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Tue, Jul 03, 2012

Delta Pilots Ratify New Contract

Deal Will Accelerate Replacement Of Small Regional Jets By The Airline

The pilots of Delta Air Lines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have ratified an amended collective bargaining agreement (CBA) the union announced Friday. The agreement, reached over seven months ahead of the December 31, 2012 amendable date, was approved by the unions governing body, the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC), in May and sent to the Delta pilots for membership ratification earlier this month.

The voting closed at 10AM EDT, with 94%, or 10,170, of the 10,864 eligible Delta pilots casting a ballot. Of those, 62% voted “In Favor” of the new agreement. The CBA will become effective July 1, 2012 and run through December 31, 2015.

In a letter to the Delta pilots, Delta MEC Chairman Captain Tim O’Malley wrote, “The ratification of the agreement represents the culmination of several months of effort on the part of your elected representatives, the entire extended committee structure, ALPA staff professionals, and the Negotiating Committee. Thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in the process by providing input to your elected reps, attending road shows, and ultimately, casting your vote.”

As part of the agreement, pilots will receive a four percent pay increase effective July 1st. But the Associated Press reports that the deal also will mean a shift in the way Delta uses its smaller regional jets. The airline is planning to phase out its 50-seat jets in favor of larger airplanes, and the contract signed Friday will allow that shift to happen more quickly. The agreement caps the number of 50-seat RJs at 125, down from the current number of 343. It will also allow the airline to lease 88 Boeing 717 aircraft formerly flown by AirTran from Southwest Airlines.



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