|New Service Announcements and Changes to HKG flying |
Greetings Council 26,
Yesterday’s announcement of the inauguration of non-stop service between Los Angeles and Singapore, effective October 27, 2017, is a valuable addition to the route network of our airline. These new initiatives add to the profitability of our airline and create stability for all of us. However, discontinuation of scheduled passenger service between HKG and SIN, a market to which we have been dedicated for decades, is raising a number of concerns for all of us in Council 26. The officers of Council 26 have heard from a number of you expressing concern that some employees appeared to have received this information earlier than others. As many of you began to hear about this impending route change, you weren’t hearing the full story about how the change would impact our base and what the cancellation of this flight meant for our flying. This has created a level of uncertainty. Your concerns are not only understandable, they are justified.
Late yesterday evening, United management released an Inflight Services Scheduling Alert providing more specific information on the new service between LAX and SIN and, at the same time, addressed what the impact of the discontinuation of service between HKG and SIN would mean for us. Specifically, the company has stated, “..the loss of HKG-SIN-HKG will be replaced with additional flying.” We must focus our attention on this commitment from management.
While the specific information as to what this “additional” flying might be has not been announced, absent the addition of new service from HKG to points beyond, we are left to conclude that the company will “create additional flying” by adding international segments (from points in the United States) in between the segments we have traditionally flown from HKG. As we’ve seen in the past, Crew Schedule Planning has added additional flying to our domicile by including segments in the HKG bid package from SFO. Intended only as examples, you may recall in the past we’ve flown segments from SFO to ICN (Seoul, Korea) and NRT (Tokyo, Japan) when the addition of those hours were necessary to support our base population. The company has not made any announcement as to what this flying will be. We are told that the company is in the process of analyzing the best possible flying solutions and will communicate this information at the appropriate time.
For those of us who commute from SIN to HKG, we are aware of the impact this change will have on your ability to get to work to start your trips. We have reinvigorated our discussions with management on the need for Reciprocal Cabin Seat agreements with those carriers serving the HKG to SIN market. It is important to understand that these agreements are mutual agreements between the carriers involved. We continue to focus our efforts at ensuring management is aware of the importance these agreements and the role they play in supporting employee dependability.
In the weeks ahead it will be necessary for all of us to remain engaged and informed on these upcoming changes. As you might imagine, these changes in flying will change the bidding patterns with which many of us have become familiar. We need to avoid all rumors and speculation. Get the facts!