Republic Airways Continues Attack On Pilots Group With Sham Furloughs


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Republic Airways Continues Attack On Pilots Group With Sham Furloughs

By Mike Mitchell

September 8, 2011 - The Teamster-represented pilots of Republic Airways has learned that Republic plans to furlough approximately 56 pilots despite the fact that the profitable airline is currently so understaffed that it asks pilots to volunteer to work overtime every day. 

“This sham furlough is simply another attack by Republic Holdings on its pilot group,” said IBT Airline Director David Bourne. “Republic executives are trying to blame the pilots for their own inability to create a viable business plan at its subsidiary, Frontier a failure that has caused Republic’s stock to lose more than two-thirds of its value since Republic Holdings acquired Frontier.  

“Rather than own up to their failed leadership, Republic executives falsely shift blame to its pilots and their union to undermine the resolve of the pilot group to obtain a new collective bargaining agreement under Teamster representation.”

Republic Airlines IBT Local 357 Pilot Executive Council Chairman Pat Gannon stated, “This furlough is completely unnecessary. Our airline is currently understaffed with pilots. The Company asks pilots every day to volunteer to work overtime. Our airline has produced tens of millions of dollars in profit in the past year, but the Company claims it cannot finance new aircraft because of Frontier’s losses.  

“Republic’s claims that it needs to furlough are false and another effort to blame its pilots for the Company’s senior management’s inability to develop a viable business plan at Frontier Airlines.” 

David Bourne stated further, “We believe this sham furlough may be another tactic in Republic’s illegal campaign to interfere with its pilots’ union representation that required the IBT to file its lawsuit against Republic Holdings. I will instruct the IBT’s attorneys to investigate the Company’s action and pursue any additional legal claims raised by Republic’s announced actions against its pilot group.” 

Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. is an aviation holding corporation based in Indianapolis, Indiana, which owns six airlines operating in the United States: Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Republic Airlines, Shuttle America, and the former Lynx Aviation.


Chautauqua operates regional jet (RJ) aircraft with up to 50 seats, Shuttle America operates Embraer 175 aircraft airliners with 76 seats, and Republic Airlines operates Embraer 170, 175 and 190 aircraft with 70-99 seats. Frontier Airlines operates Airbus A320 family aircraft with 120-162 seats. 

The separation of the four contract airlines is due to "scope clauses" between mainline pilots and each major carrier Republic feeds. These clauses regulate the size of regional jet aircraft that affiliate carriers may operate; the intent behind such clauses is to protect mainline pilots from being replaced by lower-paid regional pilots.

In 2005, Republic paid a $6.6 million settlement to the Allied Pilots Association after placing Embraer 170s in service with Chautauqua Airlines as United Express, because such aircraft violated the scope clause in the pilots' contract at American Airlines, which also contracts with Chautauqua for regional service as American Connection. To avoid further liability, Republic moved all of its Embraer 170 aircraft to Shuttle America, an airline that previously only operated Saab 340 turboprops.

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