Go to the front page of Mesa Air Group’s web site and you’ll discover that the regional has launched an all-out hiring blitz. The web page is flanked with hiring notices. Captains, first officers, mechanics and dispatchers are all urged to apply for “immediate” openings.
If you’re looking for “great, friendly service or you’re keen to work in a fun, professional environment with the best in the business, we’d love to welcome you to Mesa, ATW Regional Airline of the Year 2005″, beckons the carrier.
At a time when US carriers are downsizing at a rapid and alarming rate, why is Mesa seemingly moving in the opposite direction? Hasn’t its Air Midwest unit just shut down, and didn’t Delta just sucker punch the carrier’s CRJ flying?
Perhaps Mesa’s web site simply needs to be updated. Or is more at play here?
A quick browse through airline employee forums will give you some indication of how Mesa staffers feel about their jobs. To put it kindly, many aren’t necessarily singing the praises of the company (although crew members on one site were grateful that management had given them instructions on what to do if they find bed bugs in crew hotel rooms and the steps to take if they get bitten).
The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Mesa’s pilots, says more than 500 pilots left the company in 2007. It might be best if both sides can stay on the same page right now because Mesa is at a critical juncture in its history.
Myriad troubles have served to deplete the company’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities to $60.1 million at 30 June from a 31 March total of $158.1 million.
This prompted Mesa’s recent decision to sign a letter of intent to sell its interest in Chinese joint venture Kunpeng Airlines to majority owner Shenzhen Airlines. In explaining its decision, Mesa chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein perhaps put it most succinctly when he said: “We felt that if we had the opportunity to generate some cash that might make some sense right now.”
Now let’s try to make sense of the rest of it.