March 9, 2010
Air Transat Pilots: Outsourcing Bad for Business
MONTRÉAL—Union leaders for the Air Transat pilots issued the following statement in response to the excessive and continual outsourcing of flying enforced by their airline’s holding company – Transat A.T. [TSX.TRZ.B ]. Air Transat pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), recently began contract negotiations with the company’s management. The pilots are seeking guarantees that Transat A.T. will not farm out work to the lowest bidder. They are hopeful that a successful outcome will help mitigate the negative impact the current outsourcing is having on Air Transat pilots.
“The pilots of Air Transat are deeply concerned that Transat A.T., the holding company that controls Air Transat, is outsourcing flying while Air Transat’s mainline growth has been stagnant for the past two years,” said Captain John Prater, ALPA president.
“While we applaud any moves to increase profitability, we strongly believe that Transat A.T and all its subsidiaries’ customers expect and deserve to be flown on Air Transat airplanes with Air Transat pilots in the cockpit,” said Captain Sylvain Aubin, the pilot group’s representative at the Air Line Pilots Association.
“Outsourcing Transat A.T. flying to other carriers runs the risk of diminishing the travel experience in the eyes of our customers and goes directly against the business model that has made this company a success,” said Aubin. “We are putting management on notice that we will not be outsourced to a less experienced and cheaper work force,” said Prater. “As partners in the success of these companies, we are asking Transat A.T. management to work with the pilots and other employees to encourage the growth of the company from within—as they’ve done in the past with notable success,” said Aubin.
Traditionally, Transat A.T. outsourced a portion of their flying with Air Transat carrying up to 75% of Transat A.T.’s flying needs. As recently reported by its holding company, Air Transat is now operating only 50% of the flying. “This situation is not acceptable for our pilot group,” said Aubin.
The Air Transat pilots did not benefit from Transat’s general growth and were forced to send a portion of their pilots to Indonesia for two months of flying in order to avoid potential layoffs. “Both Air Transat and Transat A.T. management are fully aware of our concerns,” said Aubin. “We are confident that this major issue will be resolved.”
Air Transat is known for its international experience and wide body aircraft operations. The company has been marketing its full-sized aircraft in 26 countries with approximately 60 destinations throughout the world. Air Transat employs 325 pilots based in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit the ALPA website at: www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contacts: Captain Sylvain Aubin, 514-332-4716; Lynn Konwin, ALPA Communications, 703-481-4468