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View Full Version : AAL Air operations lineup


justfun
12-02-2013, 03:42 PM
Dear Air Operations team,

Thanks to a lot of hard work and unwavering support throughout both airlines, we are now one week away from legally closing our merger and becoming one company! As announced last July, I will have the honor and privilege to assume the position of senior vice president, Air Operations, upon merger close. Our combined team in Air Operations will include pilots, flight attendants and everyone in our respective operations control groups. I am thrilled to join the new American and humbled to lead such an esteemed and experienced group of aviation professionals.

The purpose of this note is to introduce myself to those of you I havent met since I came aboard in a consulting role this past summer, and to present some organizational changes that will take place at our new company next week.

By way of my background, Ive worked in the aviation industry for 28 years. I started my career as an engineer at Boeing and later went on to serve in a variety of leadership roles in finance and operations at Northwest Airlines and Delta. At Northwest, I had the pleasure of serving with a number of US Airways folks that will now be helping to lead the new American. The opportunity to work with them, and you, as we restore American Airlines to its rightful position as the best airline in the world is what motivated me to accept this huge opportunity.

As noted above, the Air Operations division at our new American will include all the teams that directly contribute to the flight side of operations. The new structure will facilitate improved coordination by having us on one team with one mission. In July, we announced a couple of key leadership roles that will report directly to me: Hector Adler, vice president, Flight Services and Captain Kimball Stone, vice president, IOC (Integrated Operations Control). For our colleagues at US Airways, the IOC is the equivalent of your OCC; it is the nerve center of the airline. Hector and Kimball are currently serving similar roles at US Airways and American, respectively. Hector will also assume responsibilities for Catering as he does today at US Airways. Both Hector and Kimball will share letters next week with more information to their respective teams.

You may recall that we deferred announcing the future leader of our important Flight department. Today I am pleased to announce Captain John Hale as vice president, Flight, at the new American. With nearly three decades of service at American, including his current role as vice president, Flight, I am confident Captain Hales extensive aviation experience and passion for serving his team will help us safely and successfully navigate our airlines new opportunities. In the time Ive known John, Ive come away with a strong belief that he possesses the skills we need to blend our two Flight groups into what is truly one team. Please join me in congratulating Captain Hale!

Additionally, I am very pleased to announce that Captain Lyle Hogg, vice president, Flight Operations at US Airways, has agreed to serve in a transition role to help John and me by providing oversight of the US operating certificate and assistance with the enormous amount of integration work we have ahead of us. This includes the execution of our extensive plan to achieve a single operating certificate from the FAA. I cant thank Lyle enough for his leadership, professionalism and collaboration. He has worked both tirelessly and selflessly during a demanding period of task saturation and ambiguity. John and I are very fortunate to have his assistance and counsel during the merger planning process.

Ive spent a lot of time on airplanes over the past five months. As many of you know firsthand, this has allowed me to speak to dozens of flight crews. Ive also been able to meet many others in our various crew bases. The feedback Ive received from you is truly motivating. The enthusiasm at both legacy airlines about the merger and all that it promises is incredible.

As we prepare to navigate these changes, I encourage you to regularly visit Jetnet, WINGS and your respective departmental websites to learn more about the new American, next steps and significant milestones, especially as you plan for interactions with customers and new colleagues.

Anyone involved in this business has experienced some tough times over the past decade with many dark days and things we never want to see again. I can assure you I am dedicated to doing all I can to capitalize on this unique opportunity that officially starts next week. I want to maintain our momentum toward the new dawn on the horizon, and not on the times fading into the sunset. It wont be easy and change wont happen overnight, but if we work together and remain open to change, it will be worth the journey. We should all be proud to tell others we work at the new American Airlines!

Sincerely,

Tim Campbell
Senior Vice President
Air Operations


lolwut
12-02-2013, 03:59 PM
I just looked this guy up.

Looks like he specializes in running regionals.

