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News from ALPA International

December 1, 2011

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

ALPA Acts to Block U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Air India Financing Deal
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), has been granted permission to intervene in a lawsuit against the U.S. Export-Import Bank to block it from providing millions in U.S. taxpayer dollars to guarantee financing for Air India to purchase a large number of aircraft—a move that could seriously harm the U.S. airline industry and risk U.S. airline jobs.

“At a time when every U.S. airline industry job counts, it is inexcusable that the U.S. Export-Import Bank would use U.S. taxpayer dollars to guarantee financing that could give a foreign airline a significant competitive advantage and risk U.S. jobs,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.

On November 22, ALPA filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Airlines for America (formerly known as the Air Transport Association) that asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin the U.S. Export-Import Bank from making financial guarantees for Air India to purchase new aircraft until the bank determines that the guarantees will not harm U.S. airlines and their employees.

Read more.

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EGL MEC Responds to AMR Chapter 11 Filing
During the past year, the American Eagle Master Executive Council worked diligently and collaboratively with Eagle and AMR management to develop a plan to create an independent and viable American Eagle. Unfortunately, American Airline’s financial situation and the faltering world economies have resulted in this week’s Chapter 11 filing.

Where possible, the EGL MEC plans to continue to collaborate with EGL management in the reorganization protecting the interests of the Eagle pilots throughout the process.

“We believe it is entirely possible to reach a balance between the goals of a reorganized Eagle and the job security that Eagle pilots deserve,” said Capt. Tony Gutierrez, chairman of the EGL MEC.

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Furloughed ALA Pilots Return to Service
For Alaska Airlines’ pilots, this week marked the end of a period during which 106 of their colleagues were furloughed. The final five involuntarily furloughed Alaska pilots returned to active service Tuesday after spending nearly three years on furlough. The number would have been six, but one pilot who would have returned with this class elected to resign.

“I couldn’t have been happier to welcome back our furloughed pilots than I was this week,” said Alaska MEC chairman F/O Paul Stuart. “As a pilot group, we will not forget the challenges that our furloughed pilots faced. Nor will we forget the way in which this pilot group came together to help one another.”

When Alaska announced plans to furlough pilots, the Alaska MEC and Negotiating Committee worked to negotiate programs to mitigate furloughs. Those efforts produced programs that allowed active pilots to commit to flying reduced schedules and reduced the overall number of furloughs as a result. The pilot group voted to assess itself to cover the costs of health insurance premiums for furloughed pilots. Over the past three years, that assessment paid $585,000 in health-care premiums; the money remaining in that fund will undergo an independent audit and will be paid back to the pilots who contributed to it.

Read more.

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Single Operating Certificate Marks New Beginning at XJT
Last month marked the end of a long, distinguished era for pilots of the former Continental Express. Now operating under a single certificate with ASA, ExpressJet, which began as several commuter carriers cobbled together by Continental Airlines in the early 1990s, is one step closer to completing its merger with ASA to become the largest, independently owned regional airline in the United States.

ASA management acquired government approval for a single operating certificate and surrendered the ExpressJet operating certificate to the FAA on Nov. 17. The surviving certificate of ASA, now ExpressJet, went into effect on Nov. 18, following ExpressJet’s last “Jetlink” flight, which arrived in Houston early that morning.

While ASA and ExpressJet are now operating under a single certificate, several hurdles must still be cleared before the carriers may truly be merged. Of chief importance is combining the two ALPA pilot groups.

The pilots have been in active negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA), a prerequisite for the integration of the two groups, since May 2011. To date, the parties have reached tentative agreements on 11 of the 33 contract sections/parts and have opened seven others for discussion.

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Canadian Pilot Assistance Workshop Trains Pilot Volunteers

The ALPA Canadian Pilot Assistance Group sponsored its annual Canadian Pilot Health and Rehabilitation workshop Nov. 14-17 in Toronto. This training event is provided for pilot volunteers who, like their HIMS counterparts in the United States, work with members who suffer from chemical dependency.

The event was moderated by Rev. Brian Murray, the president of Humanitas Employee Assistance Programs, and ten pilots representing three ALPA carriers—First Air, Jazz, and Continental—attended.

Canadian Pilot Assistance is one of five groups that make up the ALPA Pilot Assistance Committee, which provides confidential guidance and help to pilots having difficulty in any aspect of their professional or personal lives. The other four groups include Aeromedical, Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP), Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS), and Professional Standards.

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Take the Survey
ALPA’s Government Affairs Department and Political Action Committee play vital roles in influencing legislative and regulatory decisions that determine national air transportation policy. Call to Action programs provide ALPA members with a chance to contact their elected public officials and voice their opinions . . . but how familiar are you with these Association efforts?

Please take a moment to complete a six-question survey and tell us what you think about these and other Government Affairs issues. We want to hear from you.

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Stay Connected
Stay connected with your union, your profession, and your industry by reading Air Line Pilot magazine and watching monthly episodes of The FlightDeck.

Read a financial assessment of the airline industry, presented by ALPA’s Economic and Financial Analysis Department, on page 16 of the December issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the tenth installment of The FlightDeck, learn how Emirates Airlines is expanding its reach into the United States.

Remember that both Air Line Pilot and The FlightDeck can also be accessed from the members-only portion of the ALPA website at

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Other Industry News
• The former Air Transport Association of America has changed its name. Read the ATA press release.

• In preparation for the upcoming winter storm season, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt convened a forum to find better ways to manage aircraft diversions. Read the FAA press release.

• Bloomberg’s Businessweek says the Alaska Air Group was picked to replace AMR Corp. in the Dow Jones Transportation Average, after the parent of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy. Read more.

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ALPA’s Constitution and By-Laws and Administrative Manual provide the framework for the union’s elected pilot leadership to follow in conducting the business of the Association. To view these two documents, sign onto the members-only section of the ALPA website, click the e-Library tab, and then click the Administration link. This page also provides resources like ALPA’s Code of Ethics.

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Feedback & E-mail Address Changes
Questions or comments on this FastRead? Give us your feedback at

If you have moved or changed your ISP or e-mail address, please update your ALPA records. If you don’t, you will no longer receive the ALPA FastRead and other e-mail bulletins and notices, and once your postal forwarding order expires, you’ll no longer receive the magazine and other ALPA mail. You can do it yourself by going to and logging in. Go to “My ALPA” in the menu at the top of the page, and from there, you’ll be instructed how to make the necessary changes.

If you don’t have access to the members-only section of, you can e-mail your requests by sending them to Be sure to include your member number or enough other information so that we can identify you in the membership database, and tell us what information needs to be updated.

Please note that it is not sufficient just to notify your LEC or MEC of these changes—you should register them with the ALPA Membership Department in Herndon.

Can’t remember your member number or how to log in? Need information about your ALPA insurance programs? These and other questions about ALPA services can be answered by contacting

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Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l
1625 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20036 | 703-689-2270