View Full Version : Just the tip of the iceberg......

18th Sep 2001, 06:50
According to Speednews--
American, Continental, United, Northwest, Delta, US Airways, Mesa Air Group, National, America West & Air Tran are each announcing a minimum 20% decrease in flights and accelerated retirement of older aircraft types. Massive layoffs at each carrier.
Certainly not good news.
In addition...... "US President asked the Congress to develop a comprehensive assistance package for the US airline industry"..... (which is asking for an aid package totaling $24 billion).
Why should the tax-paying public be asked to contribute to the clearly overextended US airlines which have gone on a buying binge for shiny new aircraft and grossly overpaid pilots under newly negotiated union contracts? The stockholders should hold accountable the clearly inept managements of these airlines and show them the door with a firm kick with a size 12 boot.
In America, i'm afraid we have many "Swissairs". :mad:

18th Sep 2001, 07:12
It is a funny thing you know...when the family farms were dropping like flies, when trucking companies are dying like flies, when small businesses are going under in record numbers...I hear no outcry saying they need government intervention. The tragedy that struck the airlines as horrible as it is, is a cost of doing business. The financial loss to the airline industry will set them back but they will survive. The air traffic has been outstrippin the infrastructure in the United States for years. Any business that cannot survive a one week shutdown isn't being managed correctly in the first place. So much of the traffic hauled by airplanes could just as well go by surface transport if it still existed. Very unwise decisions were made by both business and government in the past that allowed our surface transport infrastructure to deteriorate to the point that in times of national emergency such as this, the nation becomes hamstrung. The short sighted Harvard School of Business concept of worrying about the next quarterly report and ignoring longterm strategic thinking in itself is going to create a national emergency one day. The old adage of live for today but plan for tomorrow holds here. Airline passengers have been near rebellion for years....late and delayed flights, missed connections, arrogant ticket pricing practices, excessively high seat pitch....and on and on. This slow down in air traffic will ultimately be a blessing if the airline management types can get their heads out of the sand long enough to see what is really going on.

18th Sep 2001, 07:16
Pardon me, 411A, but are you aware that we had a terrorist attack last Tuesday with a loss of more than 5000 lives?

Are you aware that US service men and women are getting ready to put their lives on the line for the free world (and yes, you too)?

Are you aware that the whole air transport system and the CRAF (Civil Aircraft Reserve Fleet) is at stake here? And yes, I did step up to the plate and fly soldiers in and out during the Gulf war, voluntarily.

Did you know that when you applied for your FAA pilot licence you claimed to be a man of "good moral Character"?

And all you have to state is your pettyness and jealusy over the aviators that have made it further in life than you?

Shame on you!

18th Sep 2001, 07:34

I am all too aware of the tragedies in the past week, but you have missed my point entirely. Airline managements in the USA have grossly mismanaged their companies for years (with a few exceptions)and have a LOT to be held accountable for. Braniff, Eastern, TWA.....the list goes on and on.
And let us not forget ALPA, always crying poor at contract negotiation time while at the same time stabbing many in the back...Eastern again comes to mind.

Oh, and by the way, I personally have done very well in 35 years of airline flying, worldwide :p

[ 18 September 2001: Message edited by: 411A ]

18th Sep 2001, 07:58
The US airlines are supposedly so vital to the national economy that their contract negotiations and operations are subjected to inspection by the US government even up to Presidential level. Their every move is discussed in DC and despite deregulation they are often prevented from following their preferred business plans "in the national interest".

Surely such a vital national asset is worthy of support in these unusual times. The question of past responsibility is not relevent. The question is what damage would be done to the US if several major airlines were forced to cease operation in the next few months?

You can always rely on 411 for a short sighted viewpoint. I bet he wears glasses one inch thick and walks into doors!!!

18th Sep 2001, 07:58
To those who might reply to 411A - check around the forums - 411A frequenty posts insensitve topics and replies - a known troll without it seems any respect for the feelings of those that have suffered loss in this disaster. don't waste time trying to debate a point beacsue 411A only strirs things up.


18th Sep 2001, 08:51
41, (if I may make so bold as to call you by your first name), I think it’s time someone said this to you in words of less than three syllables:

The vast majority of people on this site quite frequently (almost always?) ‘miss your (many) points entirely.”

Now where I come from, if the message isn’t getting through to the VAST MAJPRITY of those reading it, we tend to question whether it is the sender who is at fault rather than the many receivers.

