Aircraft Identification Error Results in Improper Assigment

Aircraft Identification Error Results in Improper Assignment

Date: January 13, 2017
Type: AFA Article

Consistent with the commitments made by AFA and the Company, and in the spirit of working together to ensure additions to the fleet are designated properly, monthly meetings have been taking place to review upcoming deliveries of new aircraft and their subsequent assignment between the pre-merger subsidiaries to ensure compliance with the Protocol Agreement. During these meetings and, in particular, over the holidays, AFA expressed a number of questions as to how certain 737-900 aircraft were assigned to the pre-merger United fleet.

Initially it was thought that the concerns expressed were unfounded.  However, discrepancies identified required further assessment.  In response to the Union’s questions and as intended by the process, representatives from the Company took on the task of pursuing the detailed responses to the questions presented to management.  

This week, through the diligent commitment to the process agreed upon in March of this year, Inflight management, Labor Relations and the Officers of the Union have learned, as a result of an administrative error, five 737-900 aircraft in service (#3895-3899) were improperly identified as aircraft to be assigned to the pre-merger United fleet.  One additional aircraft, not yet in service, was also incorrectly identified.  When this information became known, management acted swiftly to ensure the aircraft were properly identified and, overnight between January 9th and 11th, the aircraft were re-assigned to the pre-merger CAL fleet.

An administrative error of this significance justifiably not only raises a number of legitimate questions but also requires the implementation of a system of accountability that ensures, beyond any doubt, a similar error will never be repeated.  Initial conversations with representatives from Inflight and Labor Relations have included not only an apology for the error but also acknowledgement that these steps are necessary to ensure this never happens again.

Over the course of the coming days, discussions between the Union and management will continue as we work to obtain a better understanding of the specific actions that will require implementation, including a mandatory sign off before the designation of aircraft assignment by all parties involved in the assignment process, with additional sign off by Inflight, Labor Relations following a review with AFA.  Appropriately, discussions will take place on the impact of the misalignment of hours, if any, between the two pre-merger subsidiaries. These conversations are necessary to continue to build the Labor Management relationship as we work to build a successful company that will assure our collective future.