Chataqua background story?

Chunk

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After the news about Chataqua becoming a DC broke, a lot of people were upset. What's the deal with Chataqua? I keep reading things about AE and pilots getting fired....wassup?

Not trying to stir up hate and discontent, just learn a little history.

Chunk
 

vja217

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Disney Version

Here's the Disney version, as I have come to understand:

Comair (who is the largest Delta connection I believe, with a base in MCO as well as CVG), is not able to run RJs out of MCO as profitibly as Delta would like. Therefore, Delta basically took bids from regionals to become their primary DC codeshare partner out of MCO. Chataqua, Trans States, and a whole bunch of other regionals bid for it, and Chataqua won. Many people seem to think that Chataqua gave them a "break-even" deal, or something close to that (Michael Corleone comes to mind, "I'll give them a deal they can't resist"), because chataqua has several confirmed RJ orders and deliveries, and simply needed a place to put them. A plane flying and breaking even is much better than a plane sitting on the ramp doing nothing. Again, this was thru the grapevine so to speak; for all we know, Chataqua could be in a very profitible deal, who knows? No hard feelings from Comair either, because their MCO base is going to get moved to DFW next year, which is a big step up for them. Basically a win-win for everyone involved; the only people that are upset are those flying or furloughed for carriers like TSA that were competing as well for the contract.

That is the story that I have come to understand, there are people on here that know more about it than I do.
Max
 

shamrock

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Couls be wrong but with regards to AE I believe one problem is with the TWA/AA merger. CHQ and TSA were both TWA Express (or TWE) and when TWA was bought by American they became American Connection carriers. Eagle had been doing all the "regional" flying for American up to that point and now some of the Eaglets are upset that they have guys (and girls) on the street while someone other than Eagle is doing American Connection flying.

As for the firings, I'm not really up on exactly what happened at CHQ but I think TSA furloughed out of order (props out, RJs in) and I suspect that something similar happened at CHQ. I knew a guy who was in class at CHQ last Aug/Sep and he wasn't furloughed, he was fired.
 

aceshigh

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The firings at CHQ & the AMR deal

As the firings at chautauqua went last September, it was a low class maneuver to say the least. The company started at the bottom of the seniority list and went about 80 pilots plus or minus a few. From there they continued up and terminated everyone who was in the Saab while bypassing those in the jet therefore creating the out of seniority terminations that have been referenced previously. All the pilots that were terminated were all first year FO's who were on probation and therefore could be terminated without cause. The reason, I believe, that the company did this was to cover the furloughs that they believed they needed while at the same time maintaining the number of jet pilots fly their jets. All growth at Chautauqua has been on the jet side of the company. I don't know when the company took delivery of their last Saab, but I would guess that it's been several years. Several months ago, the company and the union came to an agreement that changed those terminations to furloughs and restored the original seniority for all affected pilots. I hope that answers your questions about the terminations/furloughs.

As for the Eagle situation, that's a big nasty can of worms. Pre-merger, TSA, CHQ and CorpEX were all flying as TWE on routes that were developed by those companies. As I understand Eagle's contract, they have a clause that states that they are to be the only airline porvidng regional feed to AMR (Correct me if I'm wrong). So, I believe that they were under the impression that they would take over those STL routes after the merger. However, I've also heard that they did not have the staffing levels to do so at the time and therefore AMR went with the AC carriers to operate those routes. Now, with guys on the street, Eagle, now wants what they claim is rightfully theirs. However, in my opinion, and I know the Eagle guys are gonna be pi$$ed for me saying so, they sound like a bunch fleas trying to argue over who owns the dog. The answer to that is that nobody owns the dog, you need to get what you can and CHQ management has done that very successfully. In all fairness to the folks at AE though, everyone I've met understands that it is a management deal and not a pilot deal. We'll see what the future holds.


