Around the Airport

Thursday, April 1, 2010

UPS Seeking Unique Ways to Reduce Pilots

Fewer Pilots & More Flying                                                             
April 1, 2010
Commercial pilots have long known of UPS's affinity for hiring Air Force pilots.  Business leaders have long known of UPS's ability to cut costs to the bone.  Now though, a convergence of issues has UPS scrambling to keep its preference for the Air Force while at the same time reducing costs.  Their proposed solution is something long predicted but ignored by the masses.

When, as an airline, you find yourself running out of your favorite pilot candidates, you have two options; find a new group from which to hire or figure out a way to reduce the numbers you need.  Surprisingly though, the solution to this problem actually comes from the Air Force itself.

Recently, one of UPS's star management pilots, a previous Air Force officer, noticed an interesting trend while studying the same.  It seems the Air Force, in an effort to reduce costs and liability while maintaining the same number of airborne sorties, stumbled upon an unconventional solution.  Now, after only one year of campaigning for the implementation his idea, UPS has agreed to move forward with the plan.  What is it?

Well, sources have it that next year UPS will be the first large operator of commercial  aircraft to install the necessary systems required to operate its fleet of Airbus aircraft remotely.   Initially, remote "piloting" stations, enough to fly five Airbuses, will be installed and based in Louisville, KY.  With one year of operational experience under their belts, UPS will then offer the current pilot group a chance to take a reduction in pay or leave the company.

Insiders claim UPS has determined pilots not coming from the Air Force hiring pipeline would be the first to leave.  This would free up slots the company could fill with Air Force pilots who are known  to have an affinity for procedure and willingness to follow even the most foolish orders.  This would thus increase UPS's ability to further decrease costs.

The Mayor of Fritzville, a community close to UPS's Louisville headquarters, said when asked about the proposed solution "It will be great for our community. UPS has promised this will place five entry level and ten management positions on the community tax roles and we welcome them with open arms."

We think it's safe to say that commercial airline executives around the planet will be watching closely.  We also think that the First Day of the Fourth Month contributed heavily to this speculative article.

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