A dispute between PSA pilots and parent company US Airways has stalled the regional airline's launch of Bombardier CRJ700 operations.

The two sides last week began a fortnight of discussions to decide who will crew the new 70-seat aircraft, a dispute that has festered since US Airways last year said its CRJ700s and Embraer 170s would be crewed only by furloughed mainline pilots under the carrier's jets-for-jobs programme.

Pilots at US Airways' legacy regional affiliates - wholly owned subsidiaries Allegheny Airlines, Piedmont Airlines and PSA - have contended the legality of this policy since that decision. These latest talks do not include the 76-seat Embraer 170s currently operating at US Airways' newly launched MidAtlantic Airways subsidiary.

It is understood that PSA's Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representatives have argued that their last contract revision, which allowed a 50:50 split between PSA and mainline pilots on the carrier's 50-seat CRJ200s, should now apply to the 70-seat aircraft.

It is also understood that the PSA pilots are contesting all pilot training on the CRJ700s until the dispute is resolved.

ALPA and US Airways decline to comment on the ongoing talks, although the airline has confirmed that the two CRJ700s that were delivered so far are still grounded, and are currently being used for training.



Source: Flight International