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October 30, 2003
Midway Airlines ALPA Unit Disappointed by Management’s Request to Liquidate
RALEIGH, N.C.—Capt. Mark Stewart, chairman of the Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Midway pilots’ unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), commented today on Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Small’s decision to grant Midway management’s last-minute motion to convert the carrier from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 and liquidate its assets.
"We are very disappointed that Judge Small and Midway management did not give our airline more time to put its financial house in order," said Capt. Stewart. "Management has focused its efforts in recent months in trying to drive down the terms and conditions of its pilot contract when it should have concentrated on making this airline a viable operation.
"Our company already had extremely competitive rates for the aircraft we flew plus a mechanism for establishing reasonable pay scales for any new aircraft types we might have attained. Midway management simply presented no compelling reasons for the changes that it was requesting."
Capt. Stewart added, "In addition, we have never seen a business plan acceptable to or approved by either US Airways or the alleged investor, which US Airways purported to have in reserve. In the absence of a plan acceptable to these two parties, we were shooting in the dark. We approached contract negotiations with an open mind; but lacking both a detailed plan and the identity of the investor, it was impossible for us to gauge whether or how a third concessionary contract might help to save the airline.
"The pilots of Midway have provided this organization with a huge cost advantage by negotiating two concessionary agreements in the space of one and a half years, which our management readily acknowledged during these bankruptcy proceedings. Unfortunately, our organization could not use this advantage to produce a reorganization plan that worked," said Capt. Stewart.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union, representing 66,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Website at www.alpa.org.
ALPA Contact: John Perkinson (703) 481-4440