US Airways is planning to update and expand its Shuttle fleet with Boeing 737-300s, but it claims that this will require its pilots to agree to a modified employment contract

The division, which operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 727-200s on services between Boston, New York and Washington DC, was acquired by US Airways for $285 million last December when the airline took up its option to buy the former Trump Shuttle. The carrier had previously operated the Shuttle under a long-term contract.

US Airways is proposing to transfer 737-300s from its mainline fleet to supplement and then replace the 727s before the US Federal Aviation Administration Stage 3 compliance deadline at the end of next year. As part of the move, the airline would place additional orders with Airbus for A320 family aircraft to enable the 737s to be transferred.

The US Airways Shuttle operates hourly services, while rival Delta flies twice an hour. The airline is seeking to modify a labour agreement to enable frequencies to be increased from a maximum of 448 flights a week.

Both mainline and lower-paid Shuttle pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, but under different contracts.

Source: Flight International