Your well known and all too often quoted phobia regarding anyone occupying a driver’s seat in an aeroplane (sorry airplane) earning more than sweatshop rates has lead you deeply into the realms of bad taste in opening this thread. If you’ve “personally have done very well in 35 years of airline flying, worldwide”, why in the world do you feel this apparent compulsive need to try to ensure no one else does?

Ignition Override
18th Sep 2001, 09:02
411A: Come on now. You somehow forgot to mention (or chose not to state) the well-known fact that US pilot unions at the major airlines, in more than a few cases, have given up anywhere from 15-40 (yes, forty, at TWA) percent of their gross salaries for three or more years. By such simplistic statements and excluding the historical truth about fluctuating salaries, you implied that pilot unions have no interest in saving their companies, as if they would never consider helping with the cash-flow problems.

Only laymen fail to realize that after a certain age, our companies often are our only careers, unlike most careers out there, and it is a well-known fact inside our industry that all US airline employee groups make considerable pay cuts when needed. But they don't always happen overnight. I remember when America West was rescued (at least to a large degree) by Arizona banks. And their employees' retirements consisted only of company stock (or a little bit in 401Ks?)! That must have been frightening for the older folks.

Drinking strong beer from Montreal or Europe and Ppruning don't mix very well.

[ 18 September 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

18th Sep 2001, 09:08
411A, You will only upset people by being
a realist. Many who have been around a lot
longer than, obviously. some of your detractors can see the truth in your post. :rolleyes:

18th Sep 2001, 09:17
Let me get this straight - government edicts instantaneously reduce hub capacity by 20%, airlines are suddenly have overcapacity, and that's airline management's fault?

And as for ALPA - those 8 ALPA/APA members aren't even in their graves yet. Ask their wives if they were "grossly overpaid."

18th Sep 2001, 09:22
Yes WILEY, many on this site do not agree with my views because they have very short sighted views toward aviation in general and the airlines they work for in particular. Generally, their only concern is....how much can I squeeze out of the company while working the fewest days. And airline managements are determined to resist at every turn, and expect the Federal government to bail them out when times are tough, as they are now. And to make matters worse, these same airlines turn to the lowest bidder for security, a shameful situation.
Many pilots think that the airlines they work for are bottomless money pits. They will soon find out otherwise.

18th Sep 2001, 10:26
Huck, Very eloquently put.

411A, Guess your tri-motor operation is looking a bit stuffed. If it ever existed that is.

18th Sep 2001, 11:34
The overcapacity in the US aircarrier industry has been apparent to those who have bothered to look, for some time. In addition, if just a small percentage of those excessive pilot salaries had been spent on more intense security in the first place, the incidents from September 11th would certainly not have happened. You get what you pay for, and in the security business, using the lowest bidder just does not cut the mustard.
Quite the contrary, one of our customers has requested two additional aircraft. The first one leaves for heavy maintenance shortly.

18th Sep 2001, 11:37
I feel sorry for pilots now after last week to be honest, those "golden days" of ground breaking pay increases are well and truly over now. The amount of money these airlines will now lose is staggering, AA's share price was down 42% after yesterdays trading.

I'm afraid that pilots salairies will be one of the first thing they look at in the massive cost cutting that will have to happen. In other words, it's a giant s**t sandwich and we'll all have to take a bite.

And remember, the most important thing to any airline has always been cash flow, even stopping flying for a day, hurts airline companies more then you'll ever know.

Chimbu chuckles
18th Sep 2001, 13:23
And just what form of airport security stops 10 essentially unarmed individuals that no Intelligence agency has EVER heard of getting on an airliner?
I flew with and old codger once who when he retired went into 'management' cause he had brown nosed the local natives whose airline it was. He then went on to(successfully) do his best to destroy the very terms and conditions he had enjoyed for '35 years'. You sound just like him !!!!


18th Sep 2001, 14:55
First of all, do you think the management, whom you agree are totally inept, should make the salaries they do?
At least the pilots perform their alloted tasks with some degree of effectiveness.
On a hypothetical ticket costing say $500, just how many dollars go to pay the pilots?
What percent is that?
How much do you tip at a restaurant, or perhaps you think waiters are greedy and overpaid, and are out to bust restaurants?

