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Airline Division News, Week Ending November 21, 2012

Atlas Air / Polar Air Cargo Flight Dispatchers Ratify First Contract

Flight Dispatchers for Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo have ratified their first contract in a vote last week. By an overwhelming margin, the dispatchers of the two carriers; who operate under the umbrella of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, accepted the terms of the five year agreement.

“This is the culmination of many hours of hard work and dedication by all; both in management and labor and it is a credit to everyone involved,” said Steward Dennis Gerber, who is also a member of the negotiating committee. “Our thanks to the Airline Division for the assistance they provided and especially to Local 210 President George Miranda. I’d also like to thank the company for their commitment to the process diligence.”

In a press release issued by the company, John Dietrich, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide was quoted as saying, “We are very pleased to have finalized our new collective bargaining agreement with our highly experienced dispatchers. We achieved all of our objectives in this process, including preserving productive work rules and flexibility, while maintaining competitive compensation and favorable benefits for our dispatchers. We achieved long-term labor stability with our valued employees, enabling us to provide continued value to our customers and shareholders.”

Mr. Dietrich added, “Negotiations with Atlas and Polar dispatchers and their representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which began in 2009, were constructive and professional, with genuine interest by both parties to reach agreement. We applaud the union leadership and its efforts.”

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Airbus to install a warning on the rudders of 215 of its planes after too much stress was placed on a vertical stabilizer and it came off in New York in 2001. The FAA order grants a four-year timeline for the changes.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System has received attention from some critics who say that the satellite technology used by NextGen is vulnerable to hackers.

A preliminary report from the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows an overall increase in U.S. airlines' workforces in September over the same month last year.

Acting Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta has delayed the selection of drone test sites indefinitely, citing the need to overcome privacy issues before testing begins.

Airline and Industry

Pilots for American Airlines are set to begin a ratification vote this week for the new labor contract recently negotiated between the airline and the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing the pilots.

Dutch European shipping company TNT Express has sold its airline operations to ASL Aviation Group of Ireland, contingent upon TNT Express' takeover by U.S.-based United Parcel Services.

Boeing has confirmed its plans to build a third assembly line for its 737 MAX jet at its Renton, Wash., facility. The company also announced that it has made some refinements on the jet, including an adjustment to the fuselage line and improved visuals for pilots.

Unmanned civilian aircraft will be prevalent in the U.K. within the next ten years, says Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, a drone scientist.

American Airlines’ creditors met with US Airways on Tuesday, according to sources who say US Airways is continuing its push for a merger with the carrier. Few details were available because the talks are private.

In celebration of the first Thanksgiving, remembrance of the good fortune of family, friends and co-workers, and mindful of our brothers and sisters who still struggle, we of the Airline Division extend to each of our members, family and friends our best wishes for Thanksgiving and ask that we all remember those less fortunate.

In recognition of Thanksgiving, the Airline Division offices will be CLOSED on Thursday and Friday. We will open for normal business on Monday.