Release #13.UAL1
September 5, 2013

United Pilots Welcome Return of Furloughed Aviators

CHICAGO—The United Master Executive Council (United MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association today applauded United Airlines’ announcement of the recall of all furloughed United pilots. In September 2008, United Airlines began laying off pilots, leading to a total of 1,437 pilots furloughed.

“We welcome our brother and sister pilots back with open arms,” said Captain Jay Heppner, chairman of the United MEC. “We have worked toward this day for more than five years.

“The recall of these pilots offers further proof that we stand at a new beginning for this pilot group, now 12,216-pilot strong. I am secure in the knowledge that our furloughed pilots will be returning to a much better contract and to an airline with a brighter and more confident future. Now, all United pilots, together, can meet the challenges of our future as we build the world’s best airline.”

Among the total pilots who were furloughed, 342 have already been offered recall and another 600 took positions with Continental. About 500 pilots are awaiting recall. Training classes for the recalled United pilots are scheduled to begin next month and run through the end of the year.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact:
Dave Kelly