Sisters and Brothers,
We met with the Company in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday October 18, 2017 to discuss staffing and operations.
In regards to CRJ staffing, the Company has obviously seen a huge spike in attrition since the announcement of the Delta operation coming to an end in 2018. This increase in attrition has continued through this month. Based on the information the Company provided, we had 62 CRJ flight attendants on the September attrition list and 54 thus far in October. At this time the Company is where they want to be for CRJ staffing, however if this spike in attrition continues they are concerned with understaffing in early 2018.
After COLAs and Partnerships being awarded for ERJ flight attendants, the Company projects that they will still be overstaffed by approximately 50 ERJ flight attendants in January 2018. This includes an attrition projection rate of 12 ERJ flight attendants per month through the rest of 2017.
As a result, they are offering a second round of the retirement opportunity that was previously offered in August which included 2 months of medical, dental and vision benefits provided and COBRA for up to 18 months thereafter, along with 8 weeks of base pay. There are currently 191 ERJ flight attendants that are retirement eligible. The retirement submission window will be open through October 31 with awards being processed no later than November 6, effective December 1, 2017. Regarding career opportunities, the Company has a meeting with United tomorrow and we have requested that they explore any preferential hiring processes that may be available for ExpressJet flight attendants.
Operationally, we confirmed that to date there have been no changes in the plan for the Delta takedown in 2018. We sought further information regarding 25 ERJs and 22 CRJ 700s possibly flying for United. The Company indicated that they do not expect a definitive answer regarding the CRJ 700s until Spring 2018. Our new 5-year United CPA for ERJs begins January 2018. The CPA has the ability to increase from 101 up to 126 based on pilot staffing, so currently, the Company does not yet have a timeline regarding increasing the number of ERJs above 101. For AA as previously announced they will be receiving 8 more CRJ aircrafts in 2018 and those are a part of the existing AA capacity purchase agreement that is through April 2019.
There have also been rumors that IAD may be a potential base, which we addressed, and the Company indicated is not true. Another rumor addressed was regarding hot meals aboard our AA operation. The Company indicated that while AA does have some regionals that offer hot meals, we do not currently have any routes that are long enough to require such meals.
We also discussed scheduling concerns such as both ERJ/CRJ Reserves not receiving a two-hour call out. Keep in mind both ERJ and CRJ reserves are entitled to two hours notice prior to their duty in/show time. In addition, contractually ERJ flight attendants may not have their show time reduced at domicile without their permission and CRJ flight attendants must be notified if scheduling reduces their duty in period. This has been addressed with scheduling but if you have experienced this please contact a union representative as soon as possible. ERJ personal drops are all being granted other than in CLE and EWR due to lower staffing levels. We suggested that the Company TDY from the more adequately staffed bases in order to grant personal drops and optimize reserve utilization systemwide.
We hope this information gives you more knowledge in order to discuss your future with ExpressJet and the best path forward for you and your family. As always your IAM representatives are available to assist you in anyway as we know these are stressful times.
Our next scheduled meeting with the Company is in Atlanta on November 1, 2017.