Hahaha. Good luck.

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 04:01 PM
BAM! Hogg has helped usapa terrorize the west, this is the first shot into the uss usapa.


PurpleTurtle
12-02-2013, 04:03 PM
BAM! Hogg has helped usapa terrorize the west, this is the first shot into the uss usapa.

Can you move on already? Seriously? :D

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 04:05 PM
So that's the second letter out there talking about change etc how hard it will be. Seems they are trying to tell everyone the cheese is moving, deal with it. What kind of Bonus does Hogg get for his consultation role? HA

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 04:06 PM
Can you move on already? Seriously? :D
Tic toc.......

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 04:07 PM
BAM! Hogg has helped usapa terrorize the west, this is the first shot into the uss usapa.


Ya like Hogg is has been the secret squirrel in USAPA's back pocket.. Move on.

Maybe he just didn't like the regional attitude and actions of the west?

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 04:07 PM
So is Campbell another one of Dougies drinking buddies from NWA?

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 04:08 PM
Tic toc.......


Move it to the AOL thread idiot. Everytime you guys start with that tic toc, You loose. So my future looks bright.

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 04:09 PM
Move it to the AOL thread idiot. Everytime you guys start with that tic toc, You loose. So my future looks bright.

Tic toc.......

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 04:13 PM
TIC TOC, when is it ripe?

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 04:25 PM
TIC TOC, when is it ripe?

Feb 8th 2013

justfun
12-02-2013, 04:44 PM
Cactiboss,

Can you, or anyone else, comment on the structure of USA and how or how not this one is similar?

Let's keep thread on subject please.

Thx

R57 relay
12-02-2013, 05:11 PM
Cactiboss,

Can you, or anyone else, comment on the structure of USA and how or how not this one is similar?

Let's keep thread on subject please.

Thx


Looks like the exchange of a pilot for a non-pilot in the top slot under Isom. We have:

Isom-COO
Bular-Senior VP flight ops
Hogg-VP flight ops

So what do AA guys think about Hale keeping the job?

R57 relay
12-02-2013, 05:13 PM
So is Campbell another one of Dougies drinking buddies from NWA?

I'd say one of Isom's. He was at NW and since he cleaned up the post merger mess at US I'm thinking Doug has given him free rein.

CptRexKramer
12-02-2013, 05:28 PM
I've been told Campbell is a very intelligent guy; never met a chart, graph, or metric he didn't like. His strategies are always numbers driven. Although I've never heard he's anti-pilot, I've also never heard he's a friend to us either. Mixed reviews would be the best charcaterization. But it's all been second hand info, YRMV.

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 05:31 PM
Without looking at the timeline and such. Parkers exodus to NWA, was he working with Isom and Campbell there?

I still think all of this was simply Parker revenge. He started off as a bright little start at AA. Things happened and he was kicked out of the nest, landed at NWA. He didn't clean up his act and got kicked out of NWA nest and ended up at AWA. Spent his time at AWA and with AA going into BK, saw his chance to exact revenge and take control of the company that Crandall kicked him out of.

That's my theory of the back room stuff that went on. Probably not even close..

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 05:32 PM
So what's the org chart shaping up to look like. Is Bular definitely in? he reports to Campbell and Hale reports to Bular? I'm lost

R57 relay
12-02-2013, 05:34 PM
I've been told Campbell is a very intelligent guy; never met a chart, graph, or metric he didn't like. His strategies are always numbers driven. Although I've never heard he's anti-pilot, I've also never heard he's a friend to us either. Mixed reviews would be the best charcaterization. But it's all been second hand info, YRMV.

That sounds like Isom. Nice guy, has done well here but really pushes agents/sup/managers for the numbers which filters down to the pilots. I had an agent tell my JS rider today that he needed to just set in the cockpit because he had to shut the door. First of all not his call at all and contrary to our FOM for non-mainline pilots.

