More operational cuts at Envoy Air could be announced soon, the regional carrier's pilots union said on Friday.
In a message sent to Envoy pilots, union leader Sam Pool said additional announcements by American Airlines Group, who owns Envoy, will be made soon and could negatively impact the airline's operations.
"Without sufficient pilots, our aircraft are at risk of being parked or, more likely, reassigned to other carriers. Without sufficient pilots, remaining Envoy domiciles may not be properly staffed and consequently face uncertainty," said Pool, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association master executive council for Envoy. "And lastly, without a viable growth plan here, AAG will likely attempt to place any new aircraft at other regional carriers."
Pool said contract talks between management and the union had been going well until the middle of this week when American said it was terminating negotiations.
"Last week’s negotiations actually moved management and ALPA closer to—not further from—an agreement. The discussions were honest, direct, and businesslike," Pool said. "Needless to say, we were surprised by management’s ensuing silence."
Earlier this year, Envoy pilots rejected a contract that would have frozen pilot pay rates until 2018 in exchange for larger regional jets being placed at the airline. The two sides have held intermittent talks since March with no new agreement reached.
Keep reading for the full message from Pool.
Fellow Envoy Pilots,
Late last month, representatives from AAG, Envoy, and ALPA met in Washington, D.C., to discuss the framework for contract modifications. The company had previously provided a “term sheet” outlining the changes they wanted, and some items in the proposal needed clarification. Your ALPA leadership and negotiators worked throughout the early part of last week to prepare a response. Our counterproposal recognized the company’s economic demands, and agreed on most items, as they were consistent with the needs and expectations of both management and our pilot group.
On Wednesday, November 5, your leadership met with company representatives to present our counterproposal and work toward common ground. We left that meeting with the understanding that management would incorporate some of the elements of our constructive dialogue, refine their proposal, and present another proposal to ALPA at a time to be determined. However, the following day, we received a brief call from management indicating the company was terminating negotiations with ALPA, with little explanation other than an articulated offense pertaining to an MEC NewsBlast that referenced our current concerns.
In our view, last week’s negotiations actually moved management and ALPA closer to—not further from—an agreement. The discussions were honest, direct, and businesslike. While the parties remained separate on some important issues, we agreed on a lot more. The talks revealed a number of areas where there had been some misunderstandings, and our hope was that with clarifications the parties could resolve all open issues. Needless to say, we were surprised by management’s ensuing silence.
Unfortunately, we will soon hear additional announcements that were planned by AAG well in advance of our recent dialogue that may have a negative impact on both our operation and our morale. Please be cognizant of the fact that these announcements have far less to do with a breakdown in negotiations than they do with AAG/Envoy’s current inability to attract pilots. Without sufficient pilots, our aircraft are at risk of being parked or, more likely, reassigned to other carriers. Without sufficient pilots, remaining Envoy domiciles may not be properly staffed and consequently face uncertainty. And lastly, without a viable growth plan here, AAG will likely attempt to place any new aircraft at other regional carriers.
Your MEC met in Dallas on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to receive a detailed update on the current situation and consider all available options. The MEC remains committed to working with management in order to bring forward an agreement that meets the needs of both the company and the Envoy pilots.
We will update you further on this matter as the facts warrant.
Envoy MEC Chairman