Pilot Contract Talks in 2015 to Come Amid Robust Airline Profits

With U.S. airlines awash in cash these days, one of the big questions in the industry has become how much of that wealth will pilots seek next year when contracts at several carriers come up for renegotiation. Contracts at four large airlines—Delta Air Lines (DAL), Hawaiian (HA), Spirit (SAVE), and Jazz Aviation, a regional operator for Air Canada—are up for talks in 2015, covering nearly 15,000 pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilots union in North America. JetBlue Airways’ (JBLU) 2,500 pilots are also hoping to …
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Union alleges Allegiant Air pilots leaving at accelerated rates

By RICHARD N. VELOTTA LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL The union that represents the 400 pilots of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air say pilots are leaving the airline at accelerated rates to work for companies that are offering higher pay and benefits. The Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, based in Wilmington, Ohio, is surveying pilots that have left the airline to confirm their belief that they’re leaving to work for companies with better and safer operations, working conditions and better schedules. Union officials say pilots already flying full schedules are forced to …
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The Pilot Shortage Is Real and Regional Airlines Are Feeling It

The pilot shortage, exacerbated by mainline airlines hiring for the first time in years, increased requirements for pilot training, the implementation of new pilot rest rules, and wage scales at the lowest rungs at regional airlines that challenge minimum-wage levels, is real and regional airlines such as Republic Airways Holdings and SkyWest are feeling the strain. There isn’t a danger that cockpits will be empty at SkyWest, sister airline ExpressJet, or Republic Airways Holdings’ Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines, and Shuttle America, but these airlines are being forced to cope with …
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Turbulence Ahead: The Coming Pilot Shortage and How It Came to Be

There are few professions that command respect like that of an airline pilot. Maybe it’s the faux military uniform. Maybe it’s the clipped, modulated voice that asks you to fasten your seat belt, promising to rise above momentary turbulence. Maybe it’s because passengers want to have faith in the human being responsible for their lives from takeoff to touchdown. The people I was speaking to at Proteus Air Services—a civilian flight school in Santa Monica, California—were just like you’d expect: level-headed and focused. As part of another writing assignment, I was waiting …
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