This is not good news to anyone in the airline business, nor those who aspire to fly or work in another capacity in the airline industry. For those already employed at another "healthy" airline, a bankruptsy at UA or US will allow them to operate while negotiating debt payments off into the future. This allows them to lower fares to the point where the other airlines will have to match them thus lowering already low yields and losing even more money in order to compete with an airline or two operating withen the safe heaven of Chapter 11. If they end up closing the doors it will be way off in the future after dragging down the rest of the industry slowly causing more layoffs. Then when the doors finally close, you will have tens of thousands of very qualified candidates floating around the job market snatching up positions that finally become available at the remaining carriers leaving those otherwise qualified candidates out of college and flight training with no hope of employment for years to come.
I know this sounds kind of gloomy but I hear continuously at my airline from pilots I fly with about the what if's of a USAirways bankrupsy and the possiblility of CO purchasing the airline. That would never happen in this market environment. No sane airline wants to take on that kind of burden and debt load at this time. As for buying up bits and pieces, well that can't occur for a long time if and only if the carrier is broken up in bankrupsy and I don't wish that on the wonderful dedicated employees of that airline.
This is not good news indeed.
I totally agree with the assessment of the Jungle Jet Pilot from Houston. When I got out of the Air Force in 91 you had 10,000 hr. Eastern guys standing in line to wash airplanes. With the recession back then you could close your eyes throw a chock on the ramp and hit 4 pilots looking for work. It has been a sweet run for a lot of guys the last 7 or so years. If US Air goes to room temp. these younger guys will learn a new meaning of word "paying your dues". At least the Govt. wants people enough now to make them stay in. After the Cold War ended the Dems in Congress wanted that Defense money so a lot pilots were shown the door. It would only be a single wammy now compared to a double wammy 11 years back. But hey, through it all it has never been boring. I used to send my resume to my buds in the Majors, now they send my theirs.
For comparison, UAL has $3.3 Billion in cash and another $3 Billion in unemcumbered assets. USAir at last check had $230 million in the bank. While United has its share of problems and we have a long road ahead, I don't believe CH11 is in our foreseeable future.
The statement that CH11 by one airline is bad for all is absolutely true.