Are JSX And SkyWest Charter Legal? The Fight Over Part 380 and Part 135

Government Regulation, JSX, SkyWest

I’m fairly certain the first rule of gripping headline-writing is to not cite sections of the federal code. But, well, here we are. There’s been a lot of discussion lately over the legality of what airlines like JSX have been doing and what SkyWest Charter wants to do. I imagine many of you are wondering what this all means, as was I until I did some research. Let’s break it down.

There is a distinction in the federal code between scheduled and charter operations on the one hand and air service operated by air carriers and commuter carriers on the other. A flight is either scheduled or charter AND it’s either operated by an air carrier or a commuter carrier. The thing is, the rules for charters on commuter carriers are different than scheduled flights on commuter carriers. That creates a loophole which airlines like JSX and SkyWest Charter are exploiting.

Just about all scheduled air carrier service in the US is operating under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Subchapter G, Part 121. It’s usually just called Part 121 for short, because, well, nobody is going to say that whole thing.

Part 121 governs just about everything around how an airline operates, and it sets a high bar for compliance. It used to apply to aircraft flying in scheduled operations with more than 30 seats, but for the last 25+ years it has applied to any scheduled flying with more than 9 seats. (This, for the record, is one of the big reasons that 19-seater commuters basically don’t exist anymore.)

Those airplanes with 9 seats or less in scheduled service can operate under the commuter carrier rules, Part 135. These rules are far less onerous than Part 121.

These same Part 135 rules apply to on-demand charters, but the seat limit never changed on charters. That means charters on aircraft with up to 30 seats can still fly under Part 135 rules, and that is where JSX and SkyWest Charter saw opportunity.

The problem for JSX or anyone else is that when a carrier is operating an on-demand charter, it can’t specify the times or cities. It also can’t sell single seats on that charter directly. It just has to take that request from the company that is chartering the airplane and let them do the work. This was supposed to cut a clear line between scheduled and charter operations, but that line has been blurred thanks to this new way of using Part 380 rules.

Part 380 sets the rules for those who arrange so-called public charters. A public charter operator can arrange for an on-demand charter from an airline and then sell individual seats on that charter to the public. There are other rules around how public charters operate in terms of how the money exchanges hands and all that, but this two-step arrangement is how JSX figured out it could circumvent the rules on scheduled service. Here’s a visual of how the two processes differ:

There are plenty of examples of companies that have done public charters using regular Part 121 airlines. I remember my family buying tickets to Hawai’i via SunTrips which used an ex-United DC-10 operated by Leisure Air. (Yeah, this was awhile ago.) Apple Vacations has flights on Frontier. (And before that, anyone remember USA 3000?) Sun Country and Allegiant regularly operate casino charters. This is how the system was supposed to work, but then, companies realized that combining Part 380 with Part 135 created a huge opportunity.

Using Part 380, one company can create a flight schedule. It then just has to contract with an operating airline to fly that schedule on the first company’s terms. Then that first company can sell seats directly to the public since it is a public charter. And if the airplane has 30 seats or less, that different airline can operate under those tantalizing Part 135 rules.

JSX originally did this to skirt traditional security and terminal rules, so it could fly from fixed based operators and make it feel like a private jet experience for customers. It worked, but it does result in a blizzard of fine print.

When you go to the JSX website, you’ll see this in mice-type at the bottom of the page:

Flights are operated with E135 or E145 aircraft by Delux Public Charter, LLC (dba JSX Air or Taos Air), which holds an FAA Air Carrier Certificate (4DPA097O) and DOT commuter air carrier authorization. Flights are public charters sold by JetSuiteX, Inc. as the charter operator and Delux Public Charter, LLC as the direct air carrier, subject to DOT Public Charter Regulations at 14 C.F.R. Part 380. PC# 21-125 and PC# 22-146.

So, the flights are sold by JetSuiteX, Inc. which technically arranges the charter to be operated by Delux Public Charter, LLC. But in this case, it’s all the same overarching company pulling the strings which was most certainly not how this was envisioned to work. But work it does.

Taking advantage of this loophole, JSX can sell 30 seats on an airplane operated under Part 135 instead of just 9 under regular scheduled service. Having only 9 passengers would not be an economically feasible model.

While JSX was a big fan of this model for being able to create a private jet-like experience, it also has another big benefit.

