Release #08.045
September 16, 2008

Pilots: There’s More Than Meets the Eye to the DHL/UPS Proposal
Agreement would cut 10,000 jobs and slash competition; pilots ask for careful scrutiny from Congress and the Dept. of Justice

WASHINGTON – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, issued the following statement after testifying (oral testimony | written submission) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today on the effects of the DHL/UPS proposal:

“DHL fashioned the ‘solution’ to its problems in North America unilaterally, bypassing the companies and employees who have supplied its lift for many years, as well as the state of Ohio. This process denied the parties most affected any opportunity to construct alternatives or protect themselves.

“The transfer of DHL’s lift to UPS requires, at the very least, careful scrutiny by this Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Department of Justice. Further, as suggested by Congressman John Conyers last week, this deal should be delayed pending such scrutiny.

“DHL’s ‘solution’ ensures that two companies—both of which were viable competitors when purchased by DHL—will be summarily put out of business, with their employees on the street during one of the worst job markets in our lifetimes.

“There has to be more to this than meets the eye. After all, both ASTAR and ABX have met all performance targets set by DHL and provide 99 percent on-time performance. The pilots at both carriers, while reasonably compensated, earn less than pilots at UPS or FedEx.

“The bottom line is that DHL’s problem in North America is not the cost or effectiveness of its air operations. Its problem is that it cannot compete with UPS and FedEx on the ground. They can’t restructure their way out of that and they can’t solve it by switching to another provider of lift, much less by handing their operations to the competition.

“If DHL and UPS won’t operate in the open, we ask the government to step in and ‘restructure’ their thinking. This Committee [the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee] and the Justice Department should insist on reviewing these ‘firewalls’ before any transaction is consummated in order to analyze whether these safeguards are real or, as we suspect, mere cover for giving the bulk of DHL’s North American business to UPS.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 53,000 members at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit

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ALPA Contacts: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, (703) 481-4440,