View Full Version : A sidedly smug conversation with Dan Garton......

04-02-2013, 09:51 PM
DAN: I wanted to update you on two items that have been front and center for many of you in recent weeks: the Republic Airlines capacity purchase agreement and our fleet plan.
ME: Do you really think this is an appropriate time to release this information, Dan? I mean, you might scare off new hires or, worse yet, continue to deflate employee morale. But, if you insist, go ahead....

DAN: As you may know, the Bankruptcy Court recently approved American's capacity purchase agreement with Republic Airlines.
ME: Why didn't Eagle Management put forth a RFP for that flying again, Dan?

DAN: We will begin to see Republic aircraft flying for American in August as a part of the summer schedule, with additional aircraft being added with the August schedule change for September.
ME: Wow, that was fast. The announcement that Republic was to begin flying large RJ's for AA was only made 2 months ago. How will this impact our operation?

DAN: How does this impact our operation?
ME: That's what I just asked you, Dan.

DAN: Four of Eagle's CRJ-700s will move from Chicago to New York, effective Aug. 27. Based on the rule of thumb that we need approximately five crews per aircraft, this schedule change will result in approximately 20 Captains and 20 First Officers being displaced from the CRJ in ORD, with about an equal number of vacancies opening in New York. Some additional flight attendants will also need to transfer to New York to accommodate this movement.
ME: So can we expect to see a Vacancy/Displacement Bid anytime soon? We haven't seen a bid since January, and we were promised to see one in March. Also, with the Republic flying primarily based in ORD, will ORD remain a domicile for American Eagle Airlines?

DAN: We will not be closing or suspending our operation at ORD or any other pilot or flight attendant domiciles. We are still evaluating the impact of the relocated CRJs on our maintenance program, but it is not expected to be significant. The current plan is for all regional ORD ground operations to be handled by Eagle employees. Therefore, no reductions or displacements are expected for fleet service clerks or agents.
ME: Do you pinky-promise that ORD will not be closing and that Eagle's operation will not be suspended or closed at any other pilot or flight attendant domiciles?

DAN: We believe more CRJ-700s will be reallocated from Chicago to other markets toward the end of 2013 as additional Republic aircraft come into service. Details on these specific movements are not available at this time, but will be communicated to you as soon as they are known.
ME: Dan, you pinky-promised! Didn't you just say that we would not be suspending our operation at ORD? Your previous statement implies that the CRJ will likely be removed from the ORD fleet plan altogether in the future.

DAN: The effort to select and purchase large regional jets for the American network is ongoing. We hoped this acquisition would have occurred by now, but the process became more complex as the needs of the new, post-merger American are now being considered.
ME: Don't change the subject, Dan. We understand that American Eagle is "trying" to acquire large RJ's. What the employees want to know is have you secured future flying with American Airlines with our current fleet and cost structure? Can the employees of American Eagle Airlines count on you to secure their jobs in the future?

DAN: We are completely focused on solidifying Eagle's fleet plan in the coming weeks.
ME: So what you are saying is that your head is completely up your :bleep::bleep::bleep::bleep::bleep:e$ and it might take several months to solidify Eagle's fleet plan? What about the fact that Eagle Management has released a document that spells out future aircraft losses at Eagle. A document released April 1st, 2013 shows that American Eagle Airlines will only operate 167 aircraft by the end of 2015. Using your words that "we need approximately five crews per aircraft," wouldn't that mean that we would stand to lose approximately 780 pilots not to mention the loss of flight attendants, maintenance personnel, gate agents, rampers, etc.?

DAN: I want to stress that even though we are operating in a different environment than we have previously, we are a strong company and I am confident we will continue to play a significant and vital role in the network of the new American.
ME: What is your definition of a "strong" company? Don't we really just fly at the pleasure of American Airlines?

DAN: With the August schedule change for September we will begin phasing out seven of our smaller EMB-135 aircraft: six scheduled and one spare, in preparation for fall returns to the lessor.
ME: Do you have any good news for the employees at Eagle?

DAN: Based on current projections, including the gradual phase out of the EMB-135s, we will be flying more than 220 jets at year end.
ME: That's just swell! So I guess the employees at Eagle shouldn't start looking for new employment until 2014 then?

DAN: For some context, our fleet will still be two times larger than any other airline fleet contracted to serve the American and US Airways network.
ME: For now. So what you are trying to say is that there is still some more "fat" to trim at Eagle?

DAN: At the same time, I want to remind every Eagle employee that our success today and in the future depends on our ability to deliver safe and high-quality service to our customers at the lowest possible cost, each and every day.
ME: What success, Dan? In the last year Eagle employees have received some of the worse news in the company's history. In the last year, we have seen the closure of LAX and SJU, the retirement of the ATR fleet (with no replacement), and outsourced flying by SkyWest, ExpressJet, and Republic. If you ask me, that's a real bummer!

DAN: We must all work together to show the new American why American Eagle has been such a reliable and stable partner: a partner American has entrusted with a significant portion of its business for many years. I am confident they will recognize the value American Eagle brings to the combined company.
ME: I don't think American has received that memo, Dan. Why else are we seeing Eagle shrink?

DAN: In 2012, thanks to the efforts of all of you, and despite the challenges presented by our restructuring, we delivered some of the best controllable completion, A+14 and baggage performance in our carrier's history.
ME: Don't you think it's a little late to give the Eagle employees a pat on the back for the job they did last year? Too little, too late.

DAN: Let's continue to focus on providing outstanding service to American and our ground-handling partners so we can retain and win more business going forward.
ME: Why, because you don't want the employees at Eagle to focus on the fact that American Eagle Airlines is a ship without a Captain at the helm? Or maybe you don't want them to focus on the fact that this ship is taking on a sizable amount of water? Perhaps you don't want the employees at Eagle to focus on the fact that you are busy making an exit on the only life boat? Which is it, Dan?