Thanks for the thoughtful post...hope you get back in the air soon. I Also hope to add at least one more person below you on that seniority list! Once this thing is dead for good, I am sure you'll be back and they'll perhaps start hiring a few folks. Too bad there is such anomosity between the two groups of pilots. I'd give my left nut to be on either team at this point.
Yes, I have been generally in favor of the merger, because I saw the battle for interisland supremecy draining both companies to the breaking point. Also, I felt there was some good in becoming larger, as the inertia of size itself helps airlines grow. As our CEO Paul Casey said (pre-merger and paraphrasing here) "We decided not to start the HNL - JFK route this summer because we just arent big enough to support the route while we grow the clientele and make a name for ourselves. If we were bigger, we could afford to lose some money in the short term to establish the route. Now we really can only afford to fly routes that will be profitable from the beginning."
Assuming Brennemans predictions were right, the merged airline would save a lot of money interisland, and that would have translated into faster (and bigger) growth, which meant faster upgrades, and more flying. Talking to one of the guys on the merger committee, he assured me there was no way we'd end up with a 'date of hire' senority list merger, as the Aloha guys didn't have any career expectations of flying wide-bodies, and were probably then (and now) looking at imminent bankruptcy. All together, these things made me look favorably at the merger. One big plus was also Brennemans reputation with employees, and as a great airline manager.
The postings Jim mentioned on our union board were made by me in the first hours after the announcement that the deal was off. I mostly felt then that the failure was due to strong influence in the islands by residents to keep their cheap airfare, and by HAL employees who would do ANYTHING to scre* over the Aloha guys, including sinking the deal. Since then however, I've seen the news reports on what our management did in the week before the announcement, and now I feel they were probably right: Just as Jim said, Brennemans plan was exactly the same as ours was before the merger, and our owners finally decided the cost was too high in taking on Aloha's debt. Also, Hawaiian has recovered much better than Aloha in the last few years, to the point where we even made a profit post 9/11. We're poised for great things, and I guess the merger would actually have slowed that down.
So Jim, I'm a lot closer to your camp now, and hope this is the best for everyone involved. Let's get all of you back on the line and start hiring again.
Hawaiian announced today nonstop service from Honolulu to Sacramento and Ontario CA, starting June 7th, using our new 767's. Obviously a plan to cut off Aloha's strategy of flying into smaller markets with their 737's.
Gonna be an interesting summer.
Looks like you'll get the call back off of furlough Jim!