Rolling Republic Airlines Shortages?

Old Nov 3, 15, 3:55 pm
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Rolling Republic Airlines Shortages?

I was booked on AA4223 (Republic) this morning (ORD/CMH) and a couple of days ago was notified the flight was being changed to AA9301 (Envoy). It was still AA4223 yesterday, and will be AA4223 tomorrow, so thought I would look up AA9301 on surrounding days as well. AA9301 was CLE/ORD yesterday and will be ORD/OMA the next two days. ORD/OMA also has AA9302 and AA9303, but AA9302 today was ORD/DCA and AA9303 today was MIA/BNA. On other days, these flights are all 4XXX, so they're only replacing Republic Airlines flights.

I'm guessing the pilot shortages has curtailed Republic Airlines' ability to fulfill its schedule, and American is spreading the changes around the system so that no single route if permanently affected?

Anyone have any perspective on this? How extensive is it?
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:52 pm
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Most of the 9000 series (and definitely the 9200/9300 series) are special and replacement / one-off flights. Your theory sounds like it certainly could be sound to me.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 5:30 pm
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DL is in fact suing Republic because of their pilot shortages and related cancellations. I now see DL mainline planes filling in for E175s at the marine air terminal (there should be no mainline at MAT given all operations SHOULD be E175) at LGA for the shuttle to ORD.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
DL is in fact suing Republic because of their pilot shortages and related cancellations. I now see DL mainline planes filling in for E175s at the marine air terminal (there should be no mainline at MAT given all operations SHOULD be E175) at LGA for the shuttle to ORD.
Republic should in turn sue the US government for its ridiculous pilot qualification bill, passed a few years back. How is Republic supposed to get pilots when no one can afford to train them?
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Old Nov 3, 15, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
How is Republic supposed to get pilots when no one can afford to train them?
Don't sign below-market contracts with DL that don't allow you to make money or pay competitive wages.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 8:39 pm
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Another data point here. The same thing happened to me on ORD-MA 4410 (Republic), replaced with 9303 (Envoy). It threw my MR out of whack, too, as they rebooked me on non-stops. I called back and the supervisor was able to put the original routing back (That was originally a L segment and is now Y - which must have necessitated the rerouted booking originally).

I had just booked the ticket yesterday. Flight is for Nov 7.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Republic should in turn sue the US government for its ridiculous pilot qualification bill, passed a few years back. How is Republic supposed to get pilots when no one can afford to train them?
The issue is a lot deeper than that. Not only is it prohibitively expensive to train ATP recruits now, but raising the total hour requirement to 1,500 + ATPL for any flight deck crew makes being a professional pilot generally undesirable to a lot of would-be candidates. It means most pilots have to go grind it out being a flight instructor for several years making about the same average salary as a retail worker, on top of staggering upfront training costs to get licenses, and saddling up massive student loan debt that reaches into the doctorate territory just to one day get shoe-horned into a dead-end FO job flying an RJ for, a lot of the time, even less overall salary you would have had flight instructing! "Living the dream," as they say...

But even still, there isn't a pilot shortage as much as there's a pay shortage. Even if that pilot goes and grinds it out and checks off all the boxes to get into that shiny jet, he's probably better suited in the long term to find a career in a field with opportunity to grow and make real money....and many of us (at least the smart ones) do just that. There are plenty of pilots with all the ATP requirements necessary to become a FO at a regional, but choose to pursue other things because the outlook to be a career pilot is so grim here in the states. Or we go to Asia, leave our lives behind, and go where the real growth and pay opportunity is.

As much as people like to get on here and whine about PDB's and other inane things, think about the men and women on the flight deck that barely make rent and work all kinds of silly unpaid hours because they chose to keep following that dead-end dream. Those are the guys that are directly involved with the safety of the millions of people that travel every year. They do it because that's what they love doing, not because they're hoping to one day cash in on untold riches. Raising the minimum hour and training standards hasn't done anything to fix the industry, but it makes the politicians happy.

Pilot shortages, fatigue, and thus safety can be nipped up by making the career of professional pilot attractive again, and the only way to let that happen is the bean counters at the top stop treating the pilots like trained monkeys. It's a skilled job that takes years of practice and training to become professional caliber. Not only that, but pilots as a whole need to stand up and stop working basically for free. What's happening at Republic is just the beginning unless something changes quickly.

Sorry I don't soapbox often, but I know too many friends that have been completely boned by the airlines, and are now stuck in dead-end jobs, slaved to just as inept pilot unions because that's the only option they've got. I just don't know why anyone would really want to go out and be a domestic airline pilot these days. It's such thankless and unattractive job.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 1:33 am
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Are young pilots going to Asia or to ME3 carriers? If it's Asia, do they get jobs with major airlines, major LCCs like AirAsia, or the sort of smalll regional airlines depicted in the National Geographic reality miniseries "The Worst Place to be a Pilot" about Suze Air in Indonesia?
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Old Nov 4, 15, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
Don't sign below-market contracts with DL that don't allow you to make money or pay competitive wages.
That contract was liked signed before the full effects of this new legislation were felt.

