August 3, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mass Pilot Exodus, Low Morale Cause Concern for Mesa Pilot Leadership
PHOENIX – Mesa Air Group [NASDAQ: MESA] pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, put up billboards across the country this week calling on the carriers to address pilot staffing and morale issues that are reaching critical levels and negatively impacting Mesa operations. Mesa Air Group pilots fly as Delta Connection, US Airways Express, United Express, Go Airlines and Mesa Airlines.
Mesa management’s unwillingness to follow the pilots’ contract has caused a mass exodus of skilled pilots making unprecedented lateral moves to other regional carriers. So far this year, nearly 400 pilots have left Mesa Air Group, creating pilot shortages which, among other things have led to flight delays and cancellations.
“Our airline has been bleeding pilots for many months but unfortunately management has been unwilling to make any significant changes to retain the kind of skilled, professional crews that are needed to service our numerous operations,” said Captain Michael Jayson, a 14-year employee and chairman of the ALPA unit at Mesa.
With increasingly low morale and unrest within the pilot group, union leaders are publicly expressing their growing concerns about the long-term viability of Mesa Air Group via billboards in its major hub cities and near corporate headquarters in Phoenix. With the following message appearing in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Phoenix, the Mesa pilots hope that management will take their concerns seriously and work with them on solutions for attracting and retaining their professional pilot force.
“Low Morale, Pilot Exodus,
Mesa Management, Give Your Pilots a Reason to Stay.”
Mesa’s current pilot contract becomes amendable in mid-September of this year. Many Mesa pilots are leaving the company to accept similar pilot positions at other so-called “regional” airlines, most of which have higher pay, better benefits and superior pilot work rules. Ironically, Mesa management’s refusal to simply follow the provisions outlined within the current contract is a source of on-going frustration for the Mesa pilot group. As a result, the union leadership has spent countless hours investigating and pursuing every legal opportunity available to ensure Mesa management complies with the contract. For months, the pilot union leadership has warned Mesa management that on-going contract violations, combined with the attraction of better pay and working conditions at Mesa’s competitors, will continue to drive pilot attrition and discourage new pilots from joining Mesa’s operation.
The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the nearly 1,800 pilots at Mesa Air Group, which includes Mesa, Air Midwest and Freedom Airlines. ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contacts: Anya Piazza, 703-481-4457
Lydia Jakub, 602-306-1208