Was at a crew news session where a pilot told Isom that he might be inclined to slow down due to his pay and you could see the veins pop out on his neck.

justfun
12-02-2013, 05:35 PM
R57,

Here is a quote from Hale last year during the BK process:

"A no vote can lead to only one thing uncertainty and more pain. A failed TA and contract abrogation wont bring an expedited, better deal, as some would have you believe. As I said at the beginning, this isnt the message I wanted to focus on today, but given the stage were currently in, I could not in good conscience ignore some of the misinformation that's circulating. This is your life, your future, and your decision. The TA before you includes substantial improvements over the April term Sheet, and represents the limits to which we can responsibly go to meet APA's and the pilots' concerns. A failed ratification will take us down the path Ive just described."


There are a few here who want to give him a break, yet there are others that would have loved to see him not be in a leadership role, because of the above quote. He is a nice guy, no one will argue that, but he spent a lot of good will over the past few years and made so outlandish guarantees when he put in that position. He was put in that position in the summer time. "We will have a new contract by Christmas time." "We will have iPads by Christmas." " Get ready for a cannon shot to your career."

I believe when he first went into his new position, VP of Flight, he had some grand plans, but was thwarted at all turns from implementing them. He found out that Flight Service, Sr VP position, had more say so than he did, this is the flight attendant department. He also found out how much authority he did not have! I think that really threw him off his stride for a bit. During the BK he was, in my opinion told to **** and get on board or else. He is on a very short leash with us so we will see how things work out.

He tried to make changes when he first came into office and started replacing (firing) guys to move in guys that he wanted in those positions. One of those he fired was Kimball Stone, see the letter. Stone had a mentor in Bob Redding, who said no to this firing and made a brand new position specifically for Stone. This is the guy that makes have serious pause.

I think the biggest shock to the AA culture will be the FA's coming back into the flight department. That should be interesting.

Best to all of us.

R57 relay
12-02-2013, 05:36 PM
So what's the org chart shaping up to look like. Is Bular definitely in? he reports to Campbell and Hale reports to Bular? I'm lost

Pretty sure Bular is gone. Before the DOJ action they said he was just going to stay on until joint certificate. I didn't see anything about Schmidt, but don't really know what he does or even his title. I think they just had to find him a home when BOS closed.

Was flight ops under something like marketing at AA? At least we are all under the ops side in a pretty tight line.

Big question: Captain's Authority.

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 05:39 PM
So what's the org chart shaping up to look like. Is Bular definitely in? he reports to Campbell and Hale reports to Bular? I'm lost

Bular? Nope, gone as well.

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 05:39 PM
Not knowing the politics on your side. who is stone and redding? and is stone still in some position. Was following ya until the last two paragraphs.

What shock are the f/a's going to have coming back to flight ops? Or is it just a different branch under Isom....might not be that big of a shock to them... Not even sure how it's setup on this side..

cactiboss
12-02-2013, 05:40 PM
I've been told Campbell is a very intelligent guy; never met a chart, graph, or metric he didn't like. His strategies are always numbers driven. Although I've never heard he's anti-pilot, I've also never heard he's a friend to us either. Mixed reviews would be the best charcaterization. But it's all been second hand info, YRMV.

Doug is all about numbers, no real surprise this guy got picked then.

R57 relay
12-02-2013, 05:49 PM
R57,

Here is a quote from Hale last year during the BK process:

"A no vote can lead to only one thing uncertainty and more pain. A failed TA and contract abrogation wont bring an expedited, better deal, as some would have you believe.
Best to all of us.

Ah, maybe Parker picked him! Did any of you guys hear his comment to an analyst when our flight attendants turned down their 2nd TA? The analyst asked how much Parker was going to have to sweeten the pot to get a contract passed. Parker said that turning down a contract didn't get you any more money, it just gave you more time to think about it. With the NMB ready to park them instead of releasing them, it's pretty much how it turned out.

