Chicago Tribune: United to lay off nearly 1,000 pilots this summer

United Airline told its pilots, Monday, that it intends to eliminate about 950 pilot jobs, starting at summers’ end, when the Chicago-based carrier will begin grounding aircraft in large numbers.United, the nation’s second-largest carrier, intends to send furlough notices to about 1,450 pilots with the least seniority, including those already on military or personal leaves of absence.

(full article here)

Ouch, this is going to sting, especially for passengers, in my opinion. I’m not so sure if UA took the right approach here, but I’m no expert. It would seem to me to make more sense to offer the senior pilots some kind of a buy-out option, which could not only make the pilots as a whole less bitter, but potentially save UA money. The more senior pilots are often paid more due to the fact that they’re maxing out their pay scale, so a more junior pilot flying the same plane could actually be quite a bit cheaper.

Regardless, I don’t even want to think of the implications here. I’m sure we’ll see less Channel 9, more cancellations due to deferrable maintenance items, and less announcements/updates from the flight deck. Many captains will be downgraded to first officers, many will go from large aircraft to smaller aircraft, and many will lose their job. This one’s gonna really hurt, in my opinion.

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