September 27th marked three full years in which US Airways Management has failed to complete the US Airways/America West Merger. The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) notes that the airline is entangled in labor disputes, law suits, and customer service issues and Management so far seems incapable of getting the merger completed.
US Airline Pilots Association President Stephen Bradford, who represents the 5,000 plus pilots of US Airways, said, “What the Delta and Northwest managements did in just a couple of months, US Airways Management hasn’t been able to do in over three years. Management’s inability to complete the merger of US Airways and America West, coupled with their apparent focus on short term, quick-return management philosophies, is costing our Company in a big way.” According to the Association, for the first six months of 2008 US Airways ranks a dismal 18th out of 19 on the Department of Transportation’s consumer complaint list; USAPA finds this to be a sobering change from the airline’s top rankings in years prior to the merger.
US Airways Pilots still work under different Collective Bargaining Agreements left over from their former airlines, each having a different set of work rules and pay rates. In addition, they are not permitted to fly each other’s aircraft or intermix crews. “Our situation causes confusion, inefficiencies and severe morale problems that carry over into the airline’s operation. No wonder we have to charge our passengers for water,” said President Bradford. “We see these inefficiencies day after day and at times they create passenger delays and prevent the Company from achieving its potential.”
USAPA believes that merging US Airways and America West into a single airline, with a single Pilot Collective Bargaining Agreement, would allow Management to capture synergies that would benefit US Airways’ passengers, investors and employees alike and go a long way towards positioning the airline for a secure future.
USAPA represents over 5,000 US Airways pilots in seven domiciles across the United States.