Originally Posted by blakepilot View Post
The issue is a lot deeper than that. Not only is it prohibitively expensive to train ATP recruits now, but raising the total hour requirement to 1,500 + ATPL for any flight deck crew makes being a professional pilot generally undesirable to a lot of would-be candidates. It means most pilots have to go grind it out being a flight instructor for several years making about the same average salary as a retail worker, on top of staggering upfront training costs to get licenses, and saddling up massive student loan debt that reaches into the doctorate territory just to one day get shoe-horned into a dead-end FO job flying an RJ for, a lot of the time, even less overall salary you would have had flight instructing! "Living the dream," as they say...

But even still, there isn't a pilot shortage as much as there's a pay shortage. Even if that pilot goes and grinds it out and checks off all the boxes to get into that shiny jet, he's probably better suited in the long term to find a career in a field with opportunity to grow and make real money....and many of us (at least the smart ones) do just that. There are plenty of pilots with all the ATP requirements necessary to become a FO at a regional, but choose to pursue other things because the outlook to be a career pilot is so grim here in the states. Or we go to Asia, leave our lives behind, and go where the real growth and pay opportunity is.

As much as people like to get on here and whine about PDB's and other inane things, think about the men and women on the flight deck that barely make rent and work all kinds of silly unpaid hours because they chose to keep following that dead-end dream. Those are the guys that are directly involved with the safety of the millions of people that travel every year. They do it because that's what they love doing, not because they're hoping to one day cash in on untold riches. Raising the minimum hour and training standards hasn't done anything to fix the industry, but it makes the politicians happy.

Pilot shortages, fatigue, and thus safety can be nipped up by making the career of professional pilot attractive again, and the only way to let that happen is the bean counters at the top stop treating the pilots like trained monkeys. It's a skilled job that takes years of practice and training to become professional caliber. Not only that, but pilots as a whole need to stand up and stop working basically for free. What's happening at Republic is just the beginning unless something changes quickly.

Sorry I don't soapbox often, but I know too many friends that have been completely boned by the airlines, and are now stuck in dead-end jobs, slaved to just as inept pilot unions because that's the only option they've got. I just don't know why anyone would really want to go out and be a domestic airline pilot these days. It's such thankless and unattractive job.
Exactly. And it never will. There are too many other problems for this to have any kind of positive effect on safety.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 4:45 pm
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Old Nov 4, 15, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Are young pilots going to Asia or to ME3 carriers? If it's Asia, do they get jobs with major airlines, major LCCs like AirAsia, or the sort of smalll regional airlines depicted in the National Geographic reality miniseries "The Worst Place to be a Pilot" about Suze Air in Indonesia?
All of the above, LLCs, majors and even national airlines. I was on a Royal Air Maroc flight with an American FO.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
That contract was liked signed before the full effects of this new legislation were felt.

Exactly. And it never will. There are too many other problems for this to have any kind of positive effect on safety.
Removing it will not fix anything. Everyone of us who works in the industry knew this was on the way for the last decade and watched the industry do nothing to fix it.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ROCAT View Post
Removing it will not fix anything. Everyone of us who works in the industry knew this was on the way for the last decade and watched the industry do nothing to fix it.
Of course it would. If FOs only needed 250-400 hours to be hired at a regional, that changes the interest level entirely.

The industry did nothing to fix what exactly?
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Old Nov 4, 15, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Of course it would. If FOs only needed 250-400 hours to be hired at a regional, that changes the interest level entirely.

The industry did nothing to fix what exactly?
You can still make more money working as a McDonald's manager then as a regional pilot, even without the added costs it is still not worth it. The cost just to go to college to get a commercial multi rating and degree is nearly medical school numbers. Becoming an airline pilot in the US before and after the changes is simply not a good financial choice. Back in 2001 we were already starting to bail on flying many including myself switched to ATC.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ROCAT View Post
You can still make more money working as a McDonald's manager then as a regional pilot, even without the added costs it is still not worth it. The cost just to go to college to get a commercial multi rating and degree is nearly medical school numbers. Becoming an airline pilot in the US before and after the changes is simply not a good financial choice. Back in 2001 we were already starting to bail on flying many including myself switched to ATC.
I agree to an extent. But the 1500hr/ATP rule was really a lethal blow. People were able to stomach an $18,000/year salary for a year or two with the assumption that after that time they would be making a much more reasonable ~$40,000 just a few years out of college or training. Getting that extra 1000-1250 hours though, that really makes it completely uninteresting. A horrible financial choice and investment. FWIW I have my PPL and IR. I was about halfway through my CPL when the whole debate about two ATPs post Colgan 3407 began. I immediately froze my training because I just assumed the government would be shortsighted enough to entertain that, and sure enough they did.

The entire problem stems from the ability of US airlines to contract their flying and brand out to a third party to begin with. That whole process was created to skirt mainline unions and cut costs. I'm by no means a union supporter, however the whole regional contract process is shady and unethical IMO.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 8:01 pm
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I'm in the same boat. I was almost to my instrument rating when I started working at the airport and realized I was already making $10,000 a year more than I would as a new regional airline pilot, and the company didn't expect me to pay for my own training as an agent.

It's worth nothing that the 1,500-hour rule wouldn't have prevented Colgan 3407 because both pilots had over 1,500 hours of experience... a lot of good it did them.

Going back on topic, Envoy has been stepping in lately when Republic has been unable to staff their flights. Republic is being hit the worst because they offer the worst quality of life for their pilots, and they're becoming a joke among the agents who have to deal with the results of their mismanagement. I wish AA would follow DL's example and sue them.
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