Friday, October 09, 2009
at 1:29:18 PM
US Airways, today, announced the sale of 10 of their 25 Embraer 190 aircraft to an unnamed carrier. Why is US Airways selling the 10 E-190 aircraft and how will the sale affect our members?
Although the global economy is showing signs of improvement, the economy of airlines is not. Airlines are reducing capacity in order to match supply with demand. Due to contractual provisions, US Airways is required to maintain a minimum fleet size. Those contractual provisions exclude the E-190 fleet from the minimum required aircraft. US Airways has only two ways to reduce capacity. They can either reduce total aircraft utilization or sell aircraft that are not part of the contractual minimum aircraft fleet requirement.
By selling the 10 E-190 aircraft the Company can kill two birds with one stone. The Company can reduce capacity and increase cash on hand via the sale of part of the E-190 fleet.
The E-190 fleet is currently based in CLT and PHL. The Company has not given the Union any indication of block hour decreases for either base. While mathematically, the loss of 10 aircraft from the East fleet will mean a reduction in personnel, it is unlikely there will be any involuntary furloughs of Flight Attendants. Prior to any involuntary furlough, the Company is contractually required to offer voluntary furlough (VF) and voluntary separation programs (VSIP).
Currently there are 100 East Flight Attendants on a three month VF and those Flight Attendants will be returning to work December 1, 2009. More than 100 bidders oversubscribed the current VF program. The loss of ten E-190 aircraft would roughly equate to 150 Flight Attendant positions. The Company will have to assess their staffing needs and then offer both VF and VSIP programs before any Flight Attendant is involuntarily furloughed.
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