Release #: MAG 16.02
December 14, 2016

Mesa Pilots Receive $2 Million Grant to Press Company for Contract

Pilots have been in contract negotiations for six years

Herndon, Va.—Today, Mesa Air Group pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), announced that the group has received a grant of $2 million from ALPA’s Major Contingency Fund. This money is directed for events and projects that will support the Mesa pilots in their efforts to secure a contract that includes industry-average compensation. The pilot group has been in negotiations with airline management for six years, while pilots at similar fee-for-departure airlines have signed new agreements—widening the compensation gap even more.

“While we’ve seen pilots at other comparable airlines get raises and bonuses, our pilots continue to work under an outdated contract that includes substandard pay,” said Capt. Andy Hughes, leader of the Mesa unit of ALPA. “These funds will help us exert pressure on a company that is more than willing to invest in new aircraft, but reluctant to invest in Mesa pilots.”

Over just the last three years, Mesa has doubled their aircraft fleet. Meanwhile, starting first year officers make just $22,000 a year, which is well under the national poverty line for a family of four. Mesa pay rates lag behind those at other similar carriers flying the same routes on the same aircraft by as much as 50 percent, depending on longevity with the company. Pilots often carry tens of thousands of dollars of education debt in the process of becoming a pilot, making it difficult for any pilot to make ends meet on a Mesa paycheck.

“We’re simply asking for the company to pay Mesa pilots the industry average for similar routes on similar aircraft,” said Capt. Hughes. “We are grateful for and encouraged by the support we received from the more than 54,000 pilots of ALPA not just through this grant, but also through messages and our picket lines. This is not a fight from which we can back down. This is a fight we will win.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 54,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or