Release #09.030
June 18, 2009

ALPA Statement on Continental Airlines Flight 61

WASHINGTON – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement regarding the death of the pilot aboard Continental Flight 61 while the flight was en route from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey.

“The pilots of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, are deeply saddened by the death of the captain aboard Continental Flight 61 while it was en route from Brussels to Newark on Thursday morning. The event underscores the value of maintaining a full crew complement of fully-qualified professional airline pilots on each flight. It is premature to comment any further at this time.”

Capt. Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental chapter of ALPA, stated:

“Our thoughts are with the Continental pilot’s family, friends, and colleagues. We stand ready to provide all possible support to the family.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.

# # #

Contact: Linda Shotwell, 703/481-4440 or