the addition of the CRJ-900 aircraft to its fleet portfolio.”

Last year ASA retired 12 ATR-72 turboprops from its fleet.

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