Fast forward to post-pandemic times and small airlines are very short on pilots. There are a number of differences between Part 121 and Part 135, but the big one that matters today is the fact that under Part 121, pilots need to have 1,500 hours to get in the cockpit (for the most part). Under Part 135 rules, they only need 250 hours to get in the right seat. This makes it a whole lot easier to find pilots for smaller carriers, so the model has attracted the attention of other operators.

SkyWest is the most prominent right now, and some are not pleased. The regional had been flying 50-seaters to a whole bunch of small cities under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program using government-subsidized money. It had to walk away from many of them, because it just didn’t have the pilots. So, it invented SkyWest Charter to step in and pick up the slack.

SkyWest’s plan is to refit its 50-seaters with only 30 seats and move them to a subsidiary called SkyWest Charter, LLC. That will be the commuter on-demand charter operator. Then SkyWest itself (or whoever else, United maybe?) will charter the aircraft from Skywest Charter, LLC and then sell individual seats on those flights.

With this, SkyWest thinks it can get back into the EAS game in a big way. It will be able to operate those old 50-seat CRJs with 30 seats under Part 135 rules, so it will be able to find enough pilots. And it couldn’t have filled 50 seats most of the time anyway.

There’s little question that this is technically legal, but the question is whether it should be. You can browse through the docket and see who doesn’t like this plan. Basically, it’s anyone who would rather not have to compete with this SkyWest service on an uneven playing field. But it goes beyond SkyWest. Several airlines don’t like competing with JSX either. This is about whether the model gives an unfair advantage and whether the rules should change.

Now that you’re caught up on what’s happening, we will wait and see how it plays out. I would imagine SkyWest Charter may get the go-ahead, but there could be political winds that might shift and close this loophole at some point in the future.

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49 comments on “Are JSX And SkyWest Charter Legal? The Fight Over Part 380 and Part 135

    1. Christophe – I choose the side where this doesn’t matter. I want them to revisit the ridiculous 1,500 pilot hour rule, but that won’t happen. So I applaud these airlines for working within the law to get creative, but I would also be very worried that the loophole could slam shut at any time.

  1. I’d definitely give JSX (and now SkyWest) an “A” for creativity in designing a plan that technically works within the system but doesn’t meet the spirit of the changes made to tighten requirements for carriers. All that said, there is a need for air service in smaller cities that can’t really support sending a larger RJ or single-aisle narrowbody in. There was clearly a market for 19 pax turboprops in the 80s and 90s that I imagine still exists. There are even modern products like the Cessna Sky Courier (built for FedEx to haul freight) that have passenger versions on the books but aren’t certified for use in the US in scheduled service. With current wage rates, it’s hard to spread your pilot costs over just 9 seats on anything other than government-subsidized service. I appreciate the overview of how this all works.

  2. Just keep writing until Part 380 and Part 135 are as well known as I.R.C. 401(k) and your headlines will be fine.

  3. Not even a throwaway mention of Contour? They’re part 135 and definitely the analog to SWC. And while they’re holding up SWC, the DOT is letting Contour scoop up more and more EAS flying using this same model.

      1. Kenneth – Nearly all of Southern’s operation is on 9-seat aircraft, so that’s not an issue. I’m not sure how it operates the 30-seat Saabs within Hawai’i, but it only has 2 of those. That’s pretty minor.

  4. Interestingly, this model has been around for quite awhile; not sure why it’s getting the visibility now that it is.

    I flew Ultimate Air Shuttle a lot back in the day. Loved the experience and the Dornier 328JET was a delight. They even served free booze and a cheese course for the flight from MDW to LUK (Cincinnati’s downtown airport). It does seem like JSX and Skywest Charter are definitely flouting the “spirit” of the law but am surprised this is an issue as UAS and others have been doing this for awhile.

    1. I think a lot of the new visibility comes from having a big regional lift provider like SkyWest getting involved, and that the SkyWest Charter planes could wind up flying under the code (and possibly in the livery?) of a major carrier.

    2. I was thinking of Ultimate Air Shuttle. I always found its value proposition fascinating, as the schedules for most routes allowed for easy day trips (leave after an early breakfast, get home in time for a late dinner) for business travelers out of the Cincinnati area. UAS’ flights saved not only time (vs flying through the larger airports) but often the expenses and hassle of an overnight hotel stay as well.

      LUK – MDW seemed like an especially good route for UAS. That route was long enough that it wasn’t an easy drive (5+ hours with traffic headaches around Chicago), but with a short enough flight time that LUK saved a lot of door-to-door time compared to using CVG or DAY, which (as I recall) often had relatively high fares to the Chicago area.

