Air Line Pilots Association, International
Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council

2800 S. 192nd St. Suite 106 Seattle, WA 98188

Release #09.ALA2
January 29, 2009

Alaska Pilots Respond to Company’s Fourth Quarter, 2008 Earnings Report

SEATTLE—Alaska Capt. Bill Shivers, chairman of the Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, Intl., issued the following response to news that, excluding special charges, Alaska Airlines reported a 2008 net profit of $25.2 million:

“Our CEO today acknowledged that Alaska Air Group, in a year of unprecedented volatility that included soaring fuel prices and an economic meltdown, was still able to post a profit for 2008, excluding special items, and was also one of only a select few in the airline industry to do so. This demonstrates the continued strength and success of our company. It is also important to note that Alaska has maintained an extremely strong cash position and is well positioned to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise in the future.

“As our airline continues to succeed, and our industry returns to profitability, it is important that our management realize that it is the hard work and dedication of its employees that drives this continued success. It is inexcusable that, despite our consistent market beating performance, our management continues to seek a contract that excludes Alaska Airlines pilots from our company’s ongoing success, a contract that can only be described as regressive in nature.

“The pilots of Alaska Airlines had wage cuts of up to 35 percent and significant work rule changes imposed on us nearly four years ago. For the past two years, our negotiators have been attempting to work with management to reach an agreement that helps our company to succeed yet also improves pilot compensation and work rules, maintains our hard earned retirement security, provides reasonable health care for ourselves and our families, and prevents our work from being outsourced.

“The fact that our company was able to display such a strong financial and operational performance amidst what has arguably been the most difficult year our industry has ever faced makes it crystal clear that now is the time for Alaska’s management to work with us to reach an agreement that provides this pilot group with the contract they have earned—a contract that helps our company to continue to succeed well into the future. Ultimately, the decision is theirs, and it will be management’s actions that determine whether we will be able to reach a collaborative agreement, or if Alaska’s pilots will be forced down the path to a strike.”

ALPA represents 52,500 pilots at 36 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including the 1,505 pilots of Alaska Airlines, including 32 pilots who are on furlough. Visit the Alaska MEC Web site at

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ALPA Contacts:
Jenn Farrell or David Campbell: 206-241-3138
After Hours: Jenn Farrell, 303-522-6399