Release #08.DAL8
December 08, 2008

Delta/Northwest Pilots Receive Seniority List Arbitration Decision

New Orleans, LA -- On Monday, December 8, the leadership of the Delta and Northwest pilot groups, both represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), received the arbitration decision in the case of the integration of their pre-merger seniority lists into a single seniority list. The arbitrated list is constructed on the foundation of a “ratioed status and category” methodology. Under this treatment, pilots will be ratioed into the new list based on a staffing formula and the aircraft flown by each pilot group with a rational treatment for the minor attrition differences that exist between the two pilot groups.

In June 2008, the Northwest and Delta pilot leadership agreed to a process for the integration of the pilot seniority lists of the two pilot groups in connection with the merger of Delta and Northwest. The agreement ultimately led to a series of arbitration sessions before a three-member arbitration panel retained this past summer to hear the case. The panel consisted of Arbitrators Richard Bloch, Fred Horowitz and Dana Eischen. Each has extensive arbitration experience and a solid background in airline labor issues. Under the terms of the agreement, today’s arbitration decision is final and binding upon the Delta and Northwest pilots and will be submitted to Delta Air Lines as the single integrated seniority list. The seniority list is effective immediately.

In June 2008, the pilot leadership from both carriers also reached agreement with Delta on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement which was subsequently ratified by both pilot groups in August. That agreement became effective on October 30, one day after the merger closed when Delta was notified that the Department of Justice had completed its review of the Delta-Northwest merger without objection.

Delta MEC Chairman, Captain Lee Moak stated, “The Delta pilot group is now the largest pilot group in the world, and just weeks after the merger closed, is operating under one collective bargaining agreement and integrated under a single seniority list. This is a historic labor first and stands in stark contrast to traditional airline merger timelines where labor issues can take years to resolve, often at the expense of both labor and the merged corporation. We must continue to face the challenges ahead as a unified group of professional, engaged pilots. We have an obligation as well as a professional responsibility to ensure the voices of the pilots we represent are heard loud and clear on the issues that affect our livelihoods and our profession. We must continue to pilot our way to every opportunity, a goal that can be achieved with the unity, resolve and relentless determination made possible by the 12,434 pilots of Delta Air Lines.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 7,000 active DAL pilots and 5,100 active NWA pilots. Visit the ALPA website at, the Delta MEC website at

SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
CONTACT: DAL ALPA, Kelly Regus, 404-763-4925 office