The era of good relations at United Airlines, which briefly emerged after its bankruptcy filing, seems to have ended. United's union workers, who have taken temporary pay cuts of up to 29%, are showing further signs of frustration.

Air Line Pilots Association chief Paul Whiteford says union assent to further cuts was unlikely until United communicates a more detailed business plan (see related feature on p34). Association of Flight Attendants leader Greg Davidowitch says: "United management has been less than forthcoming with the information necessary for our full participation in the airline's restructuring".

The flight attendant union has filed objections with United's bankruptcy court to the $3 million compensation package granted to United's new chief executive, Glenn Tilton.

The union complaints are similar to those of industry critics who argue Tilton has not formulated a plan but instead spent his first 90 days on the job backing an application for a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee that had little chance of being accepted.

Northwestern University transport professor Aaron Gellman says that United expects to spend more than $1.2 million a month for the services of McKinsey & Co and two other consultants even as United's time to maintain exclusive control of the bankruptcy process is dwindling. McKinsey is central to United's plan to recreate a low-cost airline-within-an-airline.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa deputy chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber says his group would not offer direct financial aid to United. Lufthansa and other Star allies had said in November they were contemplating an aid package.

Source: Airline Business