Release #: CKS 21.01
March 01, 2021

ALPA Pilots, Kalitta Air Ratify New Contract

Four-Year Deal Includes Enhanced Working Conditions and Significant Quality-of-Life Improvements

McLEAN, Va.— Today, Kalitta Air pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have ratified the tentative agreement which now becomes the pilot group’s latest collective bargaining agreement with the Company. With nearly 90 percent of eligible pilots participating, the majority voted to ratify the tentative agreement. The agreement provides significant improvements to retirement and enhanced working conditions.

“After one year of negotiations amidst the pandemic and related changes to the nature of bargaining, Kalitta Air pilots now have a contract that maintains their high-level position in rates and benefits and recognizes our contributions to this company,” said Capt. Jeremy Keyes, chairman of the Kalitta Air Master Executive Council (MEC). “This agreement is the result of not only hard work, but also a readiness to cooperate during these tough times and the unmatched unity of the Kalitta Air pilot group.”

Kalitta Air employed 350 pilots when ALPA became the pilot group’s certified bargaining representative in February 2018. Hiring increased, and by spring 2020, Kalitta’s home-based pilot group was on track to top 800—and outgrowing its outdated four-year collective bargaining agreement that became amendable on Dec. 20, 2020.

With that date in mind, the MEC and Negotiating Committee worked seamlessly with ALPA staff to prepare for what all parties anticipated would be an amicable bargaining process.

The pilots began negotiations with management in January 2020 in Kalitta Air’s headquarters city, Ypsilanti, Mich., but switched to virtual meetings to meet pandemic safety conditions. Meanwhile, Kalitta Air pilots worked increased schedules to meet pandemic-related demand from its government and corporate clients around the globe by operating numerous relief flights, evacuating stranded Americans from various impacted regions, and transporting vaccines and other medical supplies—work that continues today.

In December 2020, the MEC reached an agreement in principle with the Company, which was then expanded into full contract language in January. Voting opened on the agreement on February 8 and closed today at noon ET.

“Our pilot membership made clear their priorities for the coming years included retirement and quality of life, especially in light of the various concerns working during COVID-19 presented,” said Capt. Keyes. “This new agreement represents a step in the right direction toward bringing pilot quality of life into line with their peers.”

The contract will go into effect today and becomes amendable in March 2025.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or