18th Sep 2001, 19:07
I could not agree more. The american government should do a little bit of wait and see here before investing a huge pile of money into the american airlines. I am not against government intervention where it is required, but it will be healthier in a long run for the aviation industry if the highly paid employees, pilots and management alike for example, to be part of it as well.
Let's all pull the banwagon together instead of having some of us only riding on it. We all agree it is a tragedy directly related to aviation, but why should everybody else in the US feel the pinch while the highly paid pilots across the US (and around the world as a matter of fact) could keep their wages intact. It will probably save jobs as well at the bottom of the seniority list. Too many flights, too many routes, too many shiny and brand new airplanes half empty, too many pilots in some cases (at Air Canada here for example it's a big joke, btw I am not with AC), too many lucrative contracts, and the list goes on and on.
I am afraid that some clocks will be reset to where they should be and it's good. Money has to come from all walks of life, and not only from the average taxpayers. You wanna bet that the airline industry will come out of this healthier in about a year from now if it is done rightly. Every thing is cycles in life. Surfing on top of the waves may have just come to an end abruptly.
Let me resume by saying that the US government should sit down and talk with managements and unions alike country wise before doing anything else.
Sorry guys.

18th Sep 2001, 20:29
So, 411A claims that sufficient security measures, paid for by "gross pilot salaries", could have prevented the tragedies in the USA. Interesting view 411A.

My opinion is that those are very contentious words indeed, 411A. Just as well we all have our anonymity.

Are your tri-motors real or "virtually-real"?

18th Sep 2001, 20:54
411A If life is as simple as you make it out to be then we would all have your crystal balls. The history of many airlines over here in the USA is steeped in the sacrifices made by the employees. Airtran pilots have just agreed to a pay cut to save pilots jobs. More to follow. Your secular views are disturbing because you barely touch any major facts but you make sweeping statements. How very shallow. As far as being over paid, that's for the industry to decide. I had 8 flight deck collegues murdered during their job last week. When was the last time a doctor was hijacked in surgery and murdered? You seem to have little or no respect for your fellow aviators. Do you really consider the profession you where in for 35 years to be so anal. Go into a small hole where you belong and pray for forgiveness

18th Sep 2001, 20:55
UAL just announced (Yahoo Aviation News) that it is returning to full schedule flying.

As to airlines' request for government bailouts: Obviously it doesn't cost anything to ask for money. Whether they'll get tax payer help is another story. I don't suppose that taxpayers would approve of giving carriers cash; maybe some tax relief at most.

Even before Sept 11th, most carriers suffered from overcapacity and bloated management salaries and bonuses, especially by the top dogs at USAir.

19th Sep 2001, 05:54
For those with long memories, Continental 64 (B707-324) LAX-HOU, was hijacked in 1963 and the perps were arrested after the tires were deflated by FBI agents. After this and many other incidents, the SkyMarshal program was initiated and for awhile the incidents stopped. IF this very wise program had been continued, the 5000+ souls in NY, DCA and PA would no doubt still be alive. Security is a tough business, not for the faint hearted. Just ask El Al.
The Delta CEO was crying poor today, after having just signed a record-breaking pilot contract a short time ago. When airlines accumulate cash in profitable times, it should be saved for the lean times that certainly follow. But no, they increase executive salaries, shop around for other airlines to purchase (usually a very bad idea)and have little chance to save after labor (especially pilots)demand their collective slice of the pie. Planning is very short term.
Quite real actually, s/n 1212, first engine runs completed yesterday.

19th Sep 2001, 06:32
Take a look at the US Agricultural Omnibus Bill...if the US stopped subsidising the "most efficient" agricultural industry in the world there would be more than enough public money to assist industries most affected by this tragedy.

When major sports stars and business leaders receive 100's of thousands of dollars in agricultural subsidies then it's time for a rethink.

Just think of the positive political effect it would have globally...and especially in poor countries if they didn't have to compete against the worl's most subsidised agricultural industry...


19th Sep 2001, 08:06
Yes Traffic, it's called "corporate welfare", and it stinks.

19th Sep 2001, 15:08

I somehow don't think you are "feeling sorry" for pilots, but rather eager to spread the doom and gloom a bit further.

Regardless of what the markets are doing at present, unless the world is about to pack up the business WILL bounce back eventually, like it alwas has.
As to low salaries - this will create a SHORTAGE of pilots, because no one will agree to work for [email protected] pay, having spent so much money getting the licence in the first place.
So just wait and see.

19th Sep 2001, 16:10
Stelios you are living in cloud cookoo land my old son, anyone who has had a long time out of work, me for 14 months will tell you that the money the UK gov give you, and for me that was nothing at all will want to go back to work for any amount, believe me anything is better than nothing. What do you want these people to do, stay at home and spend what little of their savings that they have left just to boost their own little ego's, not a hope my old son, take the pay drop and grab everything you can cos if you don't the next guy will. This is the real world and like the ALPA ban on CX recruitment will not last long people need the work and when needs must!!!!!

