Trans States reviews ERJ fleet needs as furloughs begin

Philadelphia
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Trans States Airlines is examining its Embraer ERJ-145 fleet requirement after announcing plans to furlough 45 pilots in response to reductions in feeder service by its major partners.

The St Louis-based regional currently operates a fleet of 50 ERJ-145s, a combination of leased and owned aircraft, on behalf of US majors American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

Of these, American recently announced plans to slash regional affiliate capacity, as part of a larger capacity-reduction scheme to offset soaring fuel prices. American warned that AmericanConnection carriers could be impacted. For its part, United Airlines intends to remove its entire 94-strong Boeing 737 Classics fleet, plus six Boeing 747s.

Trans States VP of marketing and planning William Mishk says the regional carrier’s partners are trimming service, but some are doing so "to a greater extent than others". Because of that, he says, Trans States on 1 July will furlough 45 pilots – nine in training and 36 in active duty – from a total workforce of about 550 pilots.

Flight attendant and ground positions have not yet been impacted. However, Trans States has "done some selective overhead reduction" in its management ranks. Further details are not being disclosed.

"We’re making these changes right now in the summer, but we’re going to assess as we get into the mid-summer as to any other changes that need to be made," says Mishk.

In line with these measures, Trans States is "reviewing the total fleet complement needs", confirms Mishk.

Although the carrier has not yet decided "exactly how many will be flying", it is considering "all options" should a pull-down of some ERJ-145s become necessary, he says. This includes remarketing the ERJ-145s, finding "new and unique uses for aircraft" and adding new partners.

Trans States’ regional sister, Bombardier CRJ700 operator GoJet, is largely unaffected by the carrier’s furlough announcement. "But we’re going to continue to review the performance of all of the assets to make sure we can optimize our flying during this period," says Mishk.