July 15, 2011
Continental Pilots Welcome Furloughed United Pilots to Their Ranks
HOUSTON -- This week, the Continental pilots learned that United Airlines pilots on furlough will be offered flying positions to fill as many as 201 pilot vacancies at Continental. An agreement negotiated between the two pilot groups and with airline management following the announced merger last year stipulates that new hire pilot positions at either airline will be offered first to pilots on furlough from the other airline, in seniority order. Continental recalled all of its 148 pilots on furlough earlier this year; United currently has 1437 pilots on furlough. Both pilot groups are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA).
Said Capt. Jay Pierce, chairman of the ALPA unit representing the Continental pilots, “We are always pleased to see hiring at Continental because it represents growth and opportunity for our pilots, but this time is even better because it directly benefits our fellow pilots at United as well. We heartily welcome aboard these dedicated and professional pilots to our ranks and we look forward to the day when both legacy carriers have no pilots remaining on furlough.”
United pilots who are hired for the positions could begin training as early as September 2011 and perform their first flight as a Continental pilot by year’s end. United pilots who accept the offer of employment at Continental retain their normal recall rights with United, should United Airlines begin hiring. Additionally, these pilots retain their position on the original United seniority list for purposes of integrating the Continental and United seniority lists as part of the merger process.
ALPA represents over 53,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the United States and Canada, including approximately 5,000 pilots at Continental Airlines.
Amy Flanagan, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, 281-925-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org