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Old 11-23-2007, 05:48 PM   #1  
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http://www.fltops.com/article.asp?ID...teway=Industry



EXCLUSIVE: American Eagle helping pilots meet minimums

Charlie Lunan
11/20/2007
American Eagle has begun paying for simulator time to bring pilot candidates up to its minimums of 500/100 hours, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
In the last two months, the airline has begun interviewing pilots who have 400 hours of total time and 100 hours of multi-engine time and offering to pay for simulator time to help some reach their minimum requirements, said Andrea Huguely.
"If we get someone in the door and they need some hours, we will help them out," said Huguely. "It depends on the (candidate's) hours and the interviewing. It's done on an as needed basis. Certainly we don't have to do that with every case."
She said the airline is picking up simulator costs through its bridge programs with flight schools, including one run by Flight Safety International. She said the costs could reach thousands of dollars for some candidates.
"In the past, the pilots would have to pay to get that time, but we change what we do with those programs as the market changes," said Huguely.
ALPA encouraging AE pilots to leave
The new practice comes as American Eagle's pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association, is openly encouraging its pilots to leave the airline.
Under a 10-year agreement between ALPA, American Eagle, American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association, American Eagle pilots were awarded certain rights to advance to American Airlines. However, when American Airlines began furloughing thousands of pilots in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, hundreds of its pilots instead flowed down to America Eagle. With nearly 2,400 American Airline pilots still furloughed, most American Eagle pilots are looking at seven to eight years before they can move to American.
A tentative agreement (TA) reached in late October between the four parties would have aided pilot recruitment and retention by moving more than half the Eagle pilot seniority list to American Airlines and offering bonuses and other incentives, according to both ALPA and the APA. However, the TA fell apart earlier this month when American Airline executives insisted on inserting language that would have allowed them over scope issues and the matter is now headed to arbitration.
"Because the tentative agreement has collapsed we basically have no confidence the company has a plan to solve the pilot shortage and we actively encourage our pilots to seek other employment and encourage all new applicants at Eagle to do their research appropriately," said Richard Krutenant, chairman of the communications committee for ALPA's Master Executive Council at American Eagle. "Eagle ALPA’s position has been to promote the idea that if you truly want to attract pilots to this airline and jumpstart growth and keep our very senior first officers from leaving, you need to restore career expectations for all our pilots, specifically at American."
Huguely said American Eagle does not disclose pilot attrition rates, but many regional airlines confirmed rates as high as 22 percent earlier this year. American Eagle employs approximately 2,500 crewmembers, acceding to ALPA.
Discontent helping AE lower pilot costs
At the same time, however, the discontent is helping American Eagle rejuvenate its pilot ranks. It is working with ALPA to help its pilots find jobs at other carriers even as about 400 former American Airline pilots are being called back to that airline.
"We want someone to enjoy the profession of being a pilot," she said. "If we can’t place them at American we will find another place for them to go to and that - I know - other carriers are not doing.” Short term, that creates a little bit of a training bubble for us, but long term it's a good thing for our company."
American Eagle executives have noted that all this will help them control costs because those leaving are among its highest paid pilots.
The U.S. major airlines are projected to hire more than 50,000 pilots during the next 12 years, or more than twice the 20,000 pilots now employed by the regionals. Whether the pilot shortage will force other regional airlines to begin picking up flight training costs is far from certain.
At Republic Airways Holdings Inc., pilot attrition has dropped off from its peak earlier in the year and is now hovering below 20 percent, said Warren Wilkinson, a spokesman for Republic Airways.
"We have the highest minimums in the industry and I don't see us needing to do that," Skellon said of helping pilots reach its minimums of 800/100.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:21 PM   #2  
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i havent been told to leave by ALPA
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #3  
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Why would senior first officers leave for less pay? American cant hire new without calling all their furloughed pilots. Eight year wait for fuloughed pilots....cant be true? American they will grow lot faster needing more pilots and what about 60rule whats avg. age at American? I think all they want is cheap young pilots...........
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:04 PM   #4  
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Why would senior first officers leave for less pay? American cant hire new without calling all their furloughed pilots. Eight year wait for fuloughed pilots....cant be true? American they will grow lot faster needing more pilots and what about 60rule whats avg. age at American? I think all they want is cheap young pilots...........
They're looking for senior Captains to leave the company. Those are the guys making the big (that is relative, of course) bucks at AE.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:13 AM   #5  
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Yep, and until these old captains leave, there will be no potential to upgrade, and all the FO's will continue to leave and no one else will want to go there.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:51 PM   #6  
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Now im not sure if im just crazy.....but i think AE would be one of the better choices in the regional game right now.


Lets face it, attrition is everywhere. Pilot are going to be needed over the next decade, and sooner or later this attrition is going to hit the majors.........if the industry keeps on the course it is right now, then they are going to have to do SOMETHING to attract pilots and actually Keep them.


Call me optimistic, but i actually want to get with Eagle. sure, ill give you that it is not the best position to be in at the moment, but it sure does have some job security........and hopefully the LONG upgrade time will be eliminated in the next couple years....


thoughts?
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:53 PM   #7  
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Funny how management keeps harping on how they want to lower costs to remain competitive in the regional market, and now they are paying for expensive sim time for new hires. Perhaps that will be their new excuse for not raising pay, "We just paid for a bunch of your flight time so you could get this job, we don't owe you anything more."

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I heard it about the TA falling apart, was our management (Eagle) tried to put in something about new CRJs, and that's what through it all off. Makes one wonder what is really going on behind the scenes since there is already contract language regarding more CRJ options. Almost seems like they ruined it on purpose.

I'm surprised more of our F.O.'s haven't already jumped ship, what with places like Delta and Continental hiring without turbine PIC requirements. I haven't heard much about the company helping pilots find jobs elsewhere, I would take advantage of that myself, except I am the cheap labor they want to keep, being so far down on the list.
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Old 11-24-2007, 06:09 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy275 View Post
Now im not sure if im just crazy.....but i think AE would be one of the better choices in the regional game right now.


Lets face it, attrition is everywhere. Pilot are going to be needed over the next decade, and sooner or later this attrition is going to hit the majors.........if the industry keeps on the course it is right now, then they are going to have to do SOMETHING to attract pilots and actually Keep them.


Call me optimistic, but i actually want to get with Eagle. sure, ill give you that it is not the best position to be in at the moment, but it sure does have some job security........and hopefully the LONG upgrade time will be eliminated in the next couple years....


thoughts?
So you'll bet everything on forsight? Good luck, I wish you the best!
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:29 PM   #9  
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So you'll bet everything on forsight? Good luck, I wish you the best!
Isn't everybody betting on foresight when they chose a career path?
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:07 PM   #10  
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agree with the bumm....but its' kinda like the stockmarket....betting on the low hoping for a turn around is a risky gamble.
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