Release #: ALA-VRD 17.01
April 26, 2017
Alaska/Virgin America Pilots Respond to First Quarter Earnings
SEATTLE, Wash.—Today, Alaska Air Group announced a solid profit for the first quarter 2017. Alaska Airlines management currently is engaged in negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement with the pilots of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America and will enlist the assistance of a mediator beginning May 1. The elected leaders of the Alaska Airlines and Virgin America pilots, who are all represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement:
“Alaska’s first quarter earnings, and new route announcements over the past quarter, demonstrate that this is a company poised for continued growth and success as it works to integrate Virgin America into its operations. One of Alaska’s guiding principles is that culture is key to their success; however, Alaska Airlines management continues to jeopardize that culture the longer they delay negotiating a joint contract with the Alaska and Virgin America pilots that is in line with the industry. It’s time for Alaska management to show that they are committed to their guiding principles and to their pilots.
“The Alaska and Virgin America pilots continue to provide industry-level performance that helped make this merger possible. The pilots play an instrumental role in making Alaska Airlines one of the best, if not the best, airlines in the United States in terms of profit margin, loyalty programs, and consumer rankings and recognition. Yet, Alaska management fails to recognize the importance of valuing its frontline employees—its pilots—the way our competition does. This is not the path to a smooth, successful merger.
"The pilots of Alaska and Virgin America call on Alaska Airlines management to come to mediation next month prepared and ready to reach a fair agreement that acknowledges the pilots’ contribution to the success of this merger and airline."
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 55,000 pilots at 32 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org