Progress Reported at UAL Talks
The parties met this week in Las Vegas. While the Union worked on finalizing its comprehensive proposal, finalizing the proposal was delayed by the announcement of the closing of JFK at the beginning of the session. After the closure announcement, the committee discussed ways to defend against the loss of positions in JFK. Throughout the week members of the committee, along with the IBT leadership, worked with the Company to accomplish that goal. In addition, the IBT leadership is exploring all possible legal and contractual options in determining the path forward. Updates on this situation will be provided in future articles of the Dispatch.
The IBT passed a comprehensive counter proposal to the Company and after some discussions at the table about the proposal, the Company caucused. When the parties reengaged, the mediator suggested face to face, across the table discussions regarding could help facilitate progress. Sub-committees were formed quickly to address items that were agreed to in principal but required clarification/amendment to reflect the understandings. Significant progress was made in these small committee meetings.
These committees met again on Thursday and further progress was made, including more complex economic items on several Articles. Several TA's were agreed to, with significant progress reported on Article 5.
The positive change in the direction of negotiations was refreshing, according to the union negotiators. It was agreed that due to the progress made, sub committees would continue to meet to attempt to finalize several issues prior to the next session.
The next round of mediated talks will be the last week of July.
Airline Industry News
Governmental and Regulatory
U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster is proposing converting the government-run U.S. air-traffic-control system into a nonprofit corporation.
The International Civil Aviation Organization says it has amended rules governing the transportation of dangerous goods to prohibit both passengers and crew from putting e-cigarettes and other battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked bags.
Airlines, Industry and Labor
Boeing is exploring the possibilities of a new aircraft, larger than its 737, but more compact than its wide-body craft. The potential plane would be larger than Boeing's out-of-production 757, and boast a longer range. Senior Vice President John Wojick said that Boeing is projecting demand for at least a thousand such planes.
Margaret Cummisky, the current assistant secretary for legislative and intergovernmental affairs with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been tapped as the new managing director of federal government relations for Hawaiian Airlines.
American and United Airlines are scheduling their departure times to shorten layovers for customers and better plan staffing levels.
JetBlue is considering modifying its standing order with Airbus to include a number of A321LR aircraft. The LR, or long range, modification allows the planes to serve on trans-continental routes.
Airbus and Boeing have announced combined sales of 200 aircraft on the first day of the Paris Air Show. The sales include 20 of Airbus's A330-300 wide body airplanes, which are making their debut at the airshow.