November 9, 2007
Delta Air Lines Pilots Union Pens Joint Agreement with Air France Pilots
Paris, FR – Today, the Delta Air Lines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), signed an agreement with the Air France pilots, represented by the Air France Air Line Pilots Association, that establishes a joint protocol regarding the previously announced Delta-Air France joint venture agreement.
Earlier this year, the United States and the European Union (EU) signed a comprehensive, first-stage Air Transport Agreement commonly referred to as the “Open Skies agreement.” Subsequent to the Open Skies agreement, Delta Air Lines and five other members of the SkyTeam alliance applied for antitrust immunity with the U.S. Department of Transportation for trans-Atlantic routings. Included in the application was a joint venture agreement between Air France, Delta, KLM and Northwest that, if approved, would create a comprehensive and integrated partnership among the four SkyTeam members across the Atlantic.
Last month, with antitrust immunity in place for Air France and Delta, the two companies took the initial step of signing a two-way joint venture agreement to share revenues and costs on their trans-Atlantic routes, with the first phase of the agreement to commence in April 2008. Upon the full implementation of the agreement in 2010, it will extend to all trans-Atlantic flights operated by Air France and Delta between Europe and the Mediterranean on one side of the Atlantic and North America on the other side, as well as flights between Los Angeles and Tahiti.
In response to the signing of the two-way joint venture, the governing bodies of the Delta pilots and the Air France pilots met to develop and sign the “Air France and Delta Pilot Protocol I.” The protocol recognizes the dynamic nature of the airline industry including the increased potential for industry globalization made more likely with the Open Skies agreement.
The protocol’s objectives include:
The establishment of an ongoing dialogue and exchange of information between the two pilot groups,
The sharing of knowledge and experience between the two pilot groups to include details of collective bargaining agreements, national laws and regulations,
The avoidance of any action that could reduce the collective bargaining leverage of either pilot group,
The development of common bargaining positions concerning a fair distribution of growth and job opportunities, and
The preparation for the further development of the joint venture and the possibility that other airlines may be included in the future.
Air France ALPA and the Delta MEC believe that mutual cooperation and unity of purpose are essential to protect the professional interests of both pilot groups with respect to the Air France-Delta joint venture agreement.
According to Capt. Lee Moak, chairman of the Delta pilots’ union, “This joint venture agreement between Air France and Delta could represent substantial opportunities for both carriers and their employees. But with opportunities come risks.”
Capt. Moak added, “The long anticipated globalization of the airline industry is underway, and we cannot afford to be idle bystanders in the process. As labor, it is important—in fact, crucial—that we proactively engage both our managements and each other. We must jointly develop common bargaining strategies that promote fairness and foster trust. Contractual protections must be put in place that prevent our managements from pitting one pilot group against another, and go beyond that to ensure mutual support should one group find itself facing a strike. All of this must occur while respecting and ensuring the autonomy of each of our unions.”
The protocol agreement between the pilots of Air France and Delta is historic in its nature and depth and designed to ensure that fairness and balance become the cornerstones on which the two pilot groups will engage in all joint venture flying.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents more than 60,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 7,000 active DAL pilots. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org and the Delta pilots’ website at www.deltapilots.org.
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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
CONTACT: ALPA, 404-763-4925 office