21st Sep 2001, 20:54
I find it hard to comprehend how a tragedy that occurred less than two weeks ago can already be forgotten. You stated that the management should have planned ahead. How in the world do you plan on having your airplanes hi-jacked and flown into the WTC. Have you no human compassion Man? The relief requested was not exorbitant by any means with the majority of it in the form of loans, that will be paid back once the airline have recovered. From the gov’t point of view the money will come out of the tax payers pockets irregardless, where do you think unemployment funding is derived from, the unemployment fairy. Furthermore with you sour attitude I find it hard to believe that you have existed in the aviation business for 35 years, because you need friends to succeed in this business, of which I am certain you have very few, with your outlook on life in general.
I do agree with the fact that Airlines continuously overbook flights, and fought every proposal to beef up security that was presented a few years ago. Definite poor management and Board decisions driven by the almighty dollar, but to try to hold them responsible for this atrocity is incorrigible, and reeks of bad taste and bad form. That I feel is very inappropriate in the after map of this tragedy. Had the Airlines gotten into this financial burden due to flying public’s refusal to pay for the shoddy treatment they were receiving, then I would tend to agree that a request for financial support would be out of line; but that is not the case.
Good day to all.

22nd Sep 2001, 01:32
Taxpayers don't take kindly to wholsale CASH bailouts of airlines because indirectly, bloated pilots' salaries, exhorbitant management salaries, bonuses with "golden parachutes" are subsidized. Do you know how much money those gangster executives at USAir are pocketing? $Millions! Look into it. And now the likes of USAir Chairman Wolf is crying "wolf" and is asking for taxpayer money to bail out his mismanaged semi bankrupt airline.

[ 23 September 2001: Message edited by: PPRuNe Towers ]

23rd Sep 2001, 01:56
411 -

While a popular and blind blood-thirst is in the air, there is another well-documented side to this which is terrifying.

If one examines the scam of the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution," which was the excuse for the Viet Nam War, Ambasador April gillespie's cryptic message to Hussein before the Gulf War, and the selectively ignored - and denied - warnings of the latest terrorist acts, one comes to a horrible conclusion which defies credible denial. The FAA's refusal to implement legitimate airport security is far too extreme to be a bureaucratic SNAFU.

Congress changed the law, governing the FAA, permitting what we saw on telivision and in the media.

There is no difference between knowingly permitting the obvious to happen; and making it happen.

As with Viet Nam and the Gulf War, the tax-based cash flow to Texas will be the barometer of truth in the matter. Few appreciate the Texas ownership of the expanded "Military-Industrial-Space and Energy Complex." Tracing actual corporate ownership is quite revealing.

The tax dollar figure granted to Texas based airlines will be a story by itself.

Passionate, dramatic and vitriolic protests to messages such as yours cannot alter facts or history.

It should not be forgotten that the current President's father announced the "New World Order." Despite passionate protests, that 'virtual entity' cannot be denied.

As radical as the statement may be, the documented history leads one to fear that we are looking at an enhanced version of Nazism, itself; to be known in history as the "New World Order."

The floor will now entertain the disinformationists.

23rd Sep 2001, 02:37
It goes a lot further back than you think, SKYDRIFTER, all the way back to Dwight Eisenhower and his warnings of the military-industrial complex/association in 1955. But then, nobody was listening.

23rd Sep 2001, 08:30
You're right about not listening. Or, just selective listening. I attended one of the brave Flight Officer's Memorial Service and was shattered by how close the tragedy hit home and was continually between tears and rage throughout the last 11 days.
This senseless act of religious fanaticism and devotion to death will have profound effect forever. The criminal and military justice brought about should be sweeping, precise and irrevocable. The economic crisis created by the inhuman acts can be reversed by time, healing and a sense of security throughout interconnected economies.
The world changed on 11 Sept. However, on 10 Sept, UAL was on course to lose 1B USD during '01. From UAL's seats to flower vendors outside hotels to just about every corner of the travel industry, everyone was not in their usual economic stride.
Your thoughts on an industry beset by woes before 11 Sept. are both unnervingly accurate but punctuated by incredible insensitivity.
The bright side is that people everywhere, and their precious goods need to go places, and they will return. Airlines, and the travel industry in general will return. Their return will not be judged by your analysis, but by a return of the brisk growth opportunities it offered, the product so many enjoyed and the promise of a continued prosperity.