ALPA President Raises Union's Issues at International Aviation Club Event

As the featured speaker of an International Aviation Club (IAC) webinar yesterday, ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete asserted that airline workers are essential to the success of global air transportation. He noted that, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, airline workers transported “doctors, nurses, and medical personnel to outbreak hot spots and kept global supply chains moving to provide essential medical supplies.”

DePete observed that, more recently, 11,000 airline pilots and thousands of other aviation workers have received furlough or other job displacement notices. He emphasized the need for Members of Congress to act swiftly, commenting, “We need them to save our jobs by doing their jobs—and extending the CARES Act [Payroll Support Program] through March 31, 2021.” He also pointed to the need for the Canadian government to come to the aid of the Canadian airline industry and its employees.

Acknowledging the importance of collaboration during the current global health crisis, DePete said, “ALPA members have shown their willingness to work with their airlines to find creative solutions that will help their companies weather the economic storm and be prepared for recovery.”

The ALPA president highlighted the Association’s “Ready for Takeoff” campaign, which launched earlier in the day, as a demonstration of how we are working with the aviation industry to stimulate air travel. He remarked, “Through print, digital, and video advertising, our initiative will make clear to the flying public that airline pilots are on the job, ready to fly, and looking forward to greeting them as they come back on board.”

Following his presentation, DePete participated in a Q&A session addressing questions about the safety of flying in the current environment and the eventual return of international air travel, as well as the presence of atypical employment models overseas that allow for the hiring of pilots as independent contractors and destabilize the workforce as a result. 

Read the latest Air Line Pilot (PDF)