Cargojet Pilots
A Cargojet B-757-200F awaiting takeoff at Val-d’Or Airport in Quebec. Photo: Wikimedia

At A Glance

Pilots joined ALPA: 2021

Number of pilots: 400

Pilot bases: Hamilton, Ont.; and Vancouver, B.C.

Hubs/key markets: Toronto, Ont.; Edmonton, Alb.; and Vancouver, B.C.

Headquarters: Hamilton, Ont.

Operations: As the largest all-cargo airline in Canada, Cargojet provides time-sensitive air cargo services to all major cities across the globe, transporting more than 25 million pounds of air freight each week. It has long-term strategic partnerships with Amazon, Canada Post, UPS Canada, DHL, and Purolator.

Fleet: 40, including 17 B-757-200PCFs, 2 B-767-200ERs/BDSFs, and 21 B-767-300ERs/BDSFs

More than two years into their merger with ALPA, the pilots of Cargojet are integrating smoothly into the Association but find themselves having a more difficult time building long-lasting collaborative relationships with management.

The pilot group’s Master Executive Council (MEC) has assembled a strong volunteer base with highly functioning committees and is preparing for its first ALPA leadership change when the current MEC leaves office at the end of February.

The MEC’s Negotiating Committee has been striving to make improvements to a contract ratified several years ago when the pilot group was represented by UNIFOR. Meanwhile, the Grievance Committee has been equally busy trying to force the company to adhere to the contract, which doesn’t expire until 2026.

Management has been unilaterally imposing terms that violate the contract, especially in the areas of scheduling and fatigue. The MEC has also taken the company to task for preferring to hire captains off the street while bypassing qualified first officers on the seniority list who are ready and willing to upgrade.

Despite the challenges, the pilot group is highly unified. The MEC held several successful pilot unity-building events in 2023, and hundreds of pilots and family members attended the MEC’s first family picnic last summer. The pilot group also continues to expand its ties with Air Canada and other Canadian pilot groups.

Cargojet pilots show family members their “office” during the Master Executive Council’s first Family Day gathering in Hamilton, Ont., last August. Photo: Capt. Chris Howard (Cargojet)