Q: I have a question in regards to the TA and JCTE. My main concern with the TA is for the L-VX side. I am not confident in the Company with having verbiage that says a “goal date” for implementation of March 2019 for L-VX when it comes to L-AS work rules. Since Alaska management knew we were purchasing Virgin America when they decided to go with JCTE, why didn’t they have the Airbus programmed in there to begin with? I have also heard that Jeppesen won’t program the Airbus into JCTE and management is looking for a new system. Is there any truth to this? Is this the reason why management is asking for a March 2019 goal date?
A: Alaska management did not know it was purchasing Virgin America when it selected JCTE to replace Maestro. At the earliest date, management was discussing acquiring Virgin America as a mere possibility in late 2015. However, JCTE was selected far earlier. Management and AFA were at least peripherally discussing JCTE during the last round of negotiations at least as early as 2013. There is no truth to the rumor that Jeppesen will not program the Airbus into JCTE, and in fact that effort is already well underway. Management did not “ask” for a March 2019 goal date. That is the estimated date for Full Implementation based on pilot integration expected in October and aircraft differences training for L-VX and L-AS FA is not scheduled to be finished until very late 2018. Management is very interested in integrating Flight Attendants earlier if possible but management also wishes to avoid the holidays.
Q: Should the Company not meet the March 2019 timeline, what is involved with implementing L-VX to the 10.5 hour duty day as a penalty? Will there be a ton of programming that will need to happen? Is it “flipping a switch” easy or “going back to book” easy?
A: Management has led AFA to understand that programming the L-AS duty and rest requirements for L-VX pairing construction is closer to “flipping a switch” easy rather than “going Back to Book” easy. The main impediment to moving to L-AS duty and rest requirements on the L-VX side is not programming–it is staffing.