October 26, 2004
Statement by the ATA Unit of the Air Line Pilots Association Regarding Today's ATA Chapter 11 Filing
Capt. Erik Engdahl, chairman of the ATA Unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, made this statement today following ATA's filing for bankruptcy with the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. Capt. Engdahl, a resident of Brown County, IN, is a Boeing 757 pilot based on the west coast.
"Today is a sad day for all of us as ATA flight crew members, but one that's recurring with alarming frequency in our industry. There are many reasons why ATA was forced to declare bankruptcy, but with some of the lowest costs in the industry, labor expenses can't be blamed for this airline's breakdown.
"Our crews are unique among low-cost carriers for their expertise in operating new-generation, ETOPS-certified aircraft both at home and overseas. They will be a valuable asset to any airline, and we will aggressively work to ensure that their jobs and seniority are protected. While the uniforms may change, their professionalism will stay the same.
"We will also respond expeditiously in order to protect our members who may end up remaining at ATA, and work cooperatively with management to keep the transformed airline and its cockpit crewmembers successful and competitive.
"We love our airline and are strongly committed to seeing it succeed. ATA has always set the standard for safety, comfort and convenience among low-cost carriers, and we are committed to maintaining a quality product in spite of our changed circumstances. During this period of transition we will strive to ensure that our passengers can't tell the difference between the pre- and post-bankruptcy airline."
The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the 1,100 pilots and flight engineers at ATA. ALPA is the world's oldest and largest pilot union, representing 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Rusty Ayers, 773-284-4910