on the inside
* DOT sets hearing procedure
for Piedmont/US Air merger.
Final decision is due by Octo
ber 30. Thrn to page 2 for
* Thking care of our 767-200s is
a big Job. Details, page 5.
Public gives Piedmont applause
for servioe, on-time operations
USA TODAY, the nation's most
widely read newspaper, ran a six-part
series earlier this month entitled,
"Frustrated Fliers." The features cov
ered such topics as on-time perfor
mance, fares, overbooking, and airport
growth. Throughout the series, Pied
mont continued to be recognized as a
leader in the industry. Among the
areas in which Piedmont excelled:
• Piedmont has the best on-time
record of any of the major car
riers so far this year with 75 per
cent of our flights arriving
within 15 minutes of the sched
uled arrival time, according to
figures compiled by USA TODAY.
(See accompanying chart.)
• In addition, the results of a
USA TODAY poll ranked Pied
mont second among the 10
major airlines in "excellence."
TWenty-two percent of the 604
air travelers who were polled
rated Piedmont as excellent.
Delta received the highest marks
continued on page 4
Airlines: How timely?
USA TODAY asked the 10 major airlines for on-time
statistics, the percentage of planes arriving within 15
minutes of scheduled arrival time. Five airlines gave
figures: Continental. Eastern, Pan Am, Piedmont, United.
Other numbers were Independently obtained.
1 - Delta refused to supply delays figures and the numbers could not be
2 - Northwest disputes USA TODAY'S numbers — obtained from industry
reports — and refused to give arrival numbers.
Source; USA TODAY research
By J.L Albert, USA TODAY
volume 38, number 6
Plednnont FAA inspection industry's best
Piedmont employees, take a bow.
The FAA's recent "white glove" inspection of
Piedmont's operational and maintenance proce
dures yielded the best overall results of all such
inspections of U.S. scheduled air carriers to date.
The inspection began in mid-February and
continued through mid-March with a task force
of FAA inspectors having access to Piedmont
operational and maintenance records going back
15 years, and, in some instances, more.
"For a period of two years, our people have been
organizing and preparing for this inspection," Gor
don Bethune, senior vice president-operations,
said. “That time and attention have paid off.
"If you look at the fines given airlines which have
basically been static with little or no growth and
compare them with Piedmont which has grown at
an unprecedented 20 percent each year since de
regulation, the results are even more impressive,”
As a result of the inspection, Piedmont has
agreed to pay fines totaling just $30,000, all in
volving technical situations rather than errors af
fecting the safety of Piedmont’s operations. For
example. Piedmont was cited because a first offi
cer flew 10 minutes beyond the 30 hours permis
sible by FAA regulations in a seven-day period.
Nine prior FAA inspections of other airlines
have generated a total of $15.6 million in fines
ranging from a previous low of $140,000 to a
high of $9.5 million against the other major car
“It’s an example of how well Piedmont oper
ates in comparison with the rest of the industry,"
Tom Schick, vice president-maintenance and en
"1 feel the results reflect the professionalism
and capability of Piedmont’s technical group—
maintenance, flight operations, purchasing, sys
tems control, and ground operations. We were
cited only three times in regard to flight airwor
thiness, and these were only a matter of record
keeping. This is exceptional,” he added.
“Our people are to be congratulated. Efforts
like these are what make Piedmont the outstand
ing airline that it is today.”
Piedmont's maintenance and operations person
nel achieved these exemplary results during a
period when Piedmont has been the nation’s
fastest-growing airline. Only seven years ago. Pied
mont's fleet included 46 aircraft, 10 of them prop-
jets (YS-lls). By December 1982. the airline had 68
jets. TWo years later, the fleet had grown to 108.
Today. Piedmont has 172 jet aircraft with eight
more scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.
Piedmont carried 8.5 million passengers in
1982. In 1986. the airline boarded 22.8 million
passengers, and in the first six months of this
year, 12.3 million people have flown Piedmont.
"This inspection covers every action by each
Piedmont employee involved in the maintenance
and operations of our aircraft,” Chairman Bill
"When you consider our more than 1,300 daily
flight segments and our maintenance of over 170
aircraft, it is readily apparent that the inspection
covered potentially millions of individual actions
by Piedmont personnel. For such an inspection
to reveal such a paucity of problems is a tremen
dous testimony to the dedication and profession
alism of our work force and management."
Everything's coming up roses!
Or so it seemed June 15 ivhen
Johnnie Martin, a reservations
agent-lNTRO, received a dozen
long-stem red roses "dressed"
in a tuxedo.
A passenger, impressed with
Martin’s professionalism^ and
pleased with the service he re
ceived, sent the flowers along
with a card which read, “cus
tomer satisfaction always wins."
Although gifts offlowers are
uncommon, complimentary let
ters are not. On average. Pied
mont receives more than 650
compliments each month from
passengers praising airline per
sonnel. Excerpts from just a few
of the more recent letters appear
on page 6.