It's going to be interesting. I don't think this bunch is as labor friendly as a lot of folks give them credit for being. I think they needed you guys, that's why it worked out how it did. Remember, he told us "We don't need you." We'll see how it works when he no longer thinks he needs us, as I don't really think he had any great epiphany about labor. Pretty much standard for US managers these days.

Maybe Hale will be able to do what he wanted to do in the past with Isom. As long as the numbers are good...........

justfun
12-02-2013, 05:52 PM
crzipilot,

Bob Redding was the guy in charge of operations here for years. What an idiot! Do you remember when all of our S80's were grounded? Redding was right in the middle of it. He also, lied to the FAA about the location of a damaged S80. We, APA, told the FAA where it was located and they were able to get it before the plane disposed of. More to the story, but bottom line he committed a felony. He was Reno first, came to us during the purchase of Reno. Total richard nogan.

Kimball Stone, was at Tulsa for a longtime, test pilot base. He does some major ladder climbing. He is currently on the 737, I think. If you are on a layover sometime with AA guys around ask a few questions, you will get an earful.

The FA are under marketing right now. Cecil Ewell, VP of Fight about 13 years ago tried very hard to get them back into the flight department. There is a very large resistance to that because, they FA's don't want to be under the authority of a pilot. We have several former FA's in management here, and they are pilot haters. That is part of the environment that must change.

I hope this helps.

crzipilot
12-02-2013, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the quick run down. Cecil Ewell is about the only name I recognize. That from a buddy that did an internship under him and was offered a job when he got enough hours. Unfortunately he never got to that point before he departed west bound. I do remember him talking quite well of Cecil, and would actually talk to him once or twice a week....

LittleBoyBlew
12-03-2013, 04:34 AM
I would like to see the USA crew culture survive this merger. On the US side the Capt. is ALLWAYS in charge. And the FA's know it. Crew briefs are conducted before each trip. During this the Capt. sets the tone and emphasizes safety and chain of command. I have NEVER in my career at Airways seen or heard of a FA questioning Capt's authority. The same can be said of the gate agents. They have, on occasion, tried to rush the boarding process, but the buck stops with the Capt.
Good luck to US all. We are about to go from 0 to 60 in a Nano second!!

tim123
12-03-2013, 04:53 AM
Campbell and Hector Alder were both at NWA.I believe Hector was the head of in-flight(f/a's) until the merger.I seem to remember that the vast majority of flight attendents absolutely hated the guy.

crzipilot
12-03-2013, 05:48 AM
Haven't really asked, nor paid attention, but don't here any grumblings from the f/a's about him, so don't know.

R57 relay
12-03-2013, 06:26 AM
Campbell and Hector Alder were both at NWA.I believe Hector was the head of in-flight(f/a's) until the merger.I seem to remember that the vast majority of flight attendents absolutely hated the guy.

My wife is a F/A and I've never heard her say anything bad about Adler, but she is pretty much a do you job then go home and forget it type person.

I believe he is responsible for some of the upgrades in service at US and haven't heard any grumbling about him from other F/As.

I'd have to say that overall there is no one on our management team right now that I truly dislike and it hasn't always been that way. Not a fan of VP of labor relations.

lolwut
12-03-2013, 06:29 AM
I'm still surprised people aren't worried about having a former regional airline manager running the place.

