Release #: ATI 23.08
August 04, 2023

ATI Pilots Respond to Q2 Earnings Amid Stagnant Contract Negotiations

WASHINGTON—Today, Air Transport Services Group Inc. (ATSG), parent company of Air Transport International (ATI), reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the second quarter of 2023, with cargo leading profits. The ATI pilots, the largest cargo carrier in ATSG’s portfolio, urge the Company, once again, to invest in the pilots who are earning profits for the Company.

As the world’s largest air carrier for the world’s largest e-commerce company, Amazon, ATI pilots rise to the challenge of supporting a complex operation every day. ATI’s outstanding performance numbers are a testament to the pilots’ commitment to their customers. These customers recognize this outstanding performance with bonuses paid to ATSG, but the pilots who make the success possible are seeing no benefit. ATSG and ATI continue to fail the ATI pilots who make this success possible and ATI pilots are responding by leaving in droves.

“ATI pilots have been in contract negotiations for more than 1,130 days. We are the largest carrier in the world for Amazon Air and support the U.S. Department of Defense with cargo and passenger operations to remote locations across the globe. ATI pilots have delivered above and beyond company expectations, yet the leadership refuses to acknowledge the value we bring to the company,” said Capt. Mike Sterling, chair of the ATI pilots’ union.

After more than three years in negotiations with ATI management, progress has been stagnant since summer 2022, with the parties stalled over the critical areas of work rules, retirement, and compensation. ATI pilots have seen their pay rates deteriorate with no raises since March 2021, further hampered by this period of high inflation. With management’s lack of urgency and strong contracts with generous pay rates and retirement packages at other carriers, ATI is experiencing historic pilot attrition as pilots decide to go elsewhere rather than wait for management to come to the table. Year to date, 152 pilots have left ATI, representing 28 percent of the pilot workforce. In the past 18 months, 54 percent of ATI pilots have left.

“The frustration and sluggish pace of achieving a market-based contract continues to launch many of our highly experienced pilots to carriers that appreciate and compensate them for their hard work and experience. Add in poor crew planning, fatiguing schedules with continuous day/night transitions, higher block hours, and the continuing inability to support flight operations due to overworked and underpaid ATI staff [schedulers, dispatch, mechanics, etc.] across the board, and many more will continue to choose to leave. ATI must ‘Level Up’ ATI pilots by delivering a contract that attracts and retains the highest quality of pilots in the industry. ALPA remains committed to achieving a market-based contract that will bring ATI pilots what they deserve so that ATI will once again be a destination and career airline for new pilots,” added Sterling.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 74,000 pilots at 42 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or