October 24, 2012

Stand as One

Fellow ALPA member,

Whether you fly for a mainline airline, a cargo operation, or a regional carrier, widebody or narrowbody, you are needed, now, in the aviation battle of our lives.

On this issue, we must stand as one, now, or we will be undone.

Last month, the European Union (EU) finally went public with what we have known it’s been plotting to do for some time: The EU is going to again attack our laws on foreign ownership and control.

The goal: to enable foreign investors from around the world—corporations, airlines, and even countries—to buy and take control of our airlines.

Simple, stark, and devastating, this change spells catastrophe for our carriers and our careers—just when some of our airlines are finally recovering from the misery of the last decade.

Once they have control, foreign investors, including state-owned airlines in the EU, China, and the Gulf, can take over our foreign flying, merely by reversing the destination and origination points of a flight, so that what was once ORD-SIN-ORD will become SIN-ORD-SIN. The crews will be foreign-based and operating under a totally different set of safety and security rules.

So we will be feeders for the foreign owners’ international flying. Then they will attack our cabotage rules and go after our domestic markets. Aviation in this country will go the way of the maritime industry, and we’ll be finished.

You can see it unfolding right now. Qantas and Emirates recently announced a “global partnership.” Reading between the lines of the newly-structured alliance, it is clear that Emirates will perform the overwhelming majority of international flying while Qantas will remain largely a domestic feeder carrier.

Although the population of Australia is almost three times as large as that of the Emirates, of the 98 weekly Australia-Dubai flights, Qantas will operate only 14 while Emirates will operate 74. Emirates will also be taking over many of Qantas’ flights into Europe and Asia. Of the 7 daily flights into Heathrow, Emirates gets 5 and Qantas 2.

We have been gearing up for this fight, but we have much to do. In my letter to you earlier this month, I described how we have changed the way we tackle problems in Washington, with a pilot partisan agenda that does not let party politics get in the way of our work in D.C. With a team of highly skilled professional staff and volunteer pilot advocates, we are building the network we need to succeed in Washington.

But it’s not enough. Our recent battles in Washington pale in comparison to the onslaught we are about to face on foreign ownership.

Here’s what we need you to do right now:

First, contact your local council representatives and ask how you can give time to support the pilot legislative affairs network on your airline.

Second, print this e-mail and forward it to your friends, and talk to your fellow ALPA members about this issue, and don’t let up.

Third, talk to pilots from other airlines not represented by ALPA and tell them that their leaders needs to get in line with ALPA on this issue.

Fourth, stop stalling on your contribution to the ALPA-PAC.

Fifth, get your pen and paper and your walking shoes ready, because you’re going to be called on to write letters by the dozens and, when the time comes, to stand up for our profession through marches and demonstrations.

If we are united, we’ll overcome this challenge, again. If we are divided, we will fail, and our jobs will be taken from us, permanently.

On this issue, we must stand as one, now, or we will be undone.

In unity,

Capt. Lee Moak

Questions or comments on this email? Give us your feedback at communications@alpa.org.