      Unfortunately, I never had a good excuse to fly UAS when I lived 15 minutes from KLUK. Shame, as I’m pretty sure that I could have convinced my employer at the time to ignore its fairly strict travel policy and try UAS.

  5. These “ barely legal” operations seem to be here at least for now. But with the major carriers unhappy on this it’s just a matter of time before the squash this like a bug on the windscreen! I personally would NOT feel comfortable flying with pilots that have the very MINIMAL amount of training. They would be way more likely to have accidents than all other regularly scheduled airlines. That’s a fact not just my opinion. I would never fly on one of these “ barely legal” airlines.

    1. I completely understand the sentiment regarding flying on small planes and with lower time pilots, and I’m sure a lot of people agree with you on that.

      However, let’s assume that flying on a smaller plane with less experienced pilots up front brought one closer to the ultimate destination, which is likely to be in a more rural area. If that were true, then the flight on the smaller plane would likely eliminate a significant bit of driving on rural roads (which have >2x the fatal accident rate per 100 million miles traveled compared to urban roads), so the overall “door-to-door” risk of a fatal accident might still be lower in some situations.

      I haven’t done the math and I’m not disagreeing with you at all, just pointing out that getting to/from the airport is usually the most dangerous part of a trip that involves air travel, even on relatively small planes.

    2. I hate to point this out, but the last few crashes have been with very very experienced pilots that still put the plane into the ground and killed a *lot* of people.

      Yeti ATR-72: over 26,000 flight hours between the pilots
      Transair 737 (shut down wrong engine): 20,000 hours between the pilots
      Continental Connection/Colgan Air 3407 – Buffalo: 5,500 hours between the pilots

      Thankfully Jetsuite or Contour doesn’t hire at the “minimums”. Neither has had much of a problem getting crew, and to offset that “young kid with 250 hours” in the right seat, the left seat guy probably just retired from United Airlines flying 747s and 777s.

      1. Sometimes I have to remind myself just how long it’s been since a commercial aircraft crashed in CONUS with 10+ fatalities.

        We’ve had one HECK of a good run, and I can only hope that stakeholders haven’t become too complacent.

      2. Your point is excellent. The 250 hours requirement was in place before I learned to fly in 1970 and was never a factor until the Colgan 3407 accident. Then the Clown Car we call congress and passed the 1,500 hour rule and while causing many problems, it didn’t really solve the problem of “stupid pilots”. For the record, JSX which flies out of the Dallas area is always actively recruiting the Age 65 American and Southwest pilots who bring years of experience. The 250 hour concern is a red herring.

    3. Brad – Sounds like an opinion to me. Where’s your proof that these “would be way more likely to have accidents”? I don’t believe they’ve had any.

      1. CF, I’ll try.

        If JSX is hiring young and old pilots you have your U-shaped relationship risk of less experienced pilot flying with pilots of substantial age:

        “Findings were consistent, showing that a “U” shaped relationship exists between the age of professional pilots and their accident rate.”

        “…the fatal crash rate per pilot flight hour for commuter air carriers and air taxis is 10–45 times the rate for major airlines”

        And 60-64 year old pilots have 2x the crash rate.

        1. Thanks Bick. I don’t know about ages but I’ll assume they are hiring younger and older just because they can. But looking at that first link, the AOPA article, I think that’s using this study from 1988-1997, right?

          In there, it says “Overall, these analyses support the hypothesis that a “U”-shaped relationship exists between the age of professional pilots holding Class 1 medical and ATP certificates and the accident rate for operations under 14 CFR §121 and §135. However, the range of mean differences across age groups was very small and not statistically different when comparing adjacent age groups on either side of the current rule.”

          I’m also less concerned about this when it’s a 2-person crew as these operations are specifically.

          That second link wouldn’t open for me saying the token was not provided or something. But I think it’s important to separate out a lot of the flying being done for commuters and air taxis vs this Part 380/135 flying. There is a lot of bush flying and other ops under 135 that are very different from what this stuff would be.

    4. The difference between a 250 hour pilot and a 1500 hour pilot is…the 1500 hour guy has spent 1250 hours doing clear weather lessons in a Cessna 172.

      The same patterns over and over and over. The same three or four airports, the same practice, the same touch and gos.

      They get very little actual piloting experience. Rarely in weather, rarely with scheduling pressure, never with pax. Very rarely cross country, almost never to different airports.

      I had a CFI for my own lessons that I later actually ran into when he was a pilot for SkyWest. Said it was totally different.

