Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher, long an outspoken opponent of airline unionization, is living his worst dream: his pilots are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Pilots were prepared to strike on April 2, but on April 1 a U.S. district court judge in Las Vegas issued a temporary restraining order. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 10.
The union that represents the 400 pilots of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air say pilots are leaving the airline at accelerated rates to work for companies that are offering higher pay and benefits. The Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, based in Wilmington, Ohio, is surveying pilots that have left the airline.
Pilot attrition is accelerating at Allegiant Air as pilots, even senior captains with many years invested, have been leaving in increasing numbers for companies luring them with better and safer operations, better working conditions, better schedules and increased compensation and benefits packages.
On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court in Nevada granted a preliminary injunction in favor of Teamster pilots at Allegiant Air, finding that Allegiant unilaterally changed provisions in the existing agreement during bargaining in violation of RLA status quo requirements. Allegiant was ordered to reinstate the lost medical program, comply with parental leave policy, and address scheduling issues due to the unilateral implementation of a preferential bidding system.
Delays in training for Allegiant pilots is driving a shortage of company pilots to fly scheduled flights and re-route equipment back to hubs and maintenance centers, according to Teamsters Local 1224 President Dan Wells. “It’s obvious to us that the major service disruptions - ranging from chronic staffing and equipment shortages, increased third-party contracting and the shutdown of the company’s training department - all flow from the short-sighted decisions being made at the top,” said Capt. David Bourne, director of the Teamsters Airline Division.
(Washington, D.C.) – The Allegiant Air Pilots Executive Council, an employee group of Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) pilots represented by Teamsters Local Union 1224 in Wilmington, Ohio, announced plans today to begin formal dialogues with Allegiant stakeholders and other influential voices in the financial community, including institutional shareholders, equity analysts, corporate lenders and insurers, in order to address operating and safety concerns that exist at the airline.
Allegiant Air – Updated Air Returns and Diversions due to Maintenance-related Issues September 2014 Through March 2015
In February 2014, the TAMC was approached by pilots from Allegiant Air who were concerned by the number of air returns and diversions due to fixable maintenance-related issues. It should be noted that Allegiant has an aircraft utilization of roughly 5.5 hours per day, which is less than half the industry average. The TAMC, after considering the number and reasons for the maintenance issues, agreed to launch an investigation.