Scope Clause


New Member
Just curious what a scope clause is. I think I have an idea but
I wanted to know more about it. I read today that NWA is
looking to, among other things, rework the pilot's scope clause.
I also heard that Song and UAL's proposed low fare carrier
would have different scope clauses for the pilots who flew
for them.
There's probably more to it than this, but here's my understanding.

The scope clauses outline exactly how many smaller connection/express airplanes can fly for mainline. United's is something like for every X number of mainline jets, the express carriers can have X number of small jets flying. There's a distinction also between >50 seats and <50 seats.

Pilots of the major airlines created the scope clause as a sort of job protection. With the advent of the RJ they saw that management could replace more and more routes with the cheaper-to-operate RJs. In an booming economy with the airlines turning profits, it made sense. Now with the airlines losing money, they want to rework the scope to allow more economical RJs to replace half-empty mainline jets.

Scope is good and bad, depending on your perspective. For the mainline pilots, it's good because it prevents them from losing routes to the RJs. It's bad for the regionals because it basically limits their growth.