      The 1500 hour rule was created after the Colgan Air crash. But the extra hours of flying a Cessna in good weather wouldn’t have changed that outcome.

      1. Exactly, the type of hours matters a LOT.

        1000 flight hours of experience as a CFI giving VFR lessons at the same couple of airports is one thing. That’s night and day difference, however, from 1000 hours flying cargo flights in an airplane like (say) a Metroliner, where the pilot’s job & life depend on knowing when (and when not to) to push through VERY questionable conditions and get the job done.

        Provided the former Metroliner pilot hasn’t carried the aggressive habits towards safety once he starts hauling “self-unloading” cargo (pax), I’d much rather have a pilot with that type of experience up front than a guy who simply punched his ticket as a CFI giving lessons in Cessnas.

        1. The San Antonio Sewer Pipe!

          Your point on Metroliner cargo pilots is spot on and was evidenced by that midair in CO last year with a Cirrus.

          1. Yes. In that collision the Metroliner pilot didn’t even realize that there was much damage, just continued with his approach and landing.

            It was only AFTER he was on the ground and had a chance to look at the plane (or heard from ATC that had a visual on him) that he realized how bad the collision was. Great airmanship from the Metroliner pilot and a solid case for the Metroliner’s ruggedness.

  6. It isn’t a surprise looking at the DOT comments who is in favor of this type of model and who is surprised.
    ALPA and mainline pilots regret the day they ever allowed regional carrier codesharing by major airlines and are using the current pilot shortage to try to tighten the supply of pilots, even as the big 3 are signing extraordinarily costly pilot agreements that are unprecedented in the world. Clearly pilots in other countries can manage to safely operate flights for a whole lot less money – and they often have much lower initial flight requirements – so there really isn’t the direct correlation between safety and either pay or experience of the most junior person on the flight deck that some want to believe.

    And let’s also be clear that not both pilots are going to be low time beginners. There are are a raft of pilots coming out of university flight training programs and can get on with regional airlines with 1000 hours. They gain most of the necessary 750 hours or so above what they get in their own direct training by flight instructing – so they aren’t necessarily apprenticing in jet equipment or transport type operations.

    Mainline pilots can’t have it both ways – they can’t squeeze the supply of pilots by raising the price of pilots so high that only the largest carriers can afford them while also limiting any path for smaller cities to retain air service.

    On the other side, small and medium sized cities are losing air service and their economies will shrink without connections to the world – so they have every reason to fight. Given the structure of the US government and its balance between urban and rural interests, it is likely unlikely that the status quo will be overturned. However, there might be a compromise that requires these types of operations to only serve serve metro areas on one end of the flight that have less than X number of flights on mainline or full size regional aircraft (not these neutered versions). Given that mainline carriers regularly use regional jets between major, well-served metro areas, there is justification for reigning in regional jets of all sizes to where they are needed while also ensuring that smaller communities can remain connected to the global economy.

    1. “reigning in regional jets” would be, erm, convenient to a certain airline with a lower proportion of them…

      1. Yep, there is a reason there is shortage of pilots… until recently, the reward to be a pilot had been so degraded that it reduced the supply of people willing to do it. Now that compensation is coming back up, the interest is returning. Unfortunately for airlines that went cheap, it takes quite a bit of time for the supply pipeline to fill.

    2. The mainline pilots who think that regional carriers hurt them are being short-sighted. The majors are not going to fly 737’s to Cody WY, and they are not going to fly small RJs piloted by mainline pilots. Service to these small communities helps to fill up mainline aircraft at the hubs and allows the airlines to pay the mainline pilots high wages.

  7. Seems like at least the majors would *want* SkyWest Charter as it provides both small-city service (via regional/codeshare) and a pipeline for pilots to get hours, thus allowing for a larger pool to graduate up to 76-pax regionals or mainline.

    Also, JSX’s pricing and product is different enough from mainline that…maybe they’re competitive in other areas but I’m surprised that they’d make that much of a difference, as JSX tends to pick city pairs that have plenty of normal service.

    Clying CR2s with 30 seats seems like it’d not be as nice as a E45 with 30 though. Ten rows of 1×2 vs. fifteen of 1×1, right? So less legroom (maybe even 30/34″ seat pitch, split a la CRJ550) and you actually have to potentially pick window/aisle. But hey, at least they could throw 18″ wide E70 seats on the plane or the like.

    As for safety concerns, I’ve hopped on a Mokulele Cessna (an actual 9-seater) so… /shrug

    1. I flew a 9-seater Cessna on an EAS flight from DAL to rural Arkansas (with an intermediate stop in Little Rock) roughly 10 years ago.