From an RJ driver like myself, I can tell you that these guys have one specialty. And that is treating the employees as a cost to be minimized.

justfun
12-03-2013, 06:31 AM
littleboy,

We continually fight that battle on a flight by flight status. They have tried to gut CA's authority in anyway that they can, and have been somewhat successful in that endeavor. We have gate agents closing the door without even talking with the CA, FA's questioning the placement of jumpseat riders in first class. The FA's feel that the cabin jumpseats are theirs and don't belong to the CA, and management has supported them in this. The FA's don't like the fact that they cannot ride the cockpit jumpseat and seem to think that since they can't ride in the cockpit, the pilots should not be allowed to ride on the cabin jumpseats too. We have battles over water for the pilots, some FA's say we are only to be given two small bottles of water (500 ml), two man crew. They think they have say so over when we get our crew meals, part one says that the CA will coordinate with the #1 FA on when meals will be served to the CP. As for bathroom breaks, that is another matter in itself. If I have to take a leak, I will call back and politely ask them if we can schedule a bathroom break. Most of the time they get the hint that I have to go now, not 30 minutes from now, and will interrupt their service to make it happen. Some will ***** and moan about this and feel like we are just getting their way. Alot of this could be avoided if all CA's would brief the FA's on the first leg that we are together.

When the purser program was started here, on international and wide body flights, the #1 is called a purser. (sp?) This is an additional qual for the FA's and a bit more money ( I think ). In this class, ran by flight service not the flight department, they were told that they run everything from the door back. This has grown into the premise, by some, that they are CA's of the cabin. We are continually fighting this battle. They believe that it makes them equal in the chain of command.

Bottom line though, if a CA wants to remove a FA all he has to do is pickup the phone and call crew tracking and say he wants a new #, whatever position, for that flight. This is not questioned and a replacement will be found asap, the other one will be removed. As to what happens once they are removed, I don't know what transpires, whether they are docked pay, reassigned or what.

By bringing the FA's inline to the Flight department, some of these things will be resolved.

Best to all of us.

R57 relay
12-03-2013, 06:31 AM
I'm still surprised people aren't worried about having a former regional airline manager running the place.

From an RJ driver like myself, I can tell you that these guys have one specialty. And that is treating the employees as a cost to be minimized.

We already have that, so no change there.

bassslayer
12-03-2013, 06:52 AM
I'm still surprised people aren't worried about having a former regional airline manager running the place.

From an RJ driver like myself, I can tell you that these guys have one specialty. And that is treating the employees as a cost to be minimized.

I am of the same background and totally agree. Thats why the JCBA process will be very important. This guy will be like a kid in a candy store with vague contractual language.

nwa757
12-03-2013, 07:02 AM
I will say that TC is actually pro-pilot and pro-safety culture for the most part. He ran Compass for a short time after the DL/NW merger so he could stay in MSP. Good guy who was a former VP of Flt Ops and SOC at NW. Aerodynamics engineer at Boeing for 10 yrs. I would at least say give him a chance, especially since he is new to both cultures and has the ability to pick the best practices and culture going forward. My .02

R57 relay
12-03-2013, 07:11 AM
Thanks for all the info justfun.

Some of my comments on management have been negative, I am a pilot after all, but I have to say that I think we have the right team.

Any big company has to fight inertia and Parker does that. He's not one to accept "That's the way we have always done it!" I saw him a a crew news session say "That's just stupid" about some policy and it was changed shortly after.

Isom is a numbers guy, but he has been effective. He came in after the merger and cleaned the place up. I'm willing to give his guy a chance.

LIOG41
12-03-2013, 07:19 AM
I met TC the other day, seemed to be a good dude. Rather young with energy, seemed to be the one most interested in speaking to a couple of newbies more so than the other top dogs with him.

PurpleTurtle
12-03-2013, 08:00 AM
It is the honey moon!!

Every management stiff deserves to "get a chance". They better not F it up. :D

CamYZ125
12-03-2013, 09:51 AM
I'm still surprised people aren't worried about having a former regional airline manager running the place.

From an RJ driver like myself, I can tell you that these guys have one specialty. And that is treating the employees as a cost to be minimized.

I was only at Compass a short time while he was running the show, but it was my impression that everyone thought TC was a great leader. I, for one, was happy to see his name on the new management list.

ForeverFO
12-04-2013, 06:41 AM
CA authority is a big issue right now. The trend is towards the better. It reached a low probably 10 years ago.

