Turmoil continues at Mesaba


Turmoil continues to grip Avro RJ85 operator Mesaba as it struggles to cut costs. The airline claims it needs to reduce costs by a further 17.5% to survive, but the unions claim these cuts are too deep, particularly coming on top of earlier cuts and, for the pilots, the reductions in pay that will follow the pending withdrawal of the RJ85s. An earlier bankruptcy court ruling that the airline could break contracts with its unions and impose new terms was reversed on appeal on 14 September. With cash dwindling, Mesaba secured a new court ruling allowing it to impose terms on 16 October. This prompted a threat to strike from the pilots’ union — a move which would all but surely kill the airline. The airline was then able to secure an injunction against a strike, on 23 October. Negotiations continue. In the meantime, Mesaba’s Avro RJ85 fleet had dwindled to 10 aircraft by 25 October.

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