You can’t do that

ContiUnited just lost a ruling in arbritration that will forbid it from marketing flights on United Express aircraft with greater than 50 seats as Continental flights.  Continental had planned to have United Express fly routes out of Continental hubs in Houston, Newark and Cleveland in the new year. 

Arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled that that can’t be done as it would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement in place with Continental pilots.  While Continetal and United are a merged company named United now, the pilots and flight crew are still flying as two different companies and will be for at least another year.

This is a pretty big blow to Jeff Smisek, CEO of United, and it was, perhaps, a bit bold of him to try to make this move without buy-in from the Continental pilots.  Continental has been constrained for years with their contract with their pilots on regional jet flying and it needed those rules relaxed in order to compete with other airlines.

United needs to get their labor ducks in order before attempting to press on with other controversial things such as this.

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