Justfun is correct - if the CA asks for more fuel, if he wants an insubordinate FA gone, etc, it happens. There are a few problem FA's, and there are always interesting stories making the rounds, but the CA is still the boss. It's the FA attitudes that need some modification, which is why we are happy to see them returning to Flight from Marketing.

JumpersAway79
12-04-2013, 07:54 AM
I do not see a combative attitude between F/A's and pilots carrying through to a post merger airline. From what I understand, the Captain will make their call to run the aircraft, and what the Captain says, will simply be the way it is, without challenge. This will also be the case with MX personnel and Gate Agents. Allegedly, new training will include addressing the PIC as "Captain", without use of their name. Flight ops seems very intent on establishing an unchallenged chain of command, with no grey area or room for cockpit to cabin infighting. This was discussed by an informal source in newhire training.

I was impressed by what I heard, and motivated by the culture they seek to inspire here. Good stuff coming for us as a new airline, and we'll all be pulling in the same direction with solid leadership. My impression during training was that our culture will matter and play volumes in our future success, and Mgt. recognizes this.

UnusualAttitude
12-04-2013, 08:13 AM
I was only at Compass a short time while he was running the show, but it was my impression that everyone thought TC was a great leader. I, for one, was happy to see his name on the new management list.

Cameron is absolutely right. Tim Campbell was a great leader at Compass. Compass was at its best when Tim was running the show. Within days of taking over he addressed a staffing shortage and had a real open door policy. I think you guys will be pleased.

UA

flybywire44
12-04-2013, 09:10 AM
CA authority is a big issue right now. The trend is towards the better. It reached a low probably 10 years ago.

Justfun is correct - if the CA asks for more fuel, if he wants an insubordinate FA gone, etc, it happens. There are a few problem FA's, and there are always interesting stories making the rounds, but the CA is still the boss. It's the FA attitudes that need some modification, which is why we are happy to see them returning to Flight from Marketing.

I do not see a combative attitude between F/A's and pilots carrying through to a post merger airline. From what I understand, the Captain will make their call to run the aircraft, and what the Captain says, will simply be the way it is, without challenge. This will also be the case with MX personnel and Gate Agents. Allegedly, new training will include addressing the PIC as "Captain", without use of their name. Flight ops seems very intent on establishing an unchallenged chain of command, with no grey area or room for cockpit to cabin infighting. This was discussed by an informal source in newhire training.

I was impressed by what I heard, and motivated by the culture they seek to inspire here. Good stuff coming for us as a new airline, and we'll all be pulling in the same direction with solid leadership. My impression during training was that our culture will matter and play volumes in our future success, and Mgt. recognizes this.

When I was at Continental in 2005 I recall all the Captains complaining about being neutered. What a relief this is not the case at Airways and will not be the case at American.

Coming from a regional it is always odd to have so many people engage you with so much respect.

I am glad Airways management did not let the 2010 work slowdown change their attitude towards PIC's like UAL did in 2005!

badflaps
12-10-2013, 09:50 AM
I was at the dentist today, always with the airplanes. He flew AA LAS/ORD last week. They debarked the A/C and reassigned seats, with the first 10 rows of coach empty, claiming weight/balance issues. It was 3 and 3 no S-80, 737? I was unable to give him a realistic answer. Anybody?

justfun
12-10-2013, 10:33 AM
badflaps,

It was probably a very light load on a 737-800. We do not allow people in the first part of coach due to weight and balance issues on a light load. We had about 30 people one day and we had to do this.

So this is a true story.

badflaps
12-10-2013, 02:03 PM
badflaps,

It was probably a very light load on a 737-800. We do not allow people in the first part of coach due to weight and balance issues on a light load. We had about 30 people one day and we had to do this.

So this is a true story.
Thanks for the rapid response, another mystery solved. Boy, doesn't say much for the economy, who ever heard of a light Vegas load...