Aceshigh
 

Tim47SIP

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1) ASA is very much larger than Comair. ASA and Comair are the WO's.
2) vja217 is only partially correct. Comair and ASA do not have the capacity at this time to take on the orlando routes. The more important part is the fact that the CL-65 cant get into some of the airfields the E-120's were going to. That is why DCI needed an ERJ carrier do to their short landing distances. Yes, our 70 seater RJ's can also land on these short runways, but the loads are not there to justify the 70 seaters. Talk now is supplimenting the ERJ's with ASA's ATR's. That is of course only talk at this point. DCI is not in a position to buy ERJ's do to financial agreements with Bombardier (sp?). They were going to purchase the ERJ's themselves two years ago for the Florida market and to procure a 40 seat aircraft but Bombardier gave DCI a very lucrative deal with the purchases of the CRJ's if DCI didn't buy ERJ's.
3) Com/ASA are expanding at very great rates and are already designated to go to other destinations based on deliveries of the new RJ's. Some mainline routes and some new areas of expansion. In a recent news release by DCI management, it was stated that the Chataqua placement in Orlando would not be detrimental at all to the Com/ASA pilots as they will continue to expand and be used elsewhere.
This agreement is a fee for departure meathod. The choice may simply not be the lowest bidder as Delta is very concerned with customer satisfaction. It also may have something to do with Chataquas ability to be on line with these aircraft at a designated time.;)
 

dav8or

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Most Hated Airline

1. We are most hated by AE who say the flying out of STL belongs to them because they are owned by AA even though CHQ started the routes under TWE

2. USAir Wo's all hate us because we fly jets for USAir and they don't. Wasn't our call, USAir didn't want to pay for the jets for them but still we are the target of thier dislike.

3. Mesa and TSA don't realy hate us but we are the competition so let's call it a respectful dislike.

4. All the mainline pilots who think we are taking thier jobs.

5. Coex pilots have some rummor that we may start code sharing with CAL so they they are working up a dislike for us just based on that.

If I have left out any pilot group let us know. The bottom line is that we live in a capitalist society with free market rules. There is nothing wrong or immoral with making a profit. The decisions made by management are geared towards this goal. We are pilots; we fly the plane when and where we are told. If you want to run the company I suggest sending in a new resume. If you have ill will towards your fellow pilot, who is just doing his job (reference: fly the plane when and where we are told) then maybe you need counseling.
 

vja217

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thanks

Thanks Tim47SIP for clearing that up. Do you know if they still plan on operating to Key West? At 4800, I didnt think they could get anything non-turboprop in there -- didnt know the ERJ could do it?? Thanks again.
Max
 

Tim47SIP

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The 70 seat RJ and ERJ's have leading slats and thus can land on very short runways as the 40/50 seat RJ's cannot.
 

Ted Striker

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I don't think the ERJ has leading slats.
 

Tim47SIP

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OK, I could be wrong about that, but I do know that the ERJ can land on a much shorter runway. That is why Delta tried to buy 5 of them two years ago but couldnt get a production slot. Thanks for the correction. ;)
 

Ted Striker

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Oh no sweat. I wasn't trying to be the accuracy nazi or anything, I just wasn't sure. It wouldn't be the first time I was horribly off base!! :)
 

Airline Pilot27

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Dav8r

Most Hated Airline
1. We are most hated by AE who say the flying out of STL belongs to them because they are owned by AA even though CHQ started the routes under TWE"

Eagle pilots don't hate you guys. It is just that we signed a 16 year contract in 1997 to combine all the eagles and have all the flying performed by us. Now the company is violating that contract with CHQ and TSA. We are seeing CHQ and TSA prosper at our expense. It is nothing personal between the pilots so please don't spread those rumors around as our MEC has continuosly said that our fight is not with the pilots but our own management.
 

Broke in CVG

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I beleive you are wrong... it had nothing to do with field lengths and the CRJ. We practiced during LOFTs last year doing V1 cuts at Washington National which is approx the same field length as Key West. It was well known that we planned to eventually fly the 50 seater (lightly loaded) out of there.

What it had to do with is the fact that Comair pilots refused to take a lower pay rate for our CRJ 40 seaters. It pays the same as the 50, as it is the same airframe with seats pulled out. I have no idea what CHQ pay rates are, but I wonder if the ERJ-35 pays less than the 45?????

What it comes down to is Delta could make more money with the Comair CRJs elsewhere and use a low cost carrier to preserve their FL feed and marketshare. Whether they make money at it is another question... I think they are just trying to preserve marketshare in FL and prevent someone else from moving in.
 
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