Release #ASAXJT10.02
December 20, 2010

Atlantic Southeast Airlines and ExpressJet Pilots Hold First Joint Meeting
Pilot Leaders Work Together to Prepare for Merger

Pictured in photo - (Row 1, l-r): First Officer Joe Costanza XJT LEC 177 Vice Chairman; Captain Steve Prescott, ASA LEC 112 Captain's Representative; Captain Sterling Roach, ASA MEC Vice Chairman; Captain David Nieuwenhuis, ASA MEC Chairman; Captain Chris Cashmareck, XJT MEC Chairman; Captain Richard Viars, ASA LEC 112 Captain's Representative; Captain Chris Malo, XJT MEC Vice Chairman.

In row 2 (l-r) are: First Officer Justin Demer, XJT LEC 175 Vice Chairman; First Officer Jason Jarvi, ASA LEC 113 First Officer's Representative; Captain Mark Wollman, ASA LEC 113 Captain's Representative; Captain Nick Tomlin, ASA MEC Secretary/Treasurer; Captain Chris Belcastro, XJT LEC 176 Chairman; Captain Jim Ferace, XJT LEC 177 Chairman.

Pictured in the back row are: Captain Tony Middendorf, ASA LEC 111 Instructor Representative; Captain Bill Morgan, XJT LEC 179 Chairman; First Officer Andy Hale, ASA LEC 112 First Officer Representative; First Officer Ken Armstrong, ASA MEC 112 First Officer Representative; First Officer Thad Conn, XJT LEC 176 Vice Chairman; Captain Jeff Whitehead, XJT MEC Charter PRC; Captain Eric Stoltz, XJT MEC Secretary/Treasurer; Captain Rich Castle, XJT LEC 175 Chairman.

ATLANTA—Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) and ExpressJet pilot leaders, both represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), met recently to continue discussions and preparations for the merger of their two companies, and subsequently, their two pilot groups. This was the first in-person, formal meeting of the entire union leadership of the two groups since SkyWest Inc., ASA’s parent company, announced its plans in August 2010 to purchase ExpressJet and merge it with ASA.

The merger has met all of the legal requirements, and now work begins to merge the operations and employee groups. At the conclusion of the merger, the resultant airline would be the largest regional carrier in the world and employ approximately 4,300 pilots.

“By meeting jointly, we are preparing for the day when we are one carrier and one pilot group,” said Capt. Dave Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the ASA unit of ALPA. “This meeting built upon prior discussions between the officers and provided an excellent opportunity for the pilots to sit down in one room and forge common goals that will benefit our airline, our careers, and our profession.”

“We are not the first airline merger, nor are we likely to be the last,” added Capt. Chris Cashmareck, chairman of the ExpressJet unit of ALPA. “It’s clear by looking at past and current mergers that the pilots must work together to be successful. We are both committed to this process so that we may fully realize the benefits of the merger and make the necessary improvements for our collective pilot group.”

During the three-day joint session, the pilot leaders discussed the status of the merger and upcoming negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement—a single contract that will unite the two pilot groups. The Joint Negotiating Committee, which includes pilots from both ASA and ExpressJet, reviewed the current state of negotiations, as well as expectations for future discussions. The meeting adjourned with plans to hold joint sessions regularly.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union and represents nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada, including approximately 1,700 pilots at ASA and 2,600 at ExpressJet. Visit the ALPA website at