Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
Delta pilots have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the deal offered them by the airline in regards to the planned merger with Northwest Airlines.
”We are pleased with the Delta pilots” decision to ratify a modification to their current contract, marking an important step towards combining our two great airlines,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson.
”We remain committed to working with the Alpa leadership of both Delta and Northwest pilots to reach a joint pilot agreement before the closing of the merger.”
Following months of talks the airlines announced a merger in April, and Delta pilots now have a 3.5% equity offer in the new company under the agreement.
But it is the integration of Northwest”s 5,000 pilots into Delta”s 6,000 which could cause huge problems, with issues of job seniority a major potential stumbling block ” many of Delta”s more experienced pilots retired early after the airline emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which has created a seniority mismatch with Northwest”s pilots ” problematic, as experience affects issues such as pay and schedules.
Northwest MEC (an Alpa division) vice chairman Monty Montgomery said of Delta”s deal to its pilots when it was first announced: ”Inexplicably, the Delta MEC has abandoned the joint pilot contract approach and has, instead, agreed to a new Delta pilot contract amendment which will increase the pay and benefits for only Delta pilots.”
Delta MEC chairman Captain Lee Moak told United States House of Representatives” Committee on Transportation yesterday (14 May) that Northwest pilots would be seen as ”partners.”
”We welcome the Northwest pilots as partners in the building of the new merged airline and look forward to not only the rapid completion of a new joint collective bargaining agreement but also a fair and equitable negotiated seniority list. Our goal is for both to take effect at or before the close of the corporate merger.”
At the hearing on ”The Impact of Consolidation on the Aviation Industry” Moak also added that the industry is under great threat.
”Oil has increased in price by over 90% in the last year alone. Coupled with other economic factors beyond the control of either management or labor, our nation”s aviation industry is now in jeopardy for the second time since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
”The economics of the industry overwhelmingly suggest that the time for rational and sensible industry consolidation is now.”