December 12, 2019

Delta Air Lines Pilots Urge DOT to Protect U.S. Jobs

ATLANTA, Ga.—The Delta Air Lines Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) filed comments this week with the Department of Transportation (DOT) asking the DOT to place conditions on Delta’s proposed joint venture (JV) with WestJet to ensure that the deal benefits U.S. aviation workers. Specifically, ALPA urged the DOT to review and require Delta to report on how flying and growth are shared under the JV, and the associated impact on U.S. aviation jobs.

“Delta pilots have been adamant that airline management must meaningfully commit to equitable growth with its joint venture partners. Without an equitable growth commitment, job growth and career opportunities for Delta pilots are limited,” said Capt. Ryan Schnitzler, chairman of ALPA’s Delta MEC.

Delta pilots have been vigilantly monitoring proposed joint ventures to ensure that any new agreement does not diminish flying opportunities for Delta, which ultimately impacts all employees at the airline. In August, ALPA requested the DOT place conditions on the proposed “Blue Skies” JV to ensure that Delta realizes an equitable share of any combined growth.

“While immunized alliances like the JV have the potential to grow both U.S. carrier capacity and aviation jobs, they can also be misused to effectively outsource U.S. flying operations to foreign carriers,” ALPA commented in the filing. “To ensure that both the Delta and WestJet operations share equitably in the benefits of the joint venture, the MEC respectfully urges the Department to approve the JV subject to conditions analogous to those recently imposed on Delta’s ‘Blue Skies’ joint venture.

“Scope, including joint ventures, matters to the Delta pilots—it is the foundation of our contract, and we will continue to enforce and seek enhancements to our scope language. We need assurances that Delta is committed to equitable growth, as the company has repeatedly stated. It is time for Delta management to back up their words with actions.”


Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 63,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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