Release #: 15.23
June 04, 2015

Virgin America Pilots Vote to Join ALPA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Mediation Board (NMB) announced today that the pilots at Virgin America voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).

Of the 95.7 percent of eligible pilots who voted, 75.3 percent voted in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union, showing their commitment to collective representation.

“ALPA is very pleased to welcome our colleagues at Virgin America,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president. “Today, our union is stronger. ALPA is poised to ensure that Virgin America pilots will gain a stronger voice for their future and, together, we will continue to advance our profession.”

Today’s vote was the result of a focused campaign that began a year ago when a group of Virgin America pilots approached ALPA for potential union representation. In April, just three weeks after initiating the authorization for representation election card campaign, Virgin America pilots submitted an overwhelming number of authorization cards to the NMB seeking a representation election.

“Virgin America pilots are eager for a real voice in our careers, which is why we chose to begin this journey. By joining the 51,000 pilots at ALPA, we now have access to the professional resources needed to help us negotiate a contract that includes enhanced work rules and benefits that reflect the needs of our pilots,” said Captain Jose Palacios, a member of the Virgin America Organizing Committee. “We play a crucial role in the success of our company, and we look forward to advancing that success as we work with management to achieve our goals.”

The focus for Virgin America pilots now shifts to the membership drive and establishing pilot representatives in each base, and starting the work to negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement.

“We look forward to putting ALPA’s vast resources to work to help the Virgin America pilots. From aeromedical advisors and insurance benefits to our world-class safety structure, we are prepared to work alongside Virgin America pilots as they establish their structure and begin work toward their first contract,” added Canoll. 

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 30 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or