      The experience is definitely not for everyone, but for an avgeek, I highly recommend it. I was able to feel some chop in the air at 6,000 or 8,000 feet (mainline planes feel too sterile much of the time; hard to tell you’re actually flying) and to stare over the pilots’ shoulders (rare to be able to do that in a post-9/11 environment), so I had a blast. Can’t wait until the next time I have a good excuse to fly on such a small plane.

    2. Ian L -> and in terms of “safety”, Mokulele’s only major ‘incident’ involved 2 pilots (when the government only requires 1), with that “inexperienced newbie pilot” also being a glider pilot, the plane landed safely on the Pi’ilani Highway. Whereas the other Cessna Caravan incident in Hawai’i (not Moku) involved a SINGLE pilot with over 7,000 hours and had a fatality….

  8. The Airlines for America are lobbying hard to get lawmakers to make them be required to use terminal facilities at airports and pay the same PFC.
    SNA in your own backyard and DAL are both reviewing requirements to address this issue.
    JSX is fighting hard to keep the language out of the FAA reauthorization Bill that will force them to use public terminals at all the airports that have them available. MIA was in the process of forcing them to move to a terminal location so JSX said nope and now switching airports.

    1. At SNA the airline at least stifle growth of JSX but forcing them to be part of the annual passenger cap.

  9. It’s not a loophole if it says you can do it. These rules have been around for a while and the only reason it’s getting attention is because it’s economically feasible now vs. just going full 121. Pylot Onions feel like they’re threatened because they hold all the chips at the moment so they’re stomping their feet as usual.

  10. Nice explainer.

    I can see how the Part 135 vs 121 and 1,500 hours thing irks the competition, but the idea of charters being sold by the same umbrella company seems… Fine? . You mentioned a few historical examples in the USA yourself.

    And it’s huge in Europe in the package holiday market which is effectively the same thing, albeit they sell packages mostly and not just seats. There are entire charter airlines (TUI etc) who work entirely on this model. They do sell any spare seats to customers looking for seat only deals.

  11. Brett, do you know if SWC is outsourcing most services to SkyWest? I imagine if they can outsource dispatch, maintenance, scheduling, training, and admin tasks they will, so that for most purposes SWC acts more like a sub-fleet than a separate airline. Why reinvent the wheel when they have a very well oiled wheel? If that’s the case, SWC would effectively be what SW was for the decades before the 1500 rule, and likely the safest 135 organization for it.

    1. Eric – I would assume that SWC is going to do as little as possible under SWC under the law. It would then just use existing SkyWest resources. But that’s just speculation.

  12. The primary reason that this issue exists for Skywest is the stupid 1500 hour rule… which was imposed by some ignorant or corrupt regulators in response to the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo… which was flown by two pilots with more than 1500 hours of experience… as the first flight of their duty cycle… after they both commuted and didn’t sleep the night before. One pilot commuted overnight on a FedEx freighter, the other flew in the day before from Florida and spent the night in a crew lounge, including on the computer.

    The correct regulatory change would either eliminate commuting, or require pilots to spend the night in a bed near the base the night before reporting for duty.

    Instead we get an artificial restriction that makes training new pilots harder and more expensive and throttles service to smaller cities. Give Skywest some credit for creating a path toward letting pilots with 250 hours gain some experience by pairing them with a more experienced pilot and provide service to smaller communities.

    We should get rid of the 1500 hour rule as well as the EAS program!

    1. Ummmmm. The rule was implememented by Congress after a year long study of a host of topics regarding operational safely, conducted by a commission composed of a cross section on industry stakeholders.

      The 250 hour rule had nothing to do with the Colgan crash per se, only that it was shown that a situation might develop instantly and there would not be time for the 250 hour co-pilot to hand control over to the 1,500 hour pilot.

      It’s gotten so trendy for ignorant anti-government types to just throw out that elected officials are criminals as a lazy explaination for things they don’t bother to understand.

      1. Are you, with a straight face, suggesting that “commissions composed of industry stakeholders” are objective and not influenced by politics and seeking to protect their own interests?

        The evidence from Europe and other areas are that first officers with 250 hours paired with a more experienced captain have equivalent safety records, and all that this rule has accomplished is to choke off the supply of new pilots and the consequence of eliminating air service to smaller communities due to the lack of pilots. Almost certainly causing more deaths to people forced to drive great distances.

