Attached below is a comparison of VPLOA/Permanent Leave programs among domestic carriers provided by and shared with permission from KitDarby.com. It is worth noting – this analysis of leave language is not limited to Legacy or LCC carriers but includes Air Wisconsin as a regional carrier which is significant. Other Regional Carriers may benefit from the precedence set by Air Wisconsin.
Permanent leaves help airlines offset potential staff reductions that may be made to “right-size” their business to future market demand and naturally cushions the number of involuntary staff reductions they may need to make.
Benefits include retaining junior and naturally less expensive pilots while taking a withdrawal from the pilot retirement wave currently arriving in the U.S. domestic airline system. It reduces significant retraining costs (at airlines with multiple fleet types) associated with the cascading effects of furloughs in an airline seniority list.
The comparison breaks down
- Monthly pay until leave expiration
- Maximum hours that could be accrued by VPLOA pilots for a best-case scenario
- Months of Pay
- 401k – does the contribution continue?
- Vacation accrual
- Profit-Sharing Eligible?
- Non-rev Travel
- Eligibility Age
- Can a pilot come back to the airline?
- Date of signing of the agreement
- A breakdown of potential value for pilots in the program