PAL Airlines and Air Borealis

PAL Airlines and Air Borealis Pilots
A PAL Airlines Dash 8-Q400 on the tarmac. Photo: Wikimedia

At A Glance

Pilots joined ALPA: 2019

Number of pilots/flightcrew members: 142 PAL pilots and 40 Air Borealis pilots

Pilot bases: St. John’s, Nfld. and Labr.; Halifax, N.S.; and Montréal, Qué.

Hubs/key markets: St. John’s and Goose Bay, Nfld. and Labr.; Montréal, Qué.; and Halifax, N.S.

Headquarters: PAL—St. John’s, Nfld. and Labr.; Air Borealis—Goose Bay, Nfld. and Labr.

Operations: PAL Airlines and Air Borealis serve 29 destinations in eastern Canada.

Fleet: PAL—6 Dash 8-100s/-300s and 10 Dash 8-Q400s. Air Borealis—11 Twin Otters

After securing a contract in September 2022 following nearly two years of negotiations, PAL Airlines pilots were finally able to shift their attention to implementing their new agreement.

While contract implementation has had its usual hiccups, the pilots remain focused on meeting the high expectations of their customers and passengers while building pilot group unity by holding events for the pilots of the PAL group of companies, which include PAL Airlines, Air Borealis, and PAL Aerospace.

After making serious headway throughout the winter of 2022, Air Borealis pilots made very little progress negotiating their first collective agreement during the early months of 2023.

However, by March the parties had tentative agreements on several key items and exchanged various proposals on 90 percent of the pilots’ collective agreement. Yet the pilots and management made little additional progress until the end of September.

By November, both the company and the pilots’ Master Executive Council (MEC) leaders agreed to seek assistance from a Canadian arbitrator known for his work mediating and arbitrating issues within the scope of the Canada Labour Code, including pilot agreements. Instead of formally filing for conciliation under the Canada Labour Code, the parties entered mediation.

With the assistance of the arbitrator, serving as mediator, both parties resumed serious negotiations and were able to reach a tentative agreement. In mid-January, Air Borealis pilots ratified the tentative agreement.

PAL Airlines and Air Borealis, two divisions of PAL Airlines Group, operate as separate carriers with their own operating certificates. However, ALPA considers the two groups unified as one pilot group under one MEC.

An Air Borealis DHC Twin Otter soars over the skies of eastern Canada. Photo: Wikimedia