Heard a PD person speak on Friday of this past week. There are no plans right now to change the class schedule for now. As always things can change overnight. Even though the numbers came out last week I expect the company to still wait for a few months to see how things settle out particularly with all the new routes (MDW-SEA, MDW-LAX, MDW-OAK) that are due to crank up over the next few months. Plus we are as manned for the summer as they would probably prefer. While there is conflicting info on how much reserves are flying or not flying, it is clear there is a balancing of flying that is still being worked out. Add to this the current talks with the pilot union which will continue with a meeting in early May to discuss proposals, IMHO SWA is in a "wait & see" mode. Its not like any of the big carriers are making big moves right now. They're bleeding red & things are out there for the picking at this time. I wouldn't expect any new classes until 3rd quarter simply because of the additonal costs that would be added to what is expected to be a "tight" 2nd quarter. While $28M for the 1st quarter is good, the company definitely wants to eek that number significantly in the 2nd quarter. With rising fuel costs & the "appearance" of having enough slack in the manning situation to handle a surge if necessary (there are plenty of trained Capts out there not holding Capt lines right now also) without hiring more folks.
I know you said good news only & while this can't be construed as good news for those waiting to interview or in the hiring pool, the quicker these things I stated above occur, the quicker we can get back to hiring. However, when we begin again the following will be things leading up to an increase in hiring:
My opinion only:
A much stronger 2nd qtr than 1st qtr report released in July '02. New flights added in 2nd qtr (all long haul) are doing quite well. While load factor may be slightly lower than 2qtr'01, it will be a big increase from 1st qtr. The remaining aircraft (5) in the desert will have been added from a 2qtr annoucement beginning in the 3qtr. Heavier loads, more routes, no new bodies coming to the bases in May, June or July. Utilization of pilots will be higher. Continued hiring during 2nd qtr for rampers, security folks will have continued laying a foundation for passengers getting through security quicker & fewer delays than expected during the summer rush. Prospects will improve as other airlines will be hemorraging more. SWA will become only stronger over the 2qtr without changing focus. This will provide for strong growth opportunities (all long haul) in mid to late 3rd qtr/4th qtr.
New classes in Aug, interviews also beginning.
ALL SPECULATION ON MY PART but a realistic scenario. Therefore, continue with your other prospects, continue to look for the job that will get you what you need; money, benefits, currency & pursue it. Don't sit back & wait for this or other scenarios to play out. Make a change to improvey your chances are SWA or any other carrier & go after it. SWA will always be there to fly with, do what you need to do to keep making steps toward having a successful carrier. It may take some sideway steps but the important thing is to keep stepping. Don't wait for others to determine you future. Enough schmoozing/BSing. Thanks for reading & have a great weekend. Wish I had news of 600+ hiring & interviews starting tomorrow. The PD are working hard on your behalf to keep everyone informed but right now they are taking a well earned breather (not really...they are working very hard!) from the onslaught in the past. However, they will always be happy to talk to you. cheers,