    1. I came her to post that same docket number (which is still showing in draft form, here’s a link).

      This is a “notice of intent”, so all comments are important to inform the rulemaking. As stated, “the FAA is considering whether a regulatory change may be appropriate to ensure the management of the level of safety necessary for those operations.” They’re looking at the part 110 definition of “on-demand operation” and whether they should amend it, to remove the exceptions for part 380 public charter operators from the definitions in 14 CFR 110.2 and delink FAA’s safety regulations from DOT’s economic regulations.

  13. One other point into add:

    Part 121 also has mandatory retirement age is 65 while part 135 does not.

    So companies like Skywest are hiring 65+ aged Captains to fly with new 250 hour First Officers who then will reach the 1500 hours of experience needed for part 121. Because of the aircraft and operation they can now upgrade to Captain quickly because of the 1000 hour of 121 time exemption.

    It has nothing to do with SkyWest wanting to fly EAS routes. It’s SkyWest trying to staff the bigger cash cow 121 CPA operations.

  14. For context, what should have been mentioned along with 135 not requiring 1500 hours and an ATP for new First Officer, is the fact the 121 mandatory retirement age of 65 for pilots also doesn’t apply. The low time FO will more than likely have a 30000hr plus Captain in the cockpit.

  15. Something that is wholly lost in this discussion is that the main players here, Contour, JSX, Skywest, and Denver Air Connection, all have slightly different models.

    JSX is trying to appeal to a “luxury” market by operating some of its EMB-145’s with 30 seats. I don’t care how they’ve redone the aisle seat, flying from HPN to Florida or Texas on an EMB-145 can’t be all that much fun, but that’s what they do, as well as lesser routes like PHX-LAS to operate out of the “executive terminals” for convenience sake.

    Countour and Denver Air Connection are operating routes with 30, or 30 “knock down” 50 passenger planes, under EAS which had been served by 9 passenger planes. This shows the lunacy of the Essential Airline Service program. A given market can’t possibly suitable for both a 9 and a 30 passenger plane, even if it is flown more times per day with a 9 passenger plane than a 30.

    What Skywest is doing is substantially different from the other airlines using Part 135.

    They have been operating EAS routes for Delta as well as for United with 50 passenger planes, but have converted all the DL routes except WYS and CNY for unique reasons, to 70/76 seat routes, so Skywest Charter is no longer an issue for Delta.

    It is the routes Skywest has been flying as United Express that are the real issue. Most, but not all said routes are EAS, but unlike Contour and Denver Air Connection, these routes are fully integrated into United’s network and operate seamlessly into the national transportation network. Moreover, since the flights were cut back to only a single flight, sometimes two, many of these EAS routes regularly carry more than 30 passengers per flight, so it’s not so clear that Skywest knocking off 20 seats per flight is going to solve their problem.

    To complicate matters futher, some of the EAS routes Skywest opeerates, they do so as the designated provider and in some, it’s United that actually holds the EAS contract and then subcontracts the actual operation to Skywest, so there’s a lot more to this that initially meets the eye.

    All of this came about because non-union Skywest has been a thorn in the side of ALPA for years. It is a well run, profitable operation whose pilots have shown no inclination to unionize.

    AA has all the opportunity in the world to have its in-house American Eagle carriers do the same thing as JSX, but with the pay scales it has unilaterally implemented, such an operation run by Piedmont, or until recently fellow AAE EMB-145 operator Envoy, would not likely be profitable.

    I doubt very seriously AA cares about the 30-seat EMB-135’s that JSX operates PHX-LAS, but I suspect it cares a lot more about the EMB-145’s knocked down to 30 seats HPN-MIA or DFW-SJD.

    1. Goforride, that is an interesting analysis of the different players and interests.

      So the bottom line is that this isn’t a safety issue, it’s an issue of competitive interests and union interests. It’s too bad that the regulatory process is corrupted in this way, but then a lot of regulations start with valid reasons and good intentions and become corrupted to entrench vested interests.

      1. The age 60 to 65 change was purely an economic issue and SAFETY was totally ignored in favor of $$$. ALPA airlines across the country had lost pensions, some more than once. APA at American kept their pensions intact and even after the bankruptcy, AA pilots didn’t actually lose money. Their pensions remained whole. Sure, future pension growth was changed but no accrued monies were lost like at US, UA and DL. The small jet charter issue is purely about $$$. The 250 hour argument is a red herring and only changed after the Colgan cluster and that rule change would not have prevented the Colgan disaster.

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