Sunday, February 22, 2009

AirTran Airways pilots' union seeks to merge with ALPA

AirTran Airways logoThe board of the National Pilots Association (NPA), the independent union representing the 1,700 pilots at AirTran Airways, has voted unanimously to approve a merger agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The proposed merger between the NPA and ALPA will be voted on by the full membership of the NPA between March 11 and April 10. If the membership approves the deal, the merger would go into effect on May 1, 2009.

The NPA leadership is in favor of merging with ALPA in order have access to ALPA's considerable resources in support of their ongoing contract negotiations with AirTran management. AirTran and the NPA have been negotiating -- albeit off and on -- since 2004.

ALPA passed a resolution endorsing a merger with the NPA in December of 2008, after holding talks with the AirTran pilots.

Late last year, the NPA also explored merger possibilities with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, but after meetings between the leadership of both unions, it was reported that the Teamsters declined "to pursue a more official relationship" with the AirTran pilots.

AirTran recently recalled 169 pilots who had been furloughed last summer.