A Western Global B-747 at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: Capt. Greg Pinckney (Western Global)
At A Glance
Pilots joined ALPA: 2021
Number of pilots/flightcrew members: 100
Pilot bases: Home-based
Hubs/key markets: Fort Myers and Miami, Fla.; Anchorage, Alaska; Frankfurt, Germany; Hong Kong; and Incheon, South Korea
Headquarters: Estero, Fla.
Operations: Western Global is a worldwide freight carrier that serves more than 400 airports in 135 countries. It’s one of nine airlines that flies for the U.S. Department of Defense Transportation Command’s “Patriot” Team.
Fleet: 17 MD-11Fs and 4 B-747-400Fs
Western Global pilots joined ALPA in April 2021 to secure a contract containing the wages, work rules, and quality-of-life improvements they’ve earned and deserve.
In February 2022, the pilot group and management entered negotiations and have achieved several tentative agreements representing important gains and improvements.
However, over the last few years, the pilots have faced many challenges, including high attrition and workforce uncertainty. These issues were magnified when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2023.
Throughout the bankruptcy, the pilots’ Master Executive Council (MEC) leaders have been encouraged by the support and resources provided to the pilot group—from ALPA’s legal team organized to represent the pilots’ interest in the bankruptcy process to the Negotiating Committee members who’ve kept the bargaining process moving. During the initial days of the bankruptcy, the MEC acknowledged management’s challenges and explained how contractual gains for the pilots would help protect the company from continued financial strife. This response garnered additional respect and support for the pilots’ position and reinforced the need for a contract. As a result, talks between the parties have become more collaborative, and the pilots have seen a renewed drive by management to achieve their first collective bargaining agreement.
Western Global is an all-cargo aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance and charter carrier that began operations in 2014. Its freighter fleet of MD-11s and B-747-400Fs is solely based in Estero, Fla.