Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bankrupt Gemini Air Cargo eliminates 75 pilot jobs

Gemini Air Cargo MD-11Last week Gemini Air Cargo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in two years. The carrier plans to continue to operate during restructuring, however 75 of its 225 pilots are being furloughed or terminated, a move that the pilots' union says is in violation of the terms of their contract.

The Gemini Air Cargo pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), released the following statement about the bankruptcy announcement:
“We are very surprised by the bankruptcy announcement,” said Capt. Bill Atchison, chairman of the Gemini unit of ALPA, “and we are also very troubled by the additional news that 75 crewmembers were terminated or furloughed. The furloughs were done in direct violation of Section 23 of our current contract, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of those pilots affected.

“However, we remain optimistic that these cost-saving measures are necessary during this financially turbulent time to re-position the company as an attractive opportunity for prospective investors.

“Gemini filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006, and emerged five months later as a stronger airline. I am confident we will see the same results during this restructuring and Gemini will emerge with prospects for a healthier future by the end of summer.

“We are scheduled to open Section 6 contract negotiations in March 2009, and we will move forward with the development of a strategic plan to support those negotiations. We want and need to be prepared for the future growth of this airline, any increase in the types of services we provide, and the possible expansion of the current and additional aircraft type we fly.”
Aviation news website, quoting from a letter to Gemini employees from the cargo airline's management, reports that the decision to file for bankruptcy was driven by "record-shattering fuel prices" coupled with revenue shortfalls encountered over the past 12 months.

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