Thursday, August 02, 2007

Northwest Airlines tries to fix its pilot shortage

Northwest Airlines B747-400Looks like Northwest Airlines (NWA) is getting proactive about addressing its pilot shortage. The airline has reached an agreement with its pilots' union on issues related to the understaffing problems that have led to so many flight cancellations this summer. In addition, NWA is recalling the rest of its furloughees and recruiting new pilots.

Yesterday ALPA's Northwest MEC released a statement to announce that the pilots and NWA management had reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) "in an effort to address the staffing problem and the heavy work load NWA pilots have experienced since the signing of the bankruptcy contract."
Among other items, the TA permanently establishes a rate of 150 percent pay for every hour flown above 80 hours which encourages management to lower monthly maximums and to hire additional pilots. The TA also provides incentives for instructors, allowing additional training capacity for returning furloughees and new hires. In addition, ALPA granted the company relief in regards to the 757 crew bunk requirement for international flights.
Speaking of returning furloughees and new hires, Northwest also announced this week that it is recalling all of the rest of its laid-off pilots. Furthermore, the pilot career page on the NWA website says that the airline is now accepting pilot resumes and plans to hire approximately 250-350 pilots in the next 12 months. Here's the link to the NWA pilot position listing, with instructions for applying.

UPDATE AUGUST 10, 2007: An article in the International Herald Tribune says that more than 1,400 pilots have applied for jobs at Northwest since it began a "hiring push" on July 24.

[Photo Source]