Pilots at US-based ACMI and charter operator Kalitta Air voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new contract.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents the Kalitta pilots, said a twenty-one day voting period ended on 20 December, with 234 pilots voting in support of the new deal, and 17 voting against.
According to the union, the four-year agreement provides “industry-leading scope and job security protections, reduced duty period limits and enhanced rest provisions. It also contains improvements in benefits, protections for pilots who fly cargo into war zones or geographic areas experiencing acts of terrorism and a 55 percent increase to hourly pay rates, as well as incremental raises through 2020.”
Kalitta Air, like Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Air Transport Services Group, has been in prolonged contract negotiations with pilots (for six years in Kalitta’s case). The negotiations at all three companies have become increasingly contentious, exacerbated by the growing demand for pilots as the three companies have ramped up their flying for DHL Express and Amazon coming just as the pilot shortage in the US (and worldwide) worsens.
Whether the settlement at Kalitta will have any impact on negotiations at Atlas or ATSG is debatable. Labor relations at both companies are governed by the Railway Labor Act, which forbids strikes and lockouts, so the talks may drag on for some time.