January 24, 2008
Continental Pilots Prepare for Merger Potential
HOUSTON—Leaders of the Continental pilots union, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l., decided today to activate the union’s Strategic Merger and Acquisition Response Team Center (SMART). Start-up of the SMART center was in response to recent industry merger activity.
“We will not stand idly by and allow a change in the airline landscape without taking steps to protect the interests of our pilots,” says Capt. Tom Donaldson, chairman of the pilots’ union. “We’ve made huge concessions over the past number of years. As stakeholders in Continental, we agree with management that we are content as a profitable, stand-alone entity. However, we cannot ignore the amount of merger talk present in the industry. The SMART center will allow us to take the steps necessary to protect pilots’ stakeholder equity in our airline.”
The pilots’ union and Continental management have worked together to create a successful company and overcome obstacles that have caused other airlines to file for bankruptcy. Comments Capt. Donaldson, “It is exactly this type of cooperation that has allowed our company to flourish while others have languished with poor earnings and even worse, significant losses. We expect this level of cooperation with management to continue with regard to any merger decisions. The pilots of Continental must be key in the decision to welcome or reject any merger candidate.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 60,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
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Contact: Amy Flanagan, Air Line Pilots Association, 281-987-3636