A familiar few out a Southwest Airline's window.
In January Southwest’s mechanics’ union approved the airline to complete some of their maintenance work in El Salvador. Before the program starts, some Southwest dispatchers are raising concerns about their ability to handle the new international operations needed to get the aircraft to El Salvador.
Southwest states they are working with dispatchers making sure they are fully trained and point out there will be very limited number of the international flights.
With the ever increasing competition to provide lower fares, more airlines have been looking at outsourcing their maintenance work. No matter if one thinks this is a wise move or not, it is important to make sure the people in charge of getting the planes to El Salvador are properly trained to safely get them there, even if there are no passengers on board.
Source: Forbes Image: Sthomas1
Boeing 787 airplane ZA001 outside the final assembly hall in Everett, WA
If you have been following the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have probably been pretty frustrated with the delays. I always love the day when a new airliner is able to come out of the hanger, taxi out, and fly. Boeing says the Dreamliner is on target (well the newest target) to start deliveries in the first quarter of 2010. This sounds of good news, but deliveries were supposed to start in May 2008.
They have had delays from parts, production “glitches” and of course that 2-month strike. Then add to all of that the global economic downturn and people flying less, creating a smaller demand for new aircraft like the 787. Although the demand might be smaller, Boeing still has 878 orders from 57 different customers.
After a three-month effort to try and unionize the pilots of JetBlue, they did not have enough votes and the pilots remain union-less. Only 33% of the pilots voted for the union, where 50% was needed to approve the formation of a union. This might show a positive outlook of the JetBlue pilots that the main cooperation is able to hear and deal with their concerns now and in the future.
JetBlue, being able to remain union less since its inception in 2000 has allowed them to keep costs low and compete better against other airlines who have unions.
Although unions can surely help with securing competitive wages and benefits for employees, it seems that sometimes in the dire situations the airlines are in, they look out for more of their own interests and not the overall big picture of the airlines. If employees feel they can get what they want without having to form a union — that is probably a good thing!
Source: USA Today Image: matt.hintsa