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More out of Work

Old 10th Jul 2006, 04:38
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More out of Work

Dear FLTops TODAY subscriber:
With the recent announcement by Northwest Airlines that it will accelerate the retirement of its 12 remaining DC-10-30 aircraft, the end of the line inches closer for flight engineer positions at major passenger airlines. The last Northwest DC-10 flight is scheduled to land at MSP on January 8, 2007, ending a 34-year relationship between the widebody aircraft and Northwest.
Northwest excluded, there are only a handful of three-pilot aircraft left at the major passenger carriers. ATA Airlines operates a small number of L-1011s. United Parcel Service, FedEx and ABX Air all operate three-pilot aircraft, so there will continue to be a number of pilots "flying sideways," but the virtual demise of the three-pilot aircraft--Boeing 727s, 747-100s and -200s, older Airbus 300s, L-1011s and DC-10s--over the past decade has led to a major decrease in the number of flight engineer positions in the industry. The paradigm shift toward modern, two-pilot aircraft has impacted job growth in the industry. Despite the rapid growth the industry experienced in the mid-1990s, airlines were somewhat quietly retiring the old three-pilot workhorses in favor of new, two-pilot jets.
In 1996, there were nearly 7,000 flight engineers working at the carriers currently classified as major airlines (at least $1 billion in annual revenue). About 4,400 of those worked for passenger carriers. With the retirement of nearly all of Northwest's three-pilot aircraft (it also operates a small number of Boeing 747-200s and Boeing 747 Freighters), passenger airlines will employ a very small number--less than 200--flight engineers. If you exclude Northwest's freighter operation, the number will be less than 100 by year-end.
The number of flight engineers at the cargo operators has also declined in the past 10 years, but not as precipitously...
Read the rest of this electronic editorial at FLTops.com by clicking on the FLTops TODAY tab.
David Jones
Contributing Editor
[COLOR="Blue"]= ABX just furloughed some PFEs and another 2-25 will be gone if the continue to park the 8's.[/COLOR]
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