US Airways Pilots: Pressured to Cut Fuel

January 2, 2009

PlusUS Airways Pilots: Pressured to Cut FuelUS Airways Pilots: Pressured to Cut FuelThe ociated PressPilots at US Airways say they feel pressured to lighten up on fuel loads to help the airline save money. Some of the carriers most senior captains have been asked to explain their requests for more fuel. (July 17)[Notes:ANCHOR VOICE] [Notes:VO planes taxiing on tarmac]IT IS FUEL THAT MAKES THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY GO … BUT PILOTS AT U-S AIRWAYS SAY MANAGEMENT IS PRESSURING PILOTS TO USE LESS FUEL TO SAVE MONEY. THE PILOT’S UNION SAYS SOME OF ITS MEMBERS FLYING THE AIRLINE’S LONGEST ROUTES HAVE BEEN SENT TO SPECIAL TRAINING ON HOW TO CUT BACK. [Notes:11:12:38]SOT: This is new, it’s not part of our training routine, and we view this as intimidation and we view it as an attack on the captain’s authority to make that final decision. [Notes:VO airport b-roll, planes, people in terminal]WITH FUEL PRICES SKY HIGH … AIRLINES ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO SLIM DOWN … CUTTING IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEMS, BUYING LIGHTER BEVERAGE CARTS. NOW, FUEL … THE HEAVIEST THING ON BOARD.U-S AIRWAYS SAYS THE DECISION TO BRING IN 8 PILOTS FOR EXTRA TRAINING WAS NOT MEANT TO BE PUNATIVE. IT SAYS THESE PILOTS ROUTINELY ASK FOR MORE FUEL BEYOND THE EXTRA AMOUNT ALREADY ON BOARD. THE F-A-A REQUIRES ENOUGH FUEL FOR PLANES TO REACH THEIR DESTINATION … PLUS 45 MINUTES BEYOND THAT.CAPTAIN RAY OF THE PILOTS OCIATION SAYS ITS CAPTAINS NEED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE ADDING FUEL. [Notes:11:14:26]SOT: What you don’t want is your captain … I think I need this fuel, but you know what, if I add that fuel, am I going to get called in on the carpet?HE SAYS PILOTS HAVE THE FINAL SAY ON FUEL … WITH PASSENGER SAFETY COMING FIRST. U-S AIRWAYS SAYS IT IS CUTTING ROUTES AND BUYING MORE EFFICIENT PLANES. BUT THE FUEL BILL FOR AN AVERAGE FLIGHT STILL TOPS OUT AT $300 PER PASSENGER … A HIGH PRICE TO PAY IN TURBULENT TIMES. ___ ___, The ociated Press.(****END****) ANCHOR VOICE:————————-VIDEO PRODUCER: Lee Powell——————————VIDEO SOURCE: AP, file————————–VIDEO APPROVAL:——————————VIDEO RESTRICTIONS:———————————-SCRIPT/WIRE SOURCE: Pilots